A couple of months ago I read a blog post that bothered me a fair amount. I don’t recall where I read it, or who the author was, otherwise I would direct you to the post. The idea behind it was that women should avoid having a best friend. Not because best friends are bad, but because of how they make other people feel. When a person has a bff, other people might feel left out and the author insisted we should always be all-inclusive.
We have all been uniquely created for friendship. This is evidenced clearly by individuals on Facebook. Some people might have only 100 friends, while others have over 1,000, and still others wouldn’t touch this social media site with a 10-foot pole. We all define friendship in different ways.
When I was in high school, my friend Jerry gave me a book to read about the inner workings of friendship. The book was truly fascinating. I don’t remember specifics, but the author focused on different kinds of personalities and how they form friendships. Although he didn’t use these terms, the idea was that extroverts tend to have more while introverts tend to have less friendships. Also, he discussed the depth to which these friendships go.
As an introvert, I do indeed tend to have fewer friends than the average person, and I find them very difficult to manage well. I feel like I fail often. As an adult, I don’t really have a singular best girlfriend, but I certainly do have friends I consider much closer than others: you know, those friends you would call in any kind of crisis.
The other day my mother-in-law was telling me about a conversation she had with her sister in which I was partly the subject of conversation. She informed her sister that I am not the type of person to just pal around, hang-out, and chit-chat with someone. Yep, guilty as charged! If you want to have deep conversations, I’m your girl, but you will rarely (or never) find me having a shopping day with a friend or see me getting a pedicure with someone.
When we are upset by the kind of friendships other people keep, I would say that has more to do with our own insecurities than anything wrong with what that person is doing. That’s a hard statement to swallow, but I think we need to take ownership of our feelings.
No one likes to feel left out. I’ve been in situations where it’s been difficult to “find my tribe.” I’ve felt rejected before, and even as an adult I struggle to fit in at times. My children attend a small town school where my husband grew up, but I did not. Many of the staff members are from the area. Sometimes I feel like I observe from the periphery, but guess what? That’s my fault. There are things I could do to make myself more a part of the culture if I truly wanted to do so.
Are you struggling today with friendship? Take a few moments to consider exactly why. What are some steps you could take to rectify the situation? Do you need to make a phone call and set up a coffee date? How about arranging a play date with another mom and her kids that you admire? Is there a way you could get more deeply involved in an organization that might lead to some new friendships? Or, do you simply need to get over your silly self because you aren’t a certain person’s first choice as a companion? There are probably loads of other people who would benefit from your friendship as you bemoan the one relationship that isn’t working in your favor.
One best friend? Three close friends? Twenty fun pals? Whatever the design of friends in your life, appreciate what you have and simply strive to be the kind of friend to others that you are looking for yourself.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! What is your impression of bffs?
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