My daughter texted me the other day to tell me she was sad.
“Why? Life?” I texted back.
“I feel like I don’t have a best friend” she replied.
The problem was, that over the past year, she and her best friend had some disagreements on matters of boys and life.
I’m not exactly sure what happened. Probably the same stuff that most of us experience with friends.
The ups and downs of getting to know someone.
As we age/grow, we change. All of us do unless there is a boulder on our heads and we live underground. In this case, we die.
As we age and grow, differences come up. Life happens and we have a few choices when it comes to friends. We can go with the flow, accepting others for who they are and allowing their behaviors into our fields of energy and accepting it for what it is. We can struggle with friend’s behaviors we don’t agree with and complain about it, doing nothing to change ourselves or them. This choice leaves us as victims to the actions of others. Or we can let go of those friends and move on.
Regardless of what was going on, my daughter wanted some help. Some concrete actions she could take to eliminate or ease her internal struggle.
My daughter said she missed her friend.
I told her to tell her friend that.
She tried to change the subject, saying her friend doesn’t hear her.
Telling her friend she misses her is being vulnerable. Being vulnerable is uncomfortable for most of us. We don’t practice vulnerability enough. What if she tells her friend she misses her and her friend disses her? What if her friend doesn’t text back? What if she puts herself out there emotionally and her friend replies in an unkind manner?
What if her friend reaches back with kindness?
Why are our what if’s always negative? That negativity is usually unfounded.
I suggested, “Then maybe it’s time for a new best friend. Friends ebb and flow. I’m sitting with my high school friend now who I didn’t talk to for over 25 years. It all works out.”
“I guess,” she replied. “Maybe I’ll try one more time.”
“Just send a text that you miss her and see what happens.” I tried again.
She did! That simple text started a conversation. A conversation that never would have started had someone not taken action. It doesn’t matter who takes the first step, it’s taking the step, which is the hard part, that starts the shift.
I believe the person who takes the first step is the one that challenges the what if’s and chooses not to believe the negative story in their head.
Our texting goes on, my daughter changing the subject and talking about the upcoming holidays. I let it go, figuring when she’s ready she will talk.
The next day she texts: “I’m having coffee with my friend!”
“Wow! Have fun and keep it light” I replied.
“I doubt that’s gonna happen but I’ll try!” she said, knowing her young and inquisitive nature can’t let things go unanswered.
“Try really hard and tell her I say hello. You don’t always have to rehash sh*t and try and figure it out. Sometimes stuff just doesn’t figure itself out and you have to let it be.” I tried one more time. I know how my daughter gets on something and tries to make the other person bend to her point of view. She can’t grasp that others are not required to agree or even understand her point of view.
“I think we’re good now” she replied 30 minutes later.
Friends are like this. Friends come and go into and out of our lives. It takes effort on both sides to keep friendships going. Friendships are hard work and don’t always work out. We each get to decide for ourselves who and what kind of friends we surround ourselves with.
It is said by some wise person somewhere that we are a culmination of the 5 people closest to us. Choose those five people wisely. Do you want those five people to have the same values you do? Do you have the same interests? Do their actions support their words? Do their words support you? What is important to you in a friend? Choose people to have in your life that stand for what you stand for.
We are all different. We all want different things. We grow in different ways.
It’s okay to go with the flow of friends. If it isn’t working out, sometimes it’s best to walk away and give it some time for both parties to readjust. It’s okay to reach out again and it’s okay not to reach out again.
If you get back together, great. If not, great. It might not have been meant to be.
And sometimes there’s nothing better than a little time to reset. Then, 20 years later when you run into that friend on the street it’s like a do over. Right back where you started. Like so many arguments, you have no idea what created the kerfuffle in the first place.