**I was so honored to be interviewed by Cathy Krafve.

Business woman, author, speaker, blogger, minister, and a Friend Maker. Of course, that last one reveals my personal title for SharRon Jamison, not hers! Today, based near Atlanta, SharRon shares wisdom vulnerably as she travels the world spreading great ideas about how to create loving relationships.

Every day, women tackle lots of gut-wrenching responsibilities; we need to support each other. Clearly, even the most successful women commonly feel isolated, insecure, and anxious. Frequently, we hear these refrains as women share their stories with us at Camp Krafve. Fortunately, healthy friendships provide the security and encouragement we all need as we courageously take risks, seeking to reach our God-given potential.

Friend Maker Extraordinaire

Because SharRon epitomizes what it means to be a Friend Maker,  a perfect antidote to the Mean Girl Syndrome, I asked her to expound on some of the great teaching I get via her blog.

“Relationships are so important to me. It took years for me to learn how to be a friend,” she says tenderly. Along the way, she noticed other women struggled, too.

“In fact, some women even shared they felt lonely and felt starved for companionship. They wanted and yearned for confidants; they missed connecting on a deep level. But, they also shared that they feel scared, overwhelmed and isolated because building friendships was so draining or filled with drama,” she shares on her website.

The Secret to Disagreeing Without Disconnecting

Naturally, true friendships require authenticity and honesty, right? But how? Surprisingly, one secret to true friendship includes learning to disagree without disconnecting.

All people hold a God-given purpose, according to SharRon. Contrary to our natural reactions, even the most seemingly disagreeable person may simply be extra-focused on their purpose. Therefore, keeping their purpose in mind can help us extend compassion and patience to all. Okay, to me patience seems like a big chore, especially when I’m having trouble imagining the other person’s purpose!

However, she reveals a powerful secret to becoming a Friend Maker: extending compassion and patience to ourselves, too. Especially when the world tells us to reject ourselves, we should embrace our own unique design, according to SharRon. Why? Because we’re one of a kind! I love what else she says about being unique!

Why Don’t We Trust Our Awesome Uniqueness?

“My father used to highlight the way that people are different. He always used to say you come into the world fully loaded with goodness, grace, and genius,” she remembers tenderly, adding specific details. Her dad believed God designed all people “with ideas to generate income and to have influence. You’re fully loaded with creativity that makes cash. He used to tell us we were a treasure chest of riches.” How encouraging!

In spite of her encouraging, wonderful parents, SharRon knows exactly what she’s talking about when it comes to underestimating her own worth. The child of a Methodist minister, her father cut a wide swath when it came to pushing against injustice. (For how you can make a difference for social justice in your community, click on our articles about Trauma Informed Care.) Yet, even he could not protect her from the racial prejudices she experienced in a newly desegregated school.

Bullying in School

“I started school when integration was still new in Missouri. Even though integration may have been the law of the land it was not necessarily the love of the people,” she says now with gentle integrity.

As early as kindergarten, she suffered bullying, unintentionally from uninformed teachers and intentionally from kids. For instance, one teacher assumed SharRon was about to attack her, claiming SharRon moved too fast and scared her. In kindergarten! In another example, fellow students jumped her on the playground in second grade and gave her a concussion. (If your child is experiencing bullying, please listen toour podcasts with Tina Meier for great ideas.) Unfortunately, the threat of constant rejection at school, instilled in SharRon a deep need for companionship, even at a high cost.

“It (moving around a lot) made me yearn for being included,” she shares. “I started making friends the wrong way.” She describes her neediness and the pain of self-betrayal. “I started giving parts of my soul away to anyone who gave affirmation and attention.” (Find our entire conversation here.)    

“It took awhile to get over bullying as a child because I started to bully myself as an adult,” she adds. Eventually, the solution was to embrace the truth of her father’s good wisdom; “to understand I was worthy.”

Freedom From the Inner Bully

Now she offers amazing training in easy to remember acronyms, like Relationship GPS (for training on how to build lasting relationships) and CIA (how to create healthy connections). Just to give you a taste for the kind of transferable, excellent material SharRon is creating, GPS stands for Goals, Passion, Struggles and CIA stands for Consistency, Intimacy, and Awareness. (May I encourage you to click here for more from this deep-thinking friend?)

**Please click here to read the rest of the article.

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