If you're like me, you have friends that if you met for the first time today you woulddn't choose them as your friends. You might even decide that can't can't stand them. Or maybe you have nothing in particular against them, but you just don't have very much in common. So how are we such close friends today?
The awesome feel-good chick lit book that I'm currently reading right now, Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, got me to analyze some of my current relationships and think about what it is that builds strong friendships. It chronicles the lives of two best friends forever, the lively attractive Tully Hart who grows up to be a famous, successful workaholic and the family girl homebody Kate Mularkey who has little dreams beyond falling in love and getting married, and then lives a life that completely revolves around her family.
When the new hot girl across the street, Tully Hart, was taken advantage of by a boy as a young teenager she felt lonelier than ever. She bumps into the weird girl across the street in her moment of desperate solitude and was grateful for the company. Insecure teenager Kate was over the moon for the opportunity to serve as the shoulder to cry on for the chick all the girls at school wanted to be and all the guys wanted to be with. At that moment they each provided what the other so badly needed and so began the legacy of TullyandKate, or KateandTully-best friends forever.
Like Tully and Kate, some of my closest friendships are not based on having common interests or similar backgrounds or personality types. Some people I've grown up with and known my whole life so although we have the most essential differences today-we'll always be friends. For some people it was a moment of special bonding that occurred by chance which softened your heart to someone and sealed a lasting friendship.
For example I have this friend "Sam" who I've known for years as friends of friends of friends. For most of this time I didn't care for her and her whole entourage (mainly sisters). She was always very perky, talkative, and kind of laughed at everything. I thought her conversations were superficial and her almost flawless makeup and accessories just added to her fakeness. Noone can be that pretty and that happy all the time, it was annoying. I started to see more and more of her as she became close to one of my close friends.
I was usually dry towards her and often gave her the cold shoulder because I could do that easier than pretend to want to be friends. Despite that, she never gave up on the act. She always found something to compliment me about and asked me personal questions in attempts to start conversation. Of course in time I softened up because I would be a total bitch if I didn't-she never actually wronged me. So she's a little fake, I could still enjoy her company in a group.
One day she shared a private story with us, one that most people might be too embarassed or have too much pride to say. I appreciated her for that and felt trusted. It was shortly after that that I got over it and decided she's just a genuinely nice and friendly person. It's her instinct to compliment people...and she just talks alot about superficial things because she attempts to be friendly with everyone around her and those are safe subjects when getting to know people. She's not fake. She's not putting on an act. She's genuine but just operates differently. Now that I've gotten over that I can see us becoming good friends. After hanging around her for years we exchanged cell numbers for the first time last weekend and the next time I send out a mass text she'll definitely be included.
Sometimes, recognizing that you didn't become friends with someone because of instant connections can make you more thankful for having them in your life.