Recently, I have been involved in different activities that required my leadership and where relationships are tested, where friendship and connection mattered. Where we had to share intimate and what people would call private conversations to keep the agenda moving on. It was incredible walking in such a journey with people who we were willing to become vulnerable with their stories. Through it I have learnt a couple of amazing revelations especially on different kinds of friendships and connections that exist within our own circles.
Relationships matters a lot in our lives. Think of your life and the people who matters to you; the people you share your stories with, both good and bad. When stuff is working, the people you share and celebrate with, the friends you call when you need advise, the ones you call when you need a shoulder to cry on and the friends you call to represent or stand up for you in whichever capacity.
Me and you know, not every friend qualifies and according to Brene Brown, on her book, The Gift of Imperfection; we have the following kinds of friendships;
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
The friends who hears your story and actually feels pain for you. She gasps and confirms how horrified you should be. Then there is awkward silence. Then you have to make her feel better.
The friend who responds with sympathy (I feel so sorry for you) rather than empathy (I get it, I feel with you, and I’ve been there). If you want to see a shame cyclone turn deadly, throw one of these at it: “Oh, you poor thing.” Or, the incredibly passive-aggressive southern version of sympathy: “Bless your heart.”
The friend who needs you to be the pillar of worthiness and authenticity. She can’t help because she’s too disappointed in your imperfections. You’ve let her down.
The friend who is so uncomfortable with vulnerability that she scolds you: “How did you let this happen? What were you thinking
The friend who is all about making it better and, out of her own discomfort, refuses to acknowledge that you can actually be crazy and make terrible choices: “You’re exaggerating. It wasn’t that bad. You rock. You’re perfect. Everyone loves you.”
The friend who confuses “connection” with the opportunity to one-up you: “That’s nothing. Listen to what happened to me one time!”
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 NIV
Having said this, it is thus very important to know who you share story with, someone who will show you compassion and connection. if you do so with the wrong person, it can be disastrous. We want firm and steady connections in such situations.
You can get a copy of Brene Brown; The Gift of imperfection on Amazon here.