How 'Connector' Friends Keep Us Going

The truth might not always easy to hear. Stahl has even heard Cooney tell Diane Sawyer, "Diane, you look like hell." Their other friends shudder, and Sawyer laughs, and admits that Cooney is correct.

"It's not about being unkind, but it requires a willingness to take a chance with somebody," Sawyer told Cooney. "It just seems to me you're extremely brave and brave is loving."

Cooney says that bravery has nothing to do with it.

"I can't be friends with people that I can't say, you know, here's how I look at this," she said. "It's sort of the producer in me. I see all of life as a production and all of my friends' lives are a production and if something is going wrong, it's got to be fixed, if I can fix it."

Through seasons of career and personal transitions, Cooney has always been there for Sawyer, "to laugh with me when I need to laugh, to give me that little extra nudge when I'm stuck," Sawyer said. "She's the connective glue for my circle of friends — and I can't imagine her any other way."

To Cooney, friendship is as natural as breathing, and speaking her mind to help friends makes her feel better.

"It is as natural to me as breathing, to care about the people I care about and to want to keep up with their little or big soap operas in their lives and to say, 'well, I think you're not writing this story as well as you might; it might be written this way — and then I feel better that at least I've said it," Cooney said. "So I get much more than I give."

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