Friendships come in various forms.
We connect with many different people through each phase of our life and some connections will last, while others will fizzle out over time. But how do you single out those lasting connections? The answer is simple: it’s all in the feeling you get when your energies collide.
It’s those connections where an extended period of time passes and it feels like no time has passed at all once you do see each other. There is a mutual respect and understanding that life is keeping us busy and that we must cherish the selective time we do get to spend with each other.
It’s also those connections with people that you’ve only ever met virtually but the connection is so strong, that you actually feel as though you’ve know each other personally for years.
My Personal Experience
I wanted to share an experience I recently had that helped me realize the distinction between varying types of friendships.
I lost touch with someone a while ago and after many failed attempts at trying to reconnect, I finally decided to let it be and moved on.
As time passed, I immersed myself in new activities, but it did always bother me in the back of my mind as to what might have gone wrong.
Growing up, I’ve never been one to get into altercations with people or be confrontational in any way. It’s just not in my nature. So it can bother me a lot when I feel like I may have done someone wrong. I don’t have it in me to just let something slide without having some kind of closure.
So as we rang in a new year, I decided that I wanted to start the year off on a positive note; I decided to send extend an olive branch and send this person an online message of good wishes. I made a point to note how long it had been since we last communicated but made sure the message had a very positive, non-confrontational tone, as I did and do wish them well.
Funnily enough, I received a reply almost immediately (as if they were almost waiting for it) and while the message was positive, I finally received an answer to the burning question of ‘what happened’ – though it was not quite what I had expected.
I was basically told that the reason they fell off was because they were put off by my seemingly lack of effort in seeing them as often as they would have liked to, and basically felt that I didn’t care enough – which made me feel really crummy since that could not have been further from the truth.
Again, another consequence of what a lack of communication can do.
It took me some time to craft a response back because I was just…confused. I couldn’t wrap my head around how truly differently we all think and perceive each other. It was definitely a moment of realization. Clearly our definitions of what friendship meant was very different and because of that, I knew there was no way this could ever work.
It’s about those connections that when an extended period of time passes, it feels like no time has passed at all once you do see each other. There is a mutual respect and understanding that life is keeping us busy and that we must cherish the selective time we do get to spend with each other.
After mulling it over for a bit, I decided I would respond but not with a drawn-out explanation defending myself, because I knew at that point that there was no point in trying to rectify anything. In an effort to keep things peaceful, I apologized for the miscommunication, wished them well, and left it at that.
We are all human and at any given time, we have too much going on inside our own heads to figure out what someone else’s problem is unless they communicate with you to help alleviate any potential misunderstandings.
If you can’t get past your own anxiety about what you think a person is doing or not doing, then how can anyone ever have a real friendship? Why not put your own reservations aside to get to the root of the problem?
I can only hope that my reply made them re-evaluate their definition of a friendship and perhaps do things differently down the road.
In the end, I felt accomplished in that I had finally come to peace with the whole situation, had learned my own life lesson, and was able to finally move forward.
How would you have handled a situation like this? Would you have done things differently? Would love to hear your thoughts!