All friendships have depths. With some we keep in touch daily, with some, we only discuss the surface monthly, and with others, we hardly ever speak. But what if these daily friends are not the friends we think? And it is partially our fault?
What’s the connection between friends and our personality?
Let’s dig deep. Over they years I managed not to differentiate between relationships. There are people who I talk to all the time, sometimes and hardly ever, but this is no indication of how valuable these people are to me.
This time, I would like to keep the focus on the friends who I hardly ever talk to, because they play a major part in my life. All of my relationships transformed drastically when I started travelling. Not long ago I noticed, because of the change in circumstances I can no longer reply on the classic way of making friends. Simply due to lack of time. So I begin giving more of myself faster.
Just like when each time I walk into the ocean slightly deeper, I was telling strangers more and more secrets after a few minutes of conversation. After 8 years of practice, I would consider myself a master of opening up my soul to people. We all get the hunch of who we will feel connected to. So when I meet someone who is „my-type” I just jump right into honesty.
Because of this kind of interaction I made friends possibly for a life without further physical presence. Yet I choose to call them when I need answers and help.
How superficial friendships can be?
My takeaways from the above are, I have lived years not knowing my friends as well as I know some people I met briefly on the road. What’s the difference?
A few years ago I decided to tear down the walls and let critique come to me. I realised my personal development is hugely dependent on others. They hold the mirror. If those who are the closest to me don’t dare to speak up when I screw up, who will? What if I don’t notice making the same mistake over and over again? This is why I have friends, isn’t it? I need them to voice their concerns when I’m on the wrong path.
My friends are the ones who bring light over my shortcomings, my improvements. They ask the hard questions, but they never answer them for me, since they know, we are not the same person. They are the people I can count on when times are bad. On occasions, a shoulder won’t do, but a slap will. I can still clearly remember the moment when I learnt this lesson.
I was about 19-20 when my feelings for an ex-boyfriend I dated for 2 years resurfaced. It was obvious to everyone but me that he took advantage of my blind spot. When we finally put an end to it I cried. A lot. Then my friend said this: „This was enough. Stand up, you! This is not the woman I know, a weak woman who lets a careless guy break her. Your tears won’t soften my heart, so you should stop crying. I’m just happy you finally came to your senses.”
This was the moment when I found out just how much friends mean to me. She did what she had to do and what was best for me, taking a huge risk of our relationship getting hurt. But if we were real, we would have to grow stronger and support one and other in the most constructive manner.
The scale of friendships
Just like I said, we keep in touch with different frequencies. But we can use this to our advantage. Some friends will actively be involved in our development, some are distant observers. But this way I get feedback from those who watched me grow and those you couldn’t help but notice a significant improvement. It is like a daily, weekly, monthly and annual evaluation from many perspectives.
For example, when a friend loses some weight but we meet often, I might notice it a bit, but if I only see her every 6 months, I will see a massive weight loss. The friends are these „personal trainers”. And no, we don’t need all of them to be part of our everyday lives. If I called these friends who I consider my trainers, they wouldn’t ask where was I, what did I do and or how my parents are. They would ask when did I meditate the last time and if I experienced a major break-through. If I thought about my goals for 2017 and they would ask me to help them clarify theirs. They would ask what hardships did I go through and what are my takeaways.
All of our conversations have depth and substance. Once we are done with the hardest, we change to light topics like gossips, girly talk and silly things. The sequence doesn’t matter, but the depth and substance are never missing from our calls.
We don’t send each other funny photos, recipes or gossip articles to each other on chat. No. We send articles on new discoveries in psychology, a new trick to deepen the knowledge we recently learnt, or just an I love you.
My friend is better looking, more popular and more successful
We all have at least one friend who seems to do most things better than us. Unfortunately, I saw some examples when someone who claimed to be a friend talked shit behind the others’ back, who was doing better. Then why call yourself a friend? Should we all learn from a good example, ask her advice and her help, so one day we can perform in life just as well as she does?
In my opinion, if we fell jealousy towards a friend, we haven’t admitted to ourselves that we would like to be more like that friend. When I meet someone who I would like to become – and lately I make sure I only spend time with new friends who fit this description – I consider myself lucky they even talk to me and they let me pick their minds. This gives me an opportunity to learn from those who have life figured out.
We shouldn’t try to deal with life alone, we should shut people out of any part of our lives. If we don’t expose ourselves to constructive criticism we might get left behind, we might make the same mistake again and again, we won’t understand why do all our stories end the same way. Who should hold the mirror if not our friends?