Whilst reflecting on my own life and the friends who have come and gone, I felt inspired to write this blog post. We all love having friends right? Sure we need our own space to nurture the ‘self’ (yes I will refer to that in nearly every post…it is important!) but time with friends can help you offload, recharge and giggle until your blue in the face. There was a period of time in my life where I had a sorority dream of having twenty best friends and we all did each other’s hair and frolicked by the river with boys in our free time. It sounds like a scene straight out of a cheesy chick flick doesn’t it…my favourite genre…ssh!
Unfortunately, I quickly learned that friendships were not that simple and I could not coordinate my Barbie’s how I wished. And that is the point of today’s post; friendships must be given the chance to blossom naturally. The process cannot be forced because like lovers, true friends are kindred spirits. If you are too needy, the person you are trying to be friends with will keep you at arm’s length and they may even be a little creeped out. If you are dominating and trying to control your new friend, then you are definitely heading for disaster. Do not be surprised if you suddenly stop hearing from them.
I would guess that any new person in your company has sprouted from a particular area of your life whether it be work, the gym or another random setting where there are lots of people. It is in this space that the friendship will start to grow. Any deviation from ‘the place’ early in the friendship could be kind of awkward and ultimately detrimental because let us face it…you do not know each other properly! It takes time to understand someone’s personality, their little moods and their likes and dislikes. It is this part of the friendship that must be nurtured first before you start plaiting each other’s hair and going to the river!
Once I read the following quote about relationships and it now nudges my brain every time I meet someone new-
‘People bring out different beasts in us’
The only problem with this quote is that the beast that comes out of us can be good or bad, a Jekyll or a Hyde, a Flash or a Zoom (sorry I am on season 2!). Do you see what I am getting at? Once you have got past the seedling stage and your friendship has sprouted through the soil, this is the time when the real friendship starts. This is the time when you will find out if you can have a positive and compatible friendship. Different sides of each other’s personalities will come to fruition and you may not be completely happy with what you find underneath…or maybe you will. The same goes when you are trying to introduce two friends. Just because you get on with two people, it does not mean that those two people will also get on, hence the sorority dream turns into a sorority nightmare.
The best way to make new friends and keep your sanity is to ensure your interactions are balanced. If one person becomes fonder of the other, then the gateway to awkwardness will be thrown wide open. Instead of having a laugh and arranging fun activities one will be asking ‘why didn’t you ask me to do that?’ or ‘why did you go there with her/him instead of me?’ and before you know it they are boiling your bunny in the kitchen pot and telling people you are evil. If one starts to dislike the other, then distance will be created almost immediately and they may side glance you as if to say ‘stay the hell away from me’.
In all honesty, from my own experience, people are drawn to others when they have a strong sense of self. This self maybe quirky in a quiet way, loud and confident, naturally commands respect, a creative mind or they may just be totally hilarious. Regardless of what has drawn one person to another, nobody enjoys a ‘follower’, unless they have a huge ego problem. So be yourself, nurture the friendship and let it grow organically.
Most important of all, do not be ashamed to be yourself. Harnessing your natural inner light and letting it shine will attract all the right friends to your tea party. And if some people do not like you…that is not your business!