I was thinking about this thing I’ve noticed. There seems to be some INVISIBLE RULZ about when it’s OK to call somebody a ‘friend’.
Not in the facebook sense, obviously.
It seems reasonable to me, to call anyone I’ve taken a liking to, who I’ve seen a few times and had a friendly, personal type conversation with a friend.
I like you, we’ve had a nice chat, you seem to like me – welcome to the friends of Jani Jellybean. Have a chocolate biscuit!
Here is one of my splendid friends, Ziggy, and she really likes chocolate biscuits. Vegan chocolate biscuits make her go like this:
but here is a rather better photo of her……so she doesn’t slap me….
I’ve noticed though, that it can get a bit loaded, that word ‘Friend’ (along with inviting somebody to your home, but that’s another blog post entirely!!!).
For example: you’ve been asked to a party, or dinner, or asked for advice, or had something personal shared, or even asked to be part of a special event for somebody, and instead of being honoured you feel a little confused, almost affronted.
‘We’re not even very close friends’ you think.
‘They must not really have many friends’ you think.
Like, seriously. What’s THAT all about?
There seems to be this nasty little imp on our shoulder, putting limits on when we can reach out in friendship to somebody, deciding when somebody is ‘close enough’ to be called a friend and included in our lives. There are conditions. You have to pass some tests. There’s something to PROVE, people!
Now, this imp blatantly comes from a place of yukky insecurity and not from our awesome real selves at all. It’s the little blighter that cuts us off from potential support and good times by convincing us that somebody can’t possibly like and admire us enough to ask us into their lives. There must be some mistake, right?
Somebody say asks me to dinner, or they send me a nice message, or whatever. The little imp is all about “Why are they asking ME? Don’t they HAVE any MATES?”
The imp clearly thinks that there must be something wrong with them if they’ve reached out in friendship to ME.
Mr Imp is also ready with a comeback when I think “Gosh, I like that person, I may ask them round for tea and biscuits”. He says “Don’t be an idiot. They’ll think you’re a right sad case, you don’t know them well enough”.
Or, the imp makes up all SORTS of stupid reasons why somebody is being chummy. They must be after something. He’s really quite an inventive little blighter!
Isn’t that a bit ghastly, really, when you think of it. Ghastly and darn silly.
The reality is that a connection can be formed between two people without too much preamble, without conditions having to be met. Friendships can be lifelong, or last just a few minutes. One of my best friendships EVER lasted exactly the length of the Great South Run and I can’t remember her name now, but we got each other round that course. We rocked that friendship. Big time.
These connections are what life’s all about, they allow us to grow, to understand ourselves and …. well… they’re fun. We’d be mega, mega stupid not to grab every chance at friendship that passes our way.
So I’ve made myself a little promise. A life-changing one. When I see that little imp pop it’s head up, I’m going to take it out back and throw it down the well. I’m going to accept that people actually like me, because I’m pretty darn awesome – m’kay?!
Whilst we’re at it – if I like you and call you friend, it’s not because I’m Billy-no-mates and can’t do any better, it’s because you rock. Capiche?
Chocolate biscuits all round!