Making Friends…

As I grow older, I have started paying more attention to things that I used to take for granted… and that is making friends.

I have always been very critical of people… all people.  While some might say this is normal, I would go so far as to say my example would almost be to an unhealthy level.

When I meet a person for the first time, I immediately begin dissecting them.  Their mannerisms, movements, tone of speech, eye movements, etc.  I listen to the stories they tell and, in my mind, begin challenging them for potential realism, validity and probability.  All this in a matter of the first few moments that I have met a person.

Hindsight is always more clear than the vision before you at the time something is happening.  Thus, as I look back, I see many situations where I killed potential friendships before they ever started.  This attitude that I have towards people that I am meeting for the first time was and is unfair to them and to myself.

This has brought me to the point of this post.  A lesson learned, so to say.

  • Accept people for who and what they are.  People are not always going to be what you want them to be, and sometimes the best friendships can be borne from diversity.
  • Listen to what people have to say and take it for what it is worth.  If you do not think that it is the truth, keep that to yourself.  Over time, the truth always comes to the surface.
  • Once a friendship starts, just like a plant or any other life, it requires feeding and nurturing.  You need to make it work.  Don’t assume that “I called John this week, it is his turn to call me.”  That does not always work.  Friendship is a two-way street and takes both parties.
  • Don’t let little things get in the way, and in the case of good friends, nothing is more important.  With few exceptions, all other considerations are secondary to friends.

Making good friends is, in my opinion, not too much different than relationships with your family.  My closest friends ARE part of my family.  In my life, the few friends I have, and they know who they are, are every bit as much a part of my family as my Mom, Sister, Brothers and Wife.  There is little difference to me here.

Some friends you make will not be as close as others.  You will learn to keep them, without letting them KNOW this, at various distances from you, emotionally.  This is not to be callous or mean, but because there are times when you can feel that a person is responsible enough to handle that level of closeness.

There are times, also, that you need to let them go from your life because they become vexacious to your soul and your family.  There is one case where I have done this and the reason was because the path he had chosen led to the loss of his family and drove his friends away.  Even though it was his own fault, it was one of the harder things I have done in my life.  Telling a person to not be a part of your life when you have known them since high school is difficult.

All this being said, my newest goal is to teach myself to be less critical of people.  To try and make more friends and be a better friend to others.  To stop trying to find a reason to NOT make a person a friend, as I tend to do with my mental dissection of those I meet.  I do not expect this to come to me overnight, but I do want it to happen.

I hope that you appreciated my sharing this with you.  I hope that you have something to add, as your comments are always welcome.

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6 thoughts on “Making Friends…”

  1. In the last few years I have come to realize I really would love to have a “bff”. The kind of friend I see on tv shows, the neighbor you can pop over and say hi to. It bums me out sometimes that I don’t have that sort of connection with anyone except my husband. I do have friend but none that close. My family is not all that close so having a sisterly friend would really fill a void in my life.

    When I was little I would run into the middle of a playground and yell “who wants to be my friend?!”. You do that as a adult and people think you have serious issues 😉

    • It’s funny you mention the neighbor thing. I decided a couple years ago that I would try and be more friendly to my neighbors. Then a friend of mine who lives in Texas, wrote that little piece about his experiences during Hurricane Ike, and that his neighbors became very important to him, and he to them.

      There was a time when people, almost everywhere, KNEW who their neighbors. Say what you will about small towns, but when I lived in Taft, everyone knew everyone else. If someone needed help or had a problem, the neighborhood helped out, if it could.

      One of the biggest victims of technology is personal contact. People email each other more than they call one another or visit one another these days. Personal contact has fallen off and people sit in front of their PCs to “visit”.

      I should have listed that as another thing to do… when you see a neighbor, say Hi. Introduce yourself. If you see someone new moving into your area, meet them and, if possible, introduce your family to them.

  2. Even though I have many friends now, and am far less judgmental than I used to be, I just wish I would have known what I know now back when I was a kid in school. I would have done a better job of selecting my friends, i.e. I would have made more friends because there were a lot of good people, including you, who would have been great to have as friends back then and it’s nice to call you a friend now, even though we are always miles apart and I can’t seem to make it to your neck of the woods these days. How’s that for a really long sentence?

  3. Unfortunately, these days, most of my friends and family are now “long distance” relationships. I know what you mean about hindsight… There are many people that I get along better with now, than I did when I was in High School. In fact there are a couple of them that were mean or even hateful in school, that are very different now. Likable, actually.

    As you may have noticed at the reunion, there were also many that had not grown up much, too. Most of those people were the ones that immediately went to the bar and got drunk. Amazing.

    So… Are you going to go to the next reunion? 25 Years? Hope so, that way there will be someone there to get along with, along with Grant and a few others.

    I have been asked if I am interested in helping put it together… I might be interested in HELPING, but not doing the whole thing.

  4. If I am in the States, I will go to the reuinon, only because you and Grant will be there, and I want to sit with you guys. 🙂 Deal?

  5. Works for me… I kind of enjoyed the 20 year, if for no other reason than curiosity. I was not able to attend the 10 year, as I was working that evening and had no way to get out of it.


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