How would you feel if you found out two of your closest friends talked about you?
That happened to me last week and I have to tell you, I was fine.
That’s because they are loyal, good, friends.
Two of your best friends talking about you, and you having zero anxiety, or insecurity, about what they said.
That kind of trust is a big deal.
In genuine friendship, you're either in or you’re out. You show up or you don’t.
According to a New York Times article, Do Your Friends Actually Like You? “the authenticity of one’s relationships has an enormous impact on one’s health and well-being.”
There is confusion about what friendship is today. I have acquired over 800 Facebook “friends” but I know that number is meaningless. I have only a handful of really close friends, people I can count on to care about me, and who I can do the same for.
Some parents teach their children they can’t trust their friends, to be careful, that their friends may be jealous or untrustworthy.
I can’t say I haven’t experienced toxic, hurtful, relationships because I have; but still I’ve encouraged my children to cultivate friendships, and to trust, because when you find the ones who are true blue, the ones who are concerned for your well being, despite your shortcomings, it’s a gift.
I know because last week when I was not my best self, my friends were empathetic and knew enough about me (and psychology) to understand that when it’s hysterical it’s historical.
They showed up with kindness and generosity of spirit. They reminded me they had my back.
So it’s worth paying attention to who among the many people you know are true friends.
Who can you learn from, laugh with and count on?
According to Alexander Nehamas, a professor of philosophy at Princeton, friendship is not instrumental. It is not a means to higher status, wangle an invitation to someone’s vacation home or simply escape your own boredom.
Ronald Sharp, a professor at Vassar College says, “friends are people you take the time to understand and allow to understand you.”
My friends know everything, and I mean everything, about me. Apparently, having authentic relationships exercises a part of our brain called the smart vagus nerve, which is important because when it loses tone, people are more anxious and deep connections are more difficult.
Today people are in such a rush. They don't take the time to develop strong ties; and that loss is huge. I'm so grateful for my friends and what we've become together.
So here's a shout-out to my close friends. I couldn't, and wouldn't want to, do it without you!!