I always thought I don’t have many friends. But when I celebrated my 40th birthday I realised with how many people I do have deep connections with. I remember at my birthday party saying “I’m so privileged, most people say they only have a hand-full of deep true friends but I need more then two hands.” It was just in that very moment that I had realised this fact for the first time.
My misconception was simply due to the fact that I do not have that “one circle of friends” but rather have deep connections to people one-to-one from different circles – and I’m part of non of their circles. I’m usually the friend of XY.
Before the Coronavirus outbreak I started to invite my best friends to my partner’s home to meet each other and me there. Since my lifestyle had changed – having a partner and child – this was supposed to become a new thing for us. My partner loved the depth of my friendships. A depth that she didn’t know in her’s. A depth I usually take as “normal”.
I regularly get irritated at times when I find out how much distance many people have with their “true” friends. How people often don’t show their true self to their best friends. How some people never really challenged their best friends in their life – even when it really would have been necessary. It really surprises me that I seem to have this very different perspective on friendship than most people that I know do. And that’s perhaps why I have so deep relationships.
I remember the first time when I got really annoyed by this: I was almost still a teen my girlfriend once bitched around really badly and when I talked to her best friend to find a solution she would tell me that she would never question her best friend.
Not questioning? WTF? Begin dogmatic about everything you say and do is like backstabbing?! No it’s being a true friend. Telling them when they really need to cut the crap is a sign of friendship! Who’s gonna tell you if not your best friends? To be fair enough, that was still in my early 20s. But I know grown up friendships that still have the maturity of teens.
Another example that had shocked me was of a friend who didn’t tell her best friend the truth about how she conceived her child. She was ashamed of the man. He didn’t suit her idea of “society’s standard” because of his looks, job and ethnicity and culture.
I mean, WTF? How do people define friendships? Even if I made the mistake to have a child with the “wrong” woman my true friends would know the truth.
But yeah, I mean, I usually tend to forget how priviliged I am. There is these BFFs out there that present themselves as BFF on Facebook and real life. But when you look sharpley, in reality you find out that your best friend envies you for your partner, for having a child, for your looks, your job, your wealth… for your everything. It’s simply because these people are as empty and lonely as most people are who are not on a true, deep path.
So, I find it sometimes really sad when I hear what the friendship standards of many people are.
My definition of a friendship is very simple – has three “rules”: True friends or the ones that can not only tell me anything but can also challenge me in any topic… and who I can tell everything and let me challenge them in any topic.
How should I be able to grow as a human if even my friends don’t tell me the truth of what they see?!
Exceptions to this rule are narcissistic people. As we know, narcissistic people get angry when you tell them the truth.
The second rule is: True friends are the people whom I can truly show myself to as I am.
The third? Well this is not only for friendships but in general: People who do not envy me and that I do not envy.
(In my particular case envy in general is something I barely know. And whenever I feel envy, I know there is a topic I have).
It surprises me again and again that by these three standards, many people have no true friends.
I feel really sorry for them.
I’m so grateful to be so privileged to have so many true friends. For weeks now they are actually all part of my morning prayer 🙂