Mindful Friendship

Mindful Friendship Can Be A Valuable Source For Meeting Emotional Needs

Most cultures prioritize the couple relationship over all else, which has an undervaluing effect on friendship. This inequality may not be serving us, as there are many stabilizing emotional qualities without the complexity of sex or exclusivity. Mutual bonds that feel like family are a rare gift. The emotional stability they provide is still equal to that of a partner meeting emotional needs. One has to consider, if friendship were not secondary to partner value, what would we do differently to cultivate and protect it when ill-will arises?

Research Proves the Presence of a Best Friend
Reduces Stress

In 2011, developmental psychologists tested 103 fifth and sixth graders with a median age of 11, over the course of four days. Several times per day, they were asked to described how their last 20 min felt in a journal entry and who was present during that time (a friend, a teacher, a sibling, or a parent.) Their saliva samples were also taken multiple times per day to test their cortisol levels. Continued>>

Best Friend Reduces Stress

Every time their cortisol was lowest (stress response hormone) for that time of day, the correlating journal entries proved repeatedly that their best friend was a part of their interaction. Hence, the mere presence of a trusted equal was biochemically optimizing. Mayo Clinic reports similar benefits of friendship for adults.

View The Research

Mindful Friendship Traits

We Foster Consistency

Time with a trusted friend is like a sacred place of reprieve from the world’s demands. Cultivating that connection requires a simple agreed upon routine; carpooling, having lunch on last Wednesdays of the month, or being surfing buddies every other week. Routines should be flexible around times when life requires extra from us, but returning to or adapting routines is what proves your commitment.

We Re-Charge Each Other

The primary function of free form sharing is to allow the organic identification of feelings to surface. Naming things that are negative helps release the emotional intensity of it, naming the positive things allows us to celebrate together and amplify the feelings of success. These micro-moments are powerful contributions to our well being when expressed in a safe place with a mindfully kind ear.

We Mastermind Life Together

Friends can brainstorm with you and serve as a sounding board for new paths of living. We essentially are a secondary resource of learning and when we discover anything that would help one of us, we make sure it’s shared. The networking effect of how we share opportunities or special insights for each other’s benefit is powerful.

We Create Fun Memories

‘Remember the time you drove me to the hospital like the Transporter and talked your way out of a ticket..?’ Friends make life’s rough circumstances entertaining, a little more bearable and can humorize anything if we let them. Allowing them the chance to take care of us or be a part of our lives during wild circumstances, creates more fun history and depth in the relationship.

Foundational Qualities For Cultivating Mindful Friendship

We are wired for mindful friendship, diversity, and adapting to whatever ages and forms our friends may take. We love storytelling; we enjoy mentally visiting the places that we could never go through the shared life experiences with friends. We enjoy the understood silence with our pets that give us a judgement free soul break. We learn just as much from an animal’s unspoken actions as we do from the best communicators in our life. As modern psychology evolves, we have more and more access to simple truths that make up how we flourish. Below are the top three things to master to experience profound friendships.

Mindful Listening

mindful friendship

Lending our full attention without judgement or interruption may be one of the most profound immaterial gifts we can give. Asking what kind of response would be preferred is more respectful than immediately responding with your own assumptions. Assumptions can often be incomplete and make your friend feel like you were not listening. Asking deeper questions and about the truth behind the surface answer is not only revealing, but validating that you care enough to ask.


  • Friend Feels Heard (Heard = Loved)
  • Friend Feels Fully Expressed (Emptying Our Mental Content On Complex Situations Is Recentering)
  • Listening Well Invites New Insights

Close friends will share personal stories. The thing no one will ever explicitly teach you: Your awareness is not equal to your right to share an experience that isn’t yours. It’s tempting to share stories that don’t belong to you within a group of friends that you imagine might already know the story, or have permission to hear it. This is a mistake. Only the person to whom the story belongs has the right to the telling. Being mindful of your friend’s sharing means keeping that story secure in the shared vault that makes your connection sacred.


  • Material For Inside Jokes
  • Confidentiality Is Miracle Grow For Closeness
  • Better Equipped For Emotional Support

Mindful Vault

mindful friendship

Mindful Reliability

mindful friendship

Reliability is principles in action. Being mindfully reliable just means you’ve taken the time to find out what kind of reliability your friends want and honoring that. If you are struggling to be reliable, perhaps you are operating at a mental or energetic health loss you are unaware of (such as adrenal exhaustion.) This affects short term memory, energy levels, mental clarity and decision making, and makes it impossible to keep your word. Temporary illness isn’t going to be held against anyone, get well soon.


  • Reliability Is The Super Glue Of Your Connection
  • People Are Excited When They Find Out How Solid You Are, Like A Dog’s Happiness When It’s Owner Gets Home
Friendship is the ultimate micro-system for practicing your skills in mindful listening, confidentiality, and reliability. Every failure and success molds your capacity for stable intimacy.

Research Explains Our Mental & Emotional Limits for Friends

The key to remaining at peace about the ebb and flow of people we connect with is based on our shared emotional limits. A study conducted by a team of UK psychologists and sociologists proved that a pattern exists for how many people we can reasonably be close to at one time. Researchers tracked data from 24 British graduates as they entered the workforce and set up their careers. Both survey results & cell phone data were graphed, showing that most communicated with a small handful of people. Then an interesting phenomena showed up: Continued>>

The Research Showed:

The pattern of communication was only minimally weakened by social turn over, meaning, occasionally a new favorite best friend replaces an older best friend. “Although social communication is now easier than ever, it seems that our capacity for maintaining emotionally close relationships is finite,” said Felix Reed-Tsochas, a researcher at Oxford University and one of the authors of the study. “While the number varies from person to person, what holds true in all cases is that at any point individuals are able to keep up close relationships with only a small number of people, so that new friendships come at the expense of ‘relegating’ existing friends.” Hence, there's no need to personalize friendship turnover, as we all experience reaching our emotional limits.

View The Research

Be Mindfully Kind Friendship Material

Because energy and time are finite, it’s important to choose wisely how you will show up in the world E.G. not merely ‘choosing’ which friends offer the most emotional stability. In truth, you can only attract some people by becoming like them. They often are good at knowing the difference between those who perpetuate chaos, and those who calm it. Always choose to strengthen your kind habit of calmness. There are endless positive emotional dividends for this work.

Mindful Sovereignty

Mindful Sovereignty

Claiming mindful sovereignty means you are in a process of transmuting the fall out of codependency (being a child, being a chronic over-giver) into sustainable skills of creating new ways of living. We build upon the poor habits of previous generations, and learn indirectly from other’s mistakes as much as our own. We are capable of transmuting the bad into good. Personal mindful sovereignty means accepting your power to do this. This allows one to create their dream work, and their dream relationships, from a space of claiming how they wish to be in the world.

  • Discover & Master Favorite Skills
  • Replicate Your Unique Knowledge
  • Enjoy The Benefits Of Friends Who Share Your Causes

Mindful Integrity

mindful integrity

Mindful integrity is a superpower. A personal commitment to doing the right thing means you are capable of developing reliability, accountability, non-judgemental thinking, protecting confidences and being generous with assumptions. It means you are capable of being trustworthy. With enough mindful integrity, we can build a more functional world together. Mindful integrity means you’re willing to remain receptive, keep your word, and give your best effort. High integrity people usually know how energy wasteful it is to personalize other’s actions. They save their energy for supporting positive outcomes that serve all parties.

  • People Trust Your Judgement
  • People Benefit From Your Ideas
  • You Make A Difference

Mindful Boundaries

mindful boundaries

Welcoming, setting, and honoring boundaries is a unifying form of communication about limitations. Others can’t always see or know about these without helpful communication. A warning about past abuse for example, lets you know that a minefield of emotional triggers may exist; it’s easier to understand boundaries, than to cross them. If you are worthy of hearing about the trigger or boundary, it means you are considered an ally of support. Its an honor anytime someone trusts you enough to share their vulnerable truths.

  • Protection From Being Triggered, & Causing The Trigger
  • Kinder Understanding For Others
  • Willingness To Act In Non-Triggering Ways Once Aware
Distinction: ‘Excessive personalizing’ is degrading to relationships. More often than not, a rejection or a ‘no’ includes many overriding variables outside of you. Observe which emotions (shame, embarrassment, anxiety or anger) trigger personalizing, and practice some self care to dissipate that emotion. Make a personal practice of being robust enough to welcome accurate feedback instead of catastrophizing criticism.

Trust Issues & What To Do About It

Trust issues have internal implications just as much as outer implications. The surface of it looks like you don’t allow anyone near you. A common survival mechanism.  The people who are somewhat close to you are still held at arm’s length away and are kind enough to understand that you’ve been through some things, and are healing. Healing takes as long as it must, and understanding is medicine. Psychologist researcher, Brene Brown, PhD expertly explains what to do when this is the case.

“…Because we can’t ask people to give to us something, that we do not believe we’re worthy of receiving.”Brene Brown, PhD

Need to Be a Better Friend?
Read Our Books

These principles will permeate your consciousness and help you feel different nearly immediately. With a minor amount of practice, the results will build momentum over time as you improve your habits. If you are highly adaptive a once over reading will be enough. If you do better with an interactive approach with a variety of scenarios and questions, we recommend our eCourse. It’s based on the book and takes you through a minor history of human development, as well as the latest research discoveries of the habits that make the most positive impact for us. Either way, the review of trustworthy information represents a solid mental upgrade for your future. More joy, success, and quality relationships all based on currently available research.

A Researched Approach to the Importance of Mindful Kindness

How Negative Mind Wandering Makes Us Crazy
Weakening Unkind Habits While Strengthening Kind Ones For Self & Others
Worldwide Mindfulness & Kindness Research
How Blending Mindful Kindness Gives You A Serious Edge
All The Above Combined = Mentality Upgrade You Can't Unsee
Saint Badass, mindful friendship

A Story About Mindful Friendship

Saint Badass

This story details the serendipity of how a prisoner and an author become friends over their shared bond of practicing meditation, mindfulness and kindness. This leads to a positive ripple effect throughout a maximum security prison.

Learn More Now + Read An Excerpt
How Love Wins, mindful friendship

A Story About How Mindful Kindness Affects Us

How Love Wins

This is follow up book to Saint Badass and focuses in on the available research for how mindfulness and kindness change us and what the potential is for how we relate to one another. This book details the power of fusing these qualities into all our habits.

Learn More Now + Read An Excerpt
“Rather than seeing myself as a calm person at one time, or an angry person at another, I recognize that I have an unkind habit of anger, and a kind habit of calmness. I can weaken one habit while I strengthen another.”Doug Carnine, PhD
If you haven’t already, thank a close friend for being a badass favorite in your world.


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