Dangerous Compassions

making friends

fat person eats some food

Hello, reader.  How are you doing?  When I’m at a gathering over zoom or in person, I often hear adults mention how it’s so hard to make friends as an adult.  Making friends is thought of as easy for kids.

But I can’t relate to that.  I was a quiet, different kid with autism who had few friends and struggled socially.  I still struggle socially to understand my role, how to create justice, and how to be appropriately helpful with others.

But I have too many friends now–more than I can be responsible to.  Making friends is not hard for me these days, as I feel a deep curiosity about people.  I ask questions, care, and many relationships are kindled as if by magic.  I have penpal friends and zine friends, in person friends, online friends, far away temporary chosen family who I txt with every day.

Also I have integrity.  A friendship priorities list helps.  I line up my behavior and my values as well as I can.  If I love someone, I want to be there for them, check in, and maintain the relationship with intention.

I don’t live in integrity 100%.  But working on it means I have more friends than I can keep up with.  Forming new relationships is something I occasionally vow to stop doing.

“I cannot handle more people in my life–I’m totally maxed out,” I decide.


Living in community can be hard.  If I use up all my very few social spoons on the people I live with, there’s no more energy to interact with deeply nourishing elsewhere others.

Recently I was feeling burnt out socially.  Ming and I went on retreat at my girlfriend’s house while she and her spouse were away at the coast.  It was lovely to rest and spend time with her plants.  The quiet felt healing.  It was a beautiful reset.

But there was a zoom meeting of radical fatties, and I was torn about whether to attend.  Finally I decided to give it a try.  These are the people I most want to ally with.  I’m so glad I did, because the nourishment I found at that meeting helped me feel like the world is an ok place, and I can survive a long time.

ways of staying friends

Keeping in touch with people is a way of having a lot of love in your life.

  • calling people on the phone
  • writing a postcard or letter
  • emailing someone to say hi
  • video chat through zoom or facebook messenger
  • txting words, photos, memes
  • visiting in person
  • taking a trip together
  • shared projects
  • video messaging / voice messaging
  • keeping someone in your prayers–thanking Mother God for them
  • making art for them
  • giving them a gift

Sometimes you need new friends because you quit some drugs so you need non-drug buddies.  Or maybe you quit a religion and need new people who are not that religion.  But otherwise, old friends are usually great, right?


What is a friend for?  I need friends to love, interdepend with, spend time with in virtual spaces or physical.  I like hugs, affection, to feel safer in the world through connection.  Sometimes friends share ideas and understanding that blow my mind and give me new ideas I really need, about the world or about a situation I’m in.

Problem solving with friends is the best.  Feeling understood and valued while understanding and valuing others is a deep pleasure.

What do you need friends for?  Knowing and holding onto our motivation can help us live our values.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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