modern day faux-fiendships
Lately, I've had to talk a lot about friendship: expectations, values, and communication.
I have made friends at each stage in my life. Each environment I inhabit, I am intentional about making an impact: a conversation, a friendship, an information exchange. This is how I find gratification and validation of my time in all spaces.
We all have different notions of friendship, we even gender it by ~bro code and girl code~. Our friendship models were simple when we were young, depending on how complicated your life is. You eat lunch together, play during recess, maybe even have sleepovers on the weekend. They will pick you first in gym, send you a candy valentine, and call you to gossip. This model is timeless when you change the settings.
It sounds pretty comprehensive right?
But the process of aging breeds new problems reflective of changing needs, wants, and responsibilities. So, our concepts of friendship must evolve.
For example: When I was younger, I did not communicate my struggles with my mental health or DISABILITIES until they fully engrossed my life and threatened my vitality. So, I had not friendship expectations in the emotional realm when it came to my identities or trauma, other than an elementary version of respect. Now, when my identities are so dear to me, and give me my power, i have a clear demand of respect for all that makes me who i am. I expect my friends to not be ableist and/or address their PRIVILEGES. that analysis and manifestation of my values took time, and continues to evolve. thus, friends made along that journey had different conditions from their start. that reflects in how intimate we are, how often we communicate, and how visible our love may be. and of course, those levels are subjective, and two people not having the same degrees is fine.
A friend is someone that loves you, wants what is best for you in your own definition, and will listen to you. Your best friends will grow with you, regardless of what comes your way.
Your best, true, real, whatever you want to call is friends, do not ghost you. They do not stay silent in your joy or your pain. The celebrate you, challenge you, and most importantly keep up with you. We all show these elements differently, but they are certainly present in a friend. Whether a like on facebook or a monthly call, friendship is presented in so many different ways...And yet still we excuse fauxness.
I know that our communication often lacks between each other, regardless of language, but our communication of mutual understanding of meaning, and not always feeling is lacking. I focus most on my communication skills. This means being understood, vocal, and clear. Listening skills is another ball game. When I explain things to people, I try to make sure I am clear in what I say, and explain the meaning and process behind whatever I say. That is lengthy, and I've been casted as 'oversharing' often. I get that, but what's wrong with contextualization? It's not always necessary, but it certainly eases communication mishaps.
We always know what we mean, but that's not what we say. I just want more effort between people to understand each other.
Respekt & Compassion & Empathy
Respect is about how you treat people. It is acknowledgement coupled with decorum. Showing compassion is showing concern. Showing empathy is trying to understand beyond that.
Are your 'friends' fake?
Do your friends check in on you? Do you check in on your friends? Or, does your relationship exist as a namesake, someone who you can only reference in association, but not actual friend ship.
Friendships aren't perfect, no relationship is. Other than times of extreme distress or times of bountiful joy, do y'all have a connection?
*So if you find that your 'friends' do not meet this criteria, talk to them about it.
I may not be ideal friend one may envision, I may not be the perfect friend in the moment, but I care about my friends. Organizing has taught me tension is good, because it reveals a space for cultivation by not allowing stagnancy. We do not grow without challenge.
Have the conversation. If they can't handle it, that shows the fragility of the relationship. There's no reason people cannot be friends with each other other than effort, communication, respect, empathy, and compassion.