My mom used to always tell me that you are lucky if you go through life with one good friend and very lucky if you have two. I have always taken that statement to mean that you should not open your heart to everyone and not everyone is your friend. It would seem that Oprah also follows this old adage. Maria Shriver and Oprah were guests on Hoda Kotb’s podcast, Making Spaces. Oprah told Hoda about their lifelong friendships. Oprah says she has only three close friends in her inner circle and it has been that way for quite some time. Oprah stated that she counts Maria and personal trainer Bob Greene as two of her closest friends. Despite Oprah’s close knit inner circle, Oprah said that she has just recently expanded the circle a little bit. Below are a few more highlights via Yahoo!
“So, I don’t have a lot of friends. Everybody knows Gayle [King]. There’s Gayle, there’s Maria, there’s Bob [Greene]. And that’s, that’s about it, you know? Gayle and Maria I met around the same time and I never really expanded that circle. Until recently, I’ve become friends with a couple of people in my later adult life, in the past five years,” she explained.
Winfrey recalls meeting Shriver in a bathroom 42 years ago at the Baltimore news station they worked at and striking up a conversation, which she described as a “divine moment that happened because she was one of my true, grounded friendships that carried me through my entire career.”
“I cherish everything about her. I cherish her frankness, I cherish her directness. I cherish her honesty. I cherish her truth. I cherish her sense of searching for the truth. I cherish her courage,” she continued. “Oh my God, Maria’s gonna tell you the truth no matter damn what. Maria gives it to you in your face and then says, ‘And you know what I’m talking about! You already know what I’m saying is true.’”
“It was healing,” Winfrey said. “It’s exactly what you want your friends to be there to do. Number one, you want your friends to stand in the gap for you and say, ‘You are not whatever definition you’re using to define yourself.’”
I did not realize that Maria Shriver was one of Oprah’s friends. I didn’t even know that they had worked together in Baltimore. I often forget that Maria was a journalist before becoming known as the former wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger and of course, a Kennedy. I am sure being as famous and as rich as Oprah is, it is difficult to know when people genuinely want to be friends with you or use you. I think it is amazing that all three of Oprah’s friends are people she met BEFORE becoming a household name with the exception of Bob Greene.
I have learned over the years the fewer people who truly know you the better. I have a large circle of what I call “outer court” friends and a smaller circle of inner court friends. My inner circle is slightly larger than Oprah’s but I still count two of the four women who were my besties in high school as super close friends. In the last decade I have added to that circle and I feel lucky for those friendships. I love how Oprah says that friends should stand in the gap for you. For me, that is what my friends do. I thought it was sweet that Maria created space for Oprah to cry her eyes out about the OWN Network and then threw a concert for Oprah with her favorite singer. I know my friends can’t afford to throw me a concert, but I love that they pay for my drinks or my food when I am unemployed. Or buy me a plane ticket to come see them because they just want to see me. Or are there to listen to my whacky ideas and be honest with me about, well everything. I believe true friendship is hard to come by so I tend to hold tight to the ones I have. Honestly I do not feel a need to let more in. Anyways, I wonder if Oprah’s inner circle grew by three and if those three people are Mama Doria, Harry and Meghan because that would be amazing.