David Tyson once said. “True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable" (as cited Edberg, 2016).
Most of us yearn for this type of "silence." I know I do, and I'm kind of an introvert; I want to keep to myself and do things my way, but on the same token, I yearn for friends...real friends to share my feelings, thoughts, and experiences with. I haven't always been this way, but high school sure didn't help me much, and I can't say with complete honesty that things have been different for me as an adult. I'm strong-willed and hard headed. I always have been. I know I'm not always right, but I truly hate being wrong. Different, off the wall perspectives, often rub me the wrong way, and I find myself in a vicious battle of silently and sometimes, not so silently, judging others for their behaviors and reactions, even those I care for. I guess this comes from years of judgement from others. We are groomed to believe that strength in personality equals successes and acceptance. This couldn't be further from the truth, and yet, here I am, admitting it. I'm working on me. Are your working on you?
The real question is, how can I be real?
Like really honest with myself and others while pretending some of the things happening before me are justified?
This is my internal battle.
I struggle with the regular brag fests. I detest hearing about an uninvited opinion...no one cares what I "would do" or you "would do,"unless the advice is solicited. Most of the time, "we" just want someone to listen. I loathe the glares from cliques of women and the fake follow up that often includes brief, uncomfortable, forced, witty banter. This is not friendship. These are not your people. They could be, but they have work to do on themselves first.
Remember, “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”– Author Unknown
I guess it boils down to finding a happy medium; living in a zone where I can accept and be accepted without losing my mind.
I'm sharing this narrative because I truly believe I'm not alone in this battle.
We need friends. Honest, genuine, upfront friends.
Ones that love us enough to say "shut up."
Ones that accept our flaws and care enough to just listen.
Ones that care more for the person and less about the competitive nature that has sadly become life.
And finally, ones that will open their arms and their circle to others. Real friends.
We live in a world where people speak freely with no repercussion for poor behavior. We have learned to lie, thinking it would be less painful than the truth. As a society, we accept fiction as fact and vice versa. Knowledge isn't essential because the "desired" answer can be Googled and sadly, verified (often falsely).
Unfortunately, friendships are disposable, as are most other relationships.
Moving somewhere new? Project about a 2 year turnaround before someone invites you in...and you better be prepared to venture out independently to find a solid quarter in a world full of pennies.
I believe my cynicism related to this process (I've moved long distance twice as an adult) has added to my fury. My main point? I don't really care what everyone else is doing, but it does concern me that we live in a world of instant judgement, instant gratification, and safe spaces. I hate that so many of us block out love, friendship, and adventurous opportunities because the safe place...the comfort zone... is just that...SAFE. I dislike that people spend so much energy explaining themselves.
Just do it.
Just be it.
Just feel it.
Just learn from it.
We only get to do this once. Stop making excuses for holding back and for your behavior, and don't worry, I'm taking my own advice.
I hate excuses, but I love to engage in finding solutions. We share some of our most intimate secrets with our immediate circle, so it makes sense to be guarded, but I fear we're moving in to a lonely, and quite frankly, dangerous existence.
We need people.
We need each other.
I said one day to my husband, who really is my best friend...
It's okay if they never text back or follow through.
It's okay if they exclude me.
It's even okay if they lie to me. It's okay if I can only really trust a few people.
I've always been more of a 4 quarters kind of gal instead of 100 pennies. He responded by saying, "you really only need a couple 50 cent pieces."
Thomas J. Watson said, “Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up” (as cited by Edberg, 2016).
Truth be told, we need others to positively impact our lives. Our friends help build and sustain our character; friends that push us out of our comfort zones, and support us when we're not quite ready to take the plunge. I do agree that two "solids" (friends) are important, but I'd rather live in a world where adults demonstrate the behavior expected of our children and put aside differences with open arms for others. I'd love for more of us to reach out before diving in when a problem arises. I would love to have a circle to regularly count on. I believe we all would. I would be ecstatic if I, too, could let my guard down and let more people in. It needs to be less of a demonstration, and more of an invitation. Friendships are investments; give and nurture and they grow exponentially. Place your time and interest in the investment.
Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you" (as cited by Edberg, 2016).
It's an investment worth the energy and time. Here's to my fifty cent pieces, quarters, pennies, and future change. Your money is welcome here. 😉
Additional References in blog post courtesy of:
Edberg. H. (2016, January 13). 74 inspiring friendship quotes. The Positivity Blog.
Friendshipday.com. (2018). [Image]. Quotes and images. Friendship Day.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S (n.d.).[Image]. Pinterest. Link: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/54/8d/5b/548d5bd7c867e607038f0f97f25663e6.jpg