Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one. – C.S. Lewis
I don’t have many friends, but, I never intended to be the social butterfly, the “popular” one, or any other descriptive term to describe the person who has a lot of friends.
Thing is, I rather have a good group of friends that I can put out there what’s really going on as to what’s going on in my life, in transparency, in honesty, that have less of that with more individuals. I am not saying you can’t do that when you have a lot of friends, but I do find that having less friends helps me more especially since I want to keep track of what’s going on in the lives of my friends as well.
I cannot force my friends to give of themselves (time or otherwise), I cannot coerce them into revealing what’s going on their lives. Yet over time, WE have gotten to that place for better or worse. It is realistic to believe that not every time a “fine/good” answer is given that everything is fine or good; I think as a culture sometimes we accept this answer, not so much for the sake of our friends, but our sake and the ownership of actually figuring out what’s going on and sometimes that can be painful.
I rather be fighting side-by-side with my friends than hiding in my own foxhole, I rather be transparent about what hurts me and cuts me deep, than keep up a facade that states life is hunky-dory and I’m okay…because, well, I’m not okay.
For too long in my life I thought I wouldn’t be liked if I revealed the REAL me. Growing up in a household where everyone wore the fake smile, laughed off the pain, never resolved their own issues and dwelt on the issues, it was my norm, but when I went off to college I realized I could be ME despite being a broken individual, and I actually started making friends who encouraged me to be myself.
Now does that mean I wear my heart on my sleeve, by no means, but when I get to know someone, those layers that aren’t me become removed over time. I remove these layers because it’s healthy, provided the relationship’s conducive to that kind of thing, and it helps others get there as well. I like to say, because I know from experience, Transparency begets transparency – I don’t reveal the me as a manipulative tool to get someone to stand and deliver their own issues, if it happens it happens, so much of it begins with me. If I can get to that point in any friendship, that’s great! I just hope and pray that the person believes that I can trust them with their personal junk as I can trust them with my own personal junk. It takes time but it’s a worthwhile endeavor and it has yet to backfire in my face.