For the last 24 hours, my friends and I have been talking about Jimmy Kimmel like he is one of the neighborhood dads whose kid rides the same bus as our kids.
"Oh geez, did you hear about Jimmy Kimmel's son? Heart disease? Geez. I cried the whole time he shared the story."
"Does anyone know how Jimmy's son is doing? I watched the video on Facebook. So emotional."
"Oh, my gosh. You HAVE to watch Jimmy Kimmel talk about what happened to his son. Have a box of tissues ready. It's a tear jerker."
I was nearly ready to organize meals for Jimmy and his wife (Molly) because that's what you do for friends who are going through a crisis with their kid. You make them lasagna and tell them to call you if they need anything.
If you haven't watched the video of Jimmy Kimmel sharing the emotional news about his son, you should click here. And yes, have tissues ready. It's hard not to get choked up when Jimmy has to pause to swallow back his own tears. I, personally, ugly cried the whole way through it.
As my friends and I have chatted, the general consensus is that Jimmy Kimmel seems like a dude you'd want to be friends with. We all felt a connection to a man that we don't personally know at all.
There are three things that are attractive in friendship. Jimmy Kimmel displayed all three of these attributes as he shared the emotional story of his son's birth and diagnosis.
The story Jimmy shared was personal. He was very open about a very difficult moment in his life. It should not surprise us that we are drawn to people who are willing to open their life up to our's - even the painful moments of their lives. I recently was with a new friend who I was still getting to know. We had known each other for a few months, but our friendship never really deepened until she shared a pain point in her life and I shared a pain point in mine. Our openness and willingness to be vulnerable were the needed attributes that would take our friendship from "new friend" to "good friend" status. Jimmy's willingness to share and be vulnerable is just the qualities that make us like him all the more. We get this sense that if we ran into him at a coffee shop and told him about our sick kid, he probably would listen and empathize.
If we are feeling like most of our friendship linger in shallow waters, perhaps we can take a lesson from Jimmy and dive into the open waters of vulnerability.
Jimmy took several minutes to thank the people who were there for him and his wife during this crisis. With tears in his eyes, he thanked every medical staff member (nurses, doctors, and admin) by name. He conveyed genuine heartfelt gratitude for the support of his friends, family, and co-workers. He was very clear on how thankful he was and you just wanted to give him a huge hug and say, "Aw, Jimmy. If you need anything, call me."
Gratitude is a valuable currency in friendship. When we say "thank you, we are placing value on the person who has helped us. We are communicating that their life is needed by our's and we have taken notice. The bottom line is, people want to be around people who will acknowelege their value. This is why it is important to say "thank you" - even for the small stuff. A simple call to say, "Thanks for taking my kid to soccer practice" will strengthen your friendship because you have communicated that your friend is important to to your life.
Jimmy asked the audience to say prayers or send positives to the families that he met at the Children's Hospital where his son treated. He talked about his concern for parents who cannot give their sick child the treatment needed due to financial lack. The fact that Jimmy was not making his crisis all about himself was they very thing that made us want him to be our friend. Perhaps, he would have concern for us too. We all want a friend who will speak up on our behalf when we have need. We want a friend who will recognize our struggle and empathize with our pain. We a friend who will think of us and not just themselves. Hearing Jimmy speak about these families reminded us that we are all thing together and "together" is just antidote needed when you feel like you are struggling "alone".
So, yeah. I suspect we have good reason to want Jimmy Kimmel to be our bestie. He's open...he's grateful... and he cares about others. I'd make lasagna for him and his family any day.
Noelle is a researcher, speaker, and podcaster. She is the podcast producer/host for Friending Podcast and is a regular co-host for the podcast, Slices of Life. She lives in North Jersey with her hot husband and two wild children. She is a big fan of Constant Comment Tea, the Oscars, and Lesley Knope.
Noelle is passionate about helping women empower women through the art of friendship.