Positive Vibes — Friends

 In Change, Character, Communication, Conflict, Goals, Relationships, Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem

John: If you really care about someone, you should be able to pick up where you left off, no matter how long it’s been. Friendship’s something you don’t really lose, right?

I think you can, for a number of reasons. you are shallow or insincere; you offend them; or you just make new friends and sadly forget about the old ones. I got an e-mail this week from a friend who I hadn’t heard from in about a year. We hadn’t stopped being friends, we just hadn’t chatted.

Life happens. So we picked up exactly the same place we left off. We were on each other’s minds apparently and neither of us forgot about the other one. We go back a LONG time, probably 2005, and though we don’t talk every week or even every month, they are still extremely important to me.

We met when we were young and hungry in our careers, and now our chasing up the ladder is replaced by talk of our Experian credit scores. But in a sense we are still chasing – the next promotion, the next great moment with family, the next thing – while still being present in the moment.

It’s strange, at least as adult friendships go. If we are such good friends, why don’t we talk more? That’s a good place for growth.

What about you Sandy? Do you have friends you wish you talked to more than you do?

Sandy: This is a great topic John, and one I have struggled with my whole life.  I read somewhere that people are friends for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  As I look back it seems that this is mostly true.

I believe that friendships spring from a variety of things.  When I was a young mother, my friends were women who were also raising small children.  We formed a bond based on our common situation, and it held until our kids were older and moved on in different directions.  Then the friendships also seemed to shift, and some moved on and some stayed.

I’ve noticed people usually form friendships because they have something in common, and enjoy talking about or doing those things with like-minded people.  When the activity changes, the friendships often change too.

Many years ago, when I went through a divorce, both my ex and I noticed that people who had been “couple friends” disappeared.  Evidentially they didn’t know how to interact with each of us as single people.

I’ve also noticed that people who are together in stressful situations, such as soldiers in war, or people who go through a devastating event together, learn about trust and how they can rely on each other, and that builds a strong bond that often lasts after the original event is over.

It’s interesting that you mention you don’t actually talk to or connect with people you think of as good, life-long friends.

I’ve noticed that there are a few people in my life, especially a couple of dear friends from high school, who I don’t talk with, but think of often. We started out being friends for a season (high school), and that morphed into a strong bond that has carried us through the years.

They’re not part of my daily life, but I know if I needed them, or if I just wanted to connect, they would be there.  It’s fun that when we do get together it’s like we are picking up from yesterday.  Everything is comfortable, familiar and easy.

So, I agree that friendships are a puzzlement.  I guess it comes down to each individual involved, and what they want from the relationship.  Sometimes you both want the same things, and the friendship continues.  Other times somebody’s needs change, and they move on.

The challenge for us all is to be adaptable and move ahead.  To cherish it while it lasts, and appreciate what was and let it go if someone needs to move on.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience. 

Sandy is now offering a FREE Coaching Call, so you can see what Coaching is all about.  Please email her at Sandy@insidejobscoach.com and put FREE Call in the Subject Line.  She will get right back to you to schedule your call. 

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Showing 2 comments
  • Cathie

    I guess what this boils down to how we define a “friend” or “friendship.” Maybe we shouldn’t be hung up on that! We should just enjoy the connections we make at different times in our lives and be astonished and grateful for the ones that endure for years and decade, for whatever reason. For me, I have local friends who I enjoy because we can actually get together in person, even if not frequently. I especially value the ones where we do just pick up where we left off and enjoy being together. I have some friends who I have known for many decades (and out of town) but who I don’t talk to very frequently. But we have a connection that was very strong at one time and I think will continue because it’s unbreakable. For many of these friends, we do pick up comfortably when we meet. That is a joy and connection I love. I guess it comes down to whether you and your friend make the effort to stay in touch, and meet when you can. A lot of effort is not needed but the desire and appreciation for it is important. I don’t think it’s just what each wants from the relationship but what each is willing to give to it.

  • Sandy Abell

    Absolutely Cathie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I completely agree with all you’ve said. The definition of “friend” is up to each of us, and then how we proceed with that is also up to the individual. You are very right in saying it takes two to make a friendship, and when both people are invested in the relationship, no matter the physical distance, you have a friend.

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