“Make friends, it’s easy” said your parents or possibly your teachers. To a certain extent, the task of making friends has a low level of difficulty. Making new friends is easy, especially when we use the term friend so loosely, when we truly mean an associate or at the bare minimum someone we “know”. Only requiring saying your name, maybe revealing a few shallow attributes about yourself, and if you’re really about that life showing a tad bit of unexpected vulnerability, forming friendships seems quite simplistic. With such a big emphasis on broadening your horizons through networking and creating valuable relationships with your peers, I think we ignore a huge aspect in the cycle of friendships—the decline and death.
“Recently, I just exited a long-term relationship.” Who says that… when they’re talking about a friend?
“I had to break up with her” I explained to my close friend.
I look at friendships as real relationships whose end involves a break up. I can’t do that whole “stop texting, stop calling, avoidance and evasion routine” in which you pretend that you and your friend are gradually growing apart. I just can’t— that’s not my style, unless that friend didn’t mean that much to me, but in that case I have to ask were they ever really my friend? See, I’ve learned that some of the most harmful notions in the world are assumptions. Assumptions are used to make things easier for us, or another person all the time but they never give us clarity, and when we lack clarity, we often don’t know what the next step is. Assumptions lead to confusion, delirium, doubt, fear and insecurity.
Let’s say I see an attractive guy. As we walk past each other, he smiles at me and I smile back. He says, “hey” to me. Immediately, if I let my mind run amok the situation can escalate. He must like me.. why else would he smile at me and make such firm eye contact? better yet most guys don’t speak to you so if this random guy who doesn’t even know me says hi, then he actually probably must be planning to say more than hey to me again the next time we cross paths God willing.
Now I may be exaggerating but honestly I’m too creative and so are the assumptions I am so ready and willing to impose. I hope even my over the top example can serve as a notice.
Just cause the guy said hi doesn’t mean he likes me. He could be simply a friendly guy, he could have smiled because he’s in a good mood because he recently earned a promotion at his job. Maybe he smiled at me because I was awkwardly smiling at him first and I was completely unaware of it. Either way if I were to make the assumption that he liked based off such a trivial encounter I would most definitely receive a blow to my ego in the form of subsequent feelings of rejection after I realize truly how wrong I was.
Moving right along, I don’t want anyone to assume how I feel about them. I want to clarify, demystify and leave no individual guess on how I feel. I’ve been left guess far too frequently so I detest that sense of uncertain that arises when accommodating what my mother would call “fair weathered” friends or as my pops would say “sometimers”. Fair weathered friends abide with you while the weather (of your life) is all well but when you’re feeling low and everything is going south where did they flee? How many excuses have they for why they missed your calls or why they couldn’t help you in the ways you’ve helped them.
When relationships end and Borge parties know it’s over closure can’t come from your friend. It has to come from you– from an internal source.