How would you feel if you found out two of your closest friends were talking about you?
It happened to me last week and I have to tell you, I was fine. I had no anxiety or insecurity.
That kind of trust is a big deal.
That’s because I have loyal, good friends.
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 quality of one’s relationships has a tremendous impact on one’s health and well-being.
There is confusion about what friendship is today. I have acquired over 800 Facebook friends, but that number is meaningless. I have only a handful of 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. 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 that they had my back.
So it’s worth paying attention to. Who can you learn from, laugh with, count on?
My friends know everything, and I mean everything about me.
And 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 to sustain. According to Alexander Nehamas, a professor of philosophy at Princeton, friendship is not a means to higher status, an invitation to someone’s vacation home or simply an escape from your own boredom.
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!!