Sex and the City stars2 Friends as Family.

Members of 12 Step Fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics will recognise these themes as being part and parcel of everyday life in recovery. These themes may also be familiar to one of the stars, Kirsten Davis, who is in recovery from alcoholism.

An Indiana University press release says;

Remember The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink? These films illustrate what Maresa Murray calls the “friends as family” concept. Today, television viewers see a myriad of shows with similar themes.

Think Sex and the City, Entourage, Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle. “We are currently seeing some of the same themes from 20-25 years ago in families, relationships and media,” says Murray. “One example includes a major ‘friends as family’ theme in television and in movies, many of which were perpetuated by John Hughes, producer and director of movies such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty and Pink.”

Murray says that this theme emerged during the 1980s, a time when Caucasian, working class and suburban families were experiencing a shift in the family arrangement, namely that of a dual-earning family.

Families were also in the midst of an economic recession. “As mothers began to work more outside of the home, many children and youth became ‘latch-key’ children, letting themselves in the home, alone, after school.

They began to feel more of a bond with their friends,” Murray said. “In 2008, we are seeing the same emerging themes of family economic hardship and an increased emphasis on friendships in popular culture.” It’s not clear to Murray what comes first — an increased need for friendships or a media that pushes us towards an urge to forge these close relationships. “Regardless to which comes first, the chicken or the egg, it’s on the collective psyche,” says Murray.

Are you the friend you want to be?

Murray offers the following tips:

  1. Make the effort to meet together in person. Whenever possible, exert the effort to spend time “in person” with your friend or friends. In the chaotically busy world wrought with dependence on “wires” to “stay connected,” the personal touch demonstrates just how important friends are to you. Making the time sacrifice is an investment into the relationship.
  2. Make the effort to be creative together. Many talk about the need to keep the “dating relationship” alive in marriage, mainly for the purpose of maintaining a sense of excitement rather than excessive repetition. This also can be applied to friendship. Although one of the best benefits of friendship is the comfort and routine of familiarity, it also can be purely fun to step out and be intentionally creative with each other.
  3. Make the effort to remember and recognize. Remembering important milestones in a friend’s life can be difficult (e.g. birthdates, anniversaries, dates of marking difficult events such as deaths, etc). Why not use the same tools from the professional world to help remember and organize these important times? Simply record these dates in a daily planning device and recognize them in whatever manner you see fit.
  4. Make the effort to be authentic and vulnerable. Many friendships are strained under externalized pressures including job, financial and family stressors. This can make the idea of personal self-reflection seem decadent, an ill-afforded luxury due to the need to manage more imminently pressing demands. Making the effort to periodically push past such obstacles and communicate authentic and vulnerable feelings may lead to a deeper level of disclosure, breeding more transparency in the friendship.
  5. Make the effort to enact the Golden Rule. The tried and true basics of “treating people the way you want to be treated” can add much strength to the friendship.

Full story at; Indiana University

See also;

Related Reading:

Addiction: Understanding Addictions
Molecular Neurobiology of Addiction Recovery: The 12 Steps Program and Fellowship (SpringerBriefs in Neuroscience)
The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction
Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel (Resources for Changing Lives)