The 'housekeeping' of friendships
Being a raving slut, (sorry I mean extrovert) has always been one of my predominant innate features. Easy to talk to, friendly, kind, warm and polite.
When I evaluated this later in life, I realised I was actually a bit of a people pleaser and actually an introvert with excellent extrovert skills.
People have a tough time believing I am shy and dislike attention. I get embarrassed from any sort of attention but I do my best to suppress the awkward look of 'cringe' when I have to.
I then become coy and friendly in the bid to hide this feature.
You see friendships are based on choice. You choose to be friends with a person. It’s different from being a sibling to someone or a parent to a child. We have no choice over such matters.
Choice is borne of freewill. The ability to make an informed decision to form a close loving bond with someone who you may have identified (maybe) shares the same visions, possess the same values or at least have similar interests as yours –is choice.
I have acquired so many friends, companions, acquaintances over my lifetime. Living in 3 different countries, attended about 6 different schools, travelled over 40 countries and met people, worked in nearly 15 different organisations, belonging to countless social and community based groups. Sometimes I cannot keep up and to be honest, I genuinely like many people because so many people have showed me compassion, kindness and love. Mum always says that I beget the kindness and love I show others.
When I turned 30, one of the things mummy said to me was 'you need to start profiling your friendships'. It wasn't random. I was on the phone with her when she called me to wish me a happy birthday and i told her I had fallen out with a good friend who quite frankly let me down a lot. So she said, its time for you to cut down and focus on quality.
At the time, It didn't make so much sense as it does now and as much as I agreed with her because I interpreted this as an immediate mental chore, I simply couldn't be arsed about it.
It suddenly became easier to maintain those mad friendships than to sit down, reflect and evaluate who my real friends truly are. That didn’t last forever, I can now count how many true good friends I have.
But as time and motion evolve, and as people age, or as mid-life crisis sets in, friendships change. The most challenging times being when people have reached the young adult status (25-40).
When we were kids, school and friendships couldn’t go un-associated with. Our lives in school, college, university were hugely dependant on having friends because of the natural social and cultural aspects of being a student. Its that time in your life where if you don't build your social skills, you are more or less fucked!
When we get to that stage where we move cities, have and move jobs, get married, have children, care for our elderly parents, a sick child, become diplomats, career executives, own our businesses, whatever tends to have more demands on our time, everything changes.