Time for our “Are We Insane?” segment again….
This is directed to people 30 and over. I’m talking to grown folks.
If you are 30 or older and you think you have 20 real friends, you are insane.
Sorry, but get real! You’ve got one if you’re normal, two if you’re lucky, three if you’re awesome.
My oldest friend-at 37-still believes this. We talk about it sometimes. She really thinks she has 20 real friends! At 37, she can’t go out to a social event without a group and feel comfortable. She was social in college, joined a sorority and did some other things. This conglomerate of women she has connected with are her “real friends”.
What a friend is takes defining. We each should take the mental time to figure out what we call a “real friend”. This may change over the years as we mature, so we always should be upgrading our internal definitions of friendship.
What most people call friends are really acquantainces. As you mature, you realize some friends are seasonal. They are there in a time in your life when you need them and then when things change, it’s time for them to move on.
Going back to my childhood friend (my homegirl from back in the day), many people hold onto relationships forever. She said at her age, she has all the friends she will ever need-she isn’t looking for anymore friends.
It’s frightening because when you say you no longer need any more friends, you’re really saying that you don’t plan on growing any more as a person. You’re planting your flag in the ground, shouting “This far and no farther!” You are complacent with where you are at in life.
As you mature and evolve, your friends do as well. It has nothing to do with sentimentality or not caring for those you have befriended in the past. If those childhood friends grow with you, then great. But most people will fall to the waistside as you shake and bake in life.
In this friendship game, only the strong thrive. Most hang onto old relationships that keep them stagnated and ultimately drag them down-all because they are scared of being alone.
Not having anyone to call.
Not having anyone to go out to eat with.
Not having anyone to celebrate New Year’s Eve with.
To travel together.
Fear of an empty Facebook page….
And don’t get me started on Facebook friends!
Facebook acquaintances is more like it.
These people on your “friends” list, these people following you on twitter are virtual friends. In other words, people you are rarely-if ever- going to see in real life. You may have a true connection, which I have found in two instances in my own life.
However, most people confuse “friendship” with “common ground”.
Your “work friends” are people you work with.
Your “school friends” are people you went to school with.
Your “church friends” are people you belong to the same church as.
Most of these friendships are based on the thing you have in common. It’s solid as long as you are in the same situation. If and when the situation changes (it’s called LIFE) these relationships evaporate. Not always, but just don’t assume you’re best friends without acknowledging that there is a chance it’s only seasonal.
This is important because as grown people, we should be mature enough to understand the cycles of life-and learn to become comfortable with that. Otherwise we become jaded and unwilling to give of ourselves to others because we feel it won’t last anyway. We must realize relationships aren’t supposed to be forever. In other words, it isn’t about quantity but quality. If we don’t mature to where we accept this, we can be shut down and maybe even manipulate others to get what we want since we don’t feel secure in the ebb and flow of life.
Some relationships (your inner circle) are there throughout life-parents, siblings, relatives, soulmates. Friends and spouses can be in this category, but they aren’t by default. They may change. So if we get this, we can stop trying to hang onto friends forever and become comfortable enough in our own skin to be alone.
Another reason this matters is because we need to be able to know who we’re dealing with.
Look at life like a sport. The people in our lives are our team. It’s up to us to make sure we have an All-star roster around us.
The starting line-up is, like I said, at most only 3 people deep. This is your “A-List”-those people you trust with your innermost secrets and can truly rely on. The A-list people are the ones who really have your back-in good or bad times. These are the people who let you stay with them when you find yourself out on the street, lend you money when you’re broke (if they have it depending on the circumstances, of course). They are like-minded and grow as you grow. They inspire you. Your relationship matures over the years. The A-list players really know you and believe in you and your potential.
Your “B-list” players are those you adore but probably don’t call everyday. If you find yourself homeless, these players are the ones you call to tell them how things turned out AFTER you found a place to stay. They support you 100% for all the major life events-like weddings and funerals-but they are not the A-list. These are the people you compartmentalize with (though not as much as the C-listers). It works like this: one B-lister is the person you go shopping with, another is the one you vacation with…you get the picture. You share things in common and have fun together. But there is a line where you don’t cross, because the B-listers have their own A-list, so they aren’t focusing all their energy on you. You can share many personal things with them, but only to a point where they can handle it.
Your “C-list” players are acquantainces. They’re fun to hang out with. They may be friends of friends. They may be co-workers, neighbors, or someone you know in an organization you both belong to. But don’t make the mistake of making a C-player an allstar. Make them an A-list player and you’ll lose more games than you can count. C-listers should be kept in check. Tell them no secrets, share no dreams, and most importantly, only do for them what they are willing to do for you. Don’t invest more energy into them than they will give in return. If they never wish you happy birthday, don’t call them and send a present every year. Just see it for what it is-an acquantaince.
Are we insane? If you’re over 30 and think you have more than 3 friends, the answer is YES.
Until next time.