Let’s talk “Friendship”

To begin, I’m typically a “loner” on most days. And I only realized this because I’ve been told on several occasions, this wasn’t a *light-bulb, I’m lonely today so I must be a loner type of situation. I was a visible loner.

I definitely struggled to accept it in the beginning because quite frankly, who doesn’t want that best friend you do everything with, who knows the deepest parts of you, who has cried and laughed with you, and you’ve even synced cycles.

No. I never had anything close to it but I was lucky enough to have discovered some important parts to myself at an early age. So I got over it pretty quickly and learned to enjoy my own company.

I’ve learned to appreciate every moment with someone, whether they’ll be here for a lifetime or just for this moment.

Being a loner doesn’t mean I don’t have friends at all, it simply means I’m more likely to be within my own company than the company of others. Realizing this however, has changed the way I relate to people, especially those few friends who I know are in my life to stay. When it comes to friendships, I’ve learned several things throughout the years. Here are 3 of them:

  1. Cherish People

I’ve lost quite a few friendships, in my time and I have lots to gain and loose still. but looking back, most of these friendships taught me something I needed to learn. Sometimes I didn’t get the lesson until years after. I’m not talking about the “trust no one” type of lessons. I’m talking about the friendships that taught you forgiveness, compassion, and genuine care for someone’s well-being. I’ve learned to appreciate every moment with someone, whether they’ll be here for a lifetime or just for this moment.

2. No one is obligated to live up to your standards

Like it or not we all place some expectations, or standards on the people we interact with. We judge their character, and soon devise a list of things we can accept or expect from them and things we cannot. When these aren’t met we feel hurt or betrayed by the friendship. But the truth is, 80% of the time these are all assumptions or expectations we’ve set ourselves. We cannot expect the person to live up to this. So next time you feel hurt by something someone did, ask yourself “Is this something I expected or did they set this expectation themselves?”

3. Not everyone is a Root

There is this popular story that draws the analogy of friendships as part of a tree. It breaks down the dynamics of friendship. Basically, there are leaves (very temporary, deemed to fall off someday); then there are branches (with too much pressure, they’ll break); and finally, there are the roots, these are the friends who are here to stay, whatever the conditions.

“Friends are like trees.” Some friends are leaves; they stick around until the wind blows too hard and fly away. Some friends are branches, they stay until the pressure gets to be too much to handle and break; And some friends are roots, they stay with you through thick and thin, always with you.

Not everyone in your life will be a root. This doesn’t mean their purpose is void, it just means, they were only meant to be here for some time, so don’t be worried about letting go. Yes, you’re allowed to feel hurt or pain from the loss of the friendship, but appreciate it for what it was, cherish those lessons learned.

In the end, we all have someone to lean on, in spite of how much of a loner you may be. You don’t need a “crew”, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have one. For me, the people in my life who I consider roots are family, and family to me.