On Cherishing Our Friends

Being soft does not mena you are any lesser. It means despite how difficult the world can be, you have held onto your capacity to feel.

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Right now, I’m writing this piece on an XL twin mattress on the floor of a co-op house on Stanford campus. This mattress has no sheets, and I snagged some blankets from the donation bin in front of the house.

It’s a glamorous life.

I came to help one of my #RideOrDies, Elisabeth, pack up her shit, walk across the stage, and drive west.

for all the soft&sad grrls and bois | art by @l__mathis

A post shared by elisabeth dee (@femmenightmare) on

This evening, Elisabeth and I (along with some of our queer friends) happened into a night of verbal affirmations and on cherishing our friends. This topic (“Cherishing Our Friends”) isn’t something that we typically see pop up in our newsfeeds, and it’s not something we’re explicitly taught.

Below, I’ve written a few practices or ways we can cherish our friends, told within the context of the special evening I just had:

What’s Your Love Language?

While I kind of role my eyes at quizzes like this, I really appreciate the book and online quiz, The 5 Love Languages. This methodology (if it can be called that?), ranks how we give/receive love.

Viewing this as an exercise, not a hard or fast ranking you must adhere to, is so helpful in that it positions us to look at our loved ones and ask, “How do you want to be loved?” and ask ourselves, “How do I want to be loved?”

“How do I want to be loved?”

For me, it’s gifts. I wince a little typing that, because I don’t want to come across as some greedy bitch who demands tribute (wow, that was a visual description). But it’s true. Whether it’s someone saying, “Hi, I saw this stone on the beach a few weeks ago, and it made me think of you” or more expensive things. To me, items show effort: One has to see something and be reminded of me (awww!), go through the effort of acquiring it, and find a way to present it. ❤

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“The Hot Seat”

This evening we also played “The Hot Seat.” Basically, this is a game wherein one person is questioned (rapid fire or more slowly) by others in the group. Generally, a timer is set for 3 minutes.

Some of my favorite questions from this evening included:

  • What do you most love about yourself?

  • What is something you’re working to be better at?

  • What flowers do you want at your funeral?

  • What are you struggling with right now?

These questions were mixed in with more surface questions, sparking laughter at times and laughing through tears at others. Overall, this is something that friends can do to create space and focused attention on individuals in a group, and I learned new things about people that I’ve known for years.

A post shared by elisabeth dee (@femmenightmare) on

Affirmation Circle

So, this started at a friend’s birthday party this last October, where I announced that all party guests were going to go around and introduce themselves, and share one of their favorite things or memories about the birthday human.

Tonight, we did that, but instead each took turns (in a group of 4), going around and sharing what we loved and cherished about the person. Unlike “The Hot Seat,” there is no time limit and pauses for sniffling is encouraged.

Oftentimes, we don’t have or find space to share these intimate moments with friends, and it’s my hope that you’ll incorporate some of these ideas into your cherished friendships.

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