Last post, I promised to write something less toxic, so this is it – I have been thinking about both the personal characteristics and the characteristics of friendship itself, required to hold close and dear individuals for the rest of our lives.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, chemistry is the first. As with any romantic relationship, so too between platonic individuals a chemistry is required which, if lacking, means that the potential of a friendship is impossible.
But that’s just the beginning of a friendship, and the real ingredients requiring a little more investigation.
Expect the best of them. And eight times out ten, they will meet that expectation. When they don’t, remember that you ain’t perfect neither.
Air out your hurt or confusion. Otherwise, you’re not giving people who care about you a chance to clarify a potential misunderstanding or to apologize when they have (knowingly or unknowingly) made a mistake.
Be proud of them. Rather than insecurity where they succeed and you may struggle. Insecurity almost inevitably morphs into envy which is a character grotesque and ugly. Full stop.
Lead with honesty. But only if you’re interested in behaving with integrity. Also, in the interest of clarity: passive aggression does not qualify as honesty.
Be self-aware. We all fuck up. We all behave as assholes sometimes. We – every once in a while – want to punch even our best friend in the throat because they do something completely idiotic. Beyond a shadow of any doubt, I know that my friends have wanted to take me down on occasion; I don’t have my head so far up my own ass that I believe I am infallible.
It’s natural. Any friendship of any worth goes through ebbs and flows to then become stronger.
This is where self-awareness comes in, within which must live the understanding that no matter how self-aware we may really be, we each have blind-spots. I do, you do, your friends do. Anybody who doesn’t give this reality a nod is the person most riddled with the heaviest of blind-spots. My blind-spots are unbelievable, but honestly, I am blessed with people who are constantly yelling LEFT! LOOK OVER YOUR LEFT, MAHA! and when I can’t hear, they take my head and move it for me.
And finally, exercise patience & forgiveness. Because the more I observe and the more people with whom I come into contact, the more I learned that my (aptly named by Maxi) Shut Off Valve is an asshole. We have to be patient and forgive because otherwise, what we’re really saying is – something of which we have all been guilty – I won’t ever need your forgiveness. And trust me when I tell you: You will one day require forgiveness, if not from the person you refuse to forgive, then from someone else because it’s just the way of the world.
Take all of the above, and bake for a period of seven years, because apparently this is the average number of years one must be friends in order for it to in fact become ‘life-long’.