The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up…Your Social Circle

Article Glossary

Glossary of Terms

At URSTRONG, we believe it’s important to use kids’ language for kids’ problems. That’s why we have our very own, unique language of friendship. Here are some important terms that children, parents, and teachers learn in our program.

Friendship Fire®: Any situation between you and a friend that results in negative feelings.

Mean-on-Purpose: When someone is intentionally unkind to someone else.

Quick Comeback: A very short word or phrase that is used when someone is Mean-on-Purpose. Quick Comebacks are designed to let the other person know that you heard/saw what they did and you’re not okay with it.

Friend-o-meter: A visual tool that assesses the health of friendships, ranging from the healthy zone to the unhealthy zone.

Friend-o-cycle: The normal cycle in a friendship that brings the friendship back to the healthy zone after experiencing a Friendship Fire. The phases of the Friend-o-cycle are: Healthy Friendship – Fire – Confront the issue – Talk-it-Out – Forgive & Forget – Closer & Stronger – Healthy Friendship…

4 Friendship Facts: A set of four facts that help us have realistic expectations in our friendships so we understand what is normal.

  1. No friendship (relationship) is perfect.
  2. Every friendship is different.
  3. Trust & Respect are the two most important qualities of a friendship.
  4. Friendships change…and that’s okay.

Red Shirt Girl and Striped Shirt Boy: Two characters that remind us about the importance of body language.

Friendship Ninja: A Friendship Ninja is someone who surrounds themselves with friends in the healthy zone of the Friend-o-meter. A Friendship Ninja is kind and friendly to everyone. A Friendship Ninja understands the 4 Friendship Facts and puts out their Friendship Fires when they ignite. A Friendship Ninja stands up for themselves and their friends. A Friendship Ninja makes new friends and understands that friendships change…and that’s okay. Above all else, a Friendship Ninja is someone you want to be friends with because they’re true to who they are!

Does this friendship bring me joy? Like decluttering your home, it’s time to #MarieKondo your social circle.

To access this resource, you must purchase Educator Membership, Trial Membership or Parent Membership.

Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm with her unique system for decluttering your home and living a simple, more organized life. With a #1 New York Times best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and now a Netflix series, everyone is talking about the KonMari Method™ that focuses on keeping the items that spark joy and letting go of the items that don’t.  The idea is that, by doing this, people feel happier and more at ease in their homes.

It’s an interesting parallel between what we’re trying to teach children with respect to their friendships. And, in its humblest terms, the same principles apply to relationships.

Does this friendship bring me joy?

We encourage children to surround themselves with friendships that feel good. As young as 6 years old, we start teaching children the difference between healthy and unhealthy friendships. What does a great friendship look like? What does it feel like? Using our Friend-o-meter, we want children to really understand the importance of spending the most time with friends in the green zone…friendships that bring them joy.

But what if the friendship doesn’t bring me joy?

Just like a pair of pants that don’t fit right or shoes that give you blisters, sometimes you’ve got to accept they don’t feel good anymore. Marie Kondo recommends thanking the item to show gratitude for the time it served you, then say goodbye.

Within friendships, we want children to understand URSTRONG’s Friendship Fact #4: Friendships change…and that’s okay. Sometimes children will hold on so tightly to a friendship that doesn’t feel good – like continuing to wear that pair of shoes that give you a blister every time.  When a friendship is in the unhealthy zone of the Friend-o-meter, we encourage kids to spend less time in that friendship and let it go. In following the KonMari Method™, acknowledge and feel grateful for what the friendship gave you and then say goodbye.

Like going through your home and mindfully creating a space that brings you happiness, do the same in your friendships. Surround yourself with people who spark joy in your heart…because, let’s face it, there’s life-changing magic in tidying up your social circle too.


Written by Dana Kerford

Friendship Expert and Founder, URSTRONG