Commitment frightens me — a lot. A lot of people say this about relationships, although based on the amount of low-budget Holywood movies I (definitely haven’t, of course) watched (I have), I get the impression that this is more of a I’m-dumping-you-politely excuse. In my case, however, commitment does frighten me, and not just in a relationship situation.
I see friendship as a relationship in general: it’s almost like an unspeakable, unsigned contract of ever-changing terms. Two friends are bound to this contract, and in that way, I suppose it is a relationship of sorts, if you take that word as literally as possible, rather than jumping to conclusions of romantic involvement. The term ‘bestfriend’ is one given to a person who you trust, can rely on and generally like, in a friend-to-friend relationship.
The other day, someone sent me a very sweet, very kind and, at the time for me, a very needed message, telling me that they appreciated and valued me and my friendship, and thanking me for ‘all I’ve done for them’, even though in my eyes, I’ve done nothing but be myself, and be their friend, which I value as much as (if not more than) they do. They finished their message by saying that I was their ‘bestfriend’, and it made my heart freeze. There’s something in my mind that immediately scares me when someone says ‘bestfriend’; when i’m in certain emotional places, the word ‘friend’ is enough to set me off.
I suppose I immediately associate ‘bestfriend’ with responsibility: the responsibility of always being there for someone, always knowing what they need, always being able to find the answers they need but are unable to find themselves. In reality, without blowing my own trumpet, I do my upmost to do this whenever I can, as much as I possibly can, regardless of that person’s friend-status, if that makes sense.
It’s difficult, because it begins to make friendship a concept which is scary and concerning to me, which it should never ever be. I spent some time thinking this all over today, and came to this conclusion: when I meet someone for the first time, on or offline, I don’t make specific effort. that sounds awful, but hear me out. I do my very best to make sure that I don’t act stupid, or egotistic, or annoying — unless I’m naturally any of those things, of course –; I just act … me. If someone’s calling me their bestfriend or even their friend, after getting to know me as the person I naturally am, then that’s who they like, and that’s who they want me to be. Being someone’s bestfriend isn’t a responsibility — it’s an honour, if anything, and a compliment to your personality and general self. All you have to do is keep on being you, because that’s why they like you.
Someone asked me recently what the kindest thing a friend REGULARLY does for me is, and it took me no time at all to think of my answer. the kindest thing that a friend regularly does for me is sending me a simple text, or calling me, or appooaching me and initiating a conversation. Oh, how good it feels to know that someone wants to talk to you, rather than you messaging/calling/approaching them,all the time, and then constantly wondering if you’re bugging them, or if they’d secretly rather not talk to you.
If you’re only able to do one random act of kindness today (although you’re all living, walking, talking kindness machines and I know for sure that you’ve done loads of kind things today already I just know know know it even if you don’t realise it), text a friend, or call them, or approach them when you see them at school or in the park or an the shops. Start a conversation with them, because it’ll make their day knowing that someone wants to talk to them, and that someone likes their company and their friendship. Even if you just send them ‘Hey’ on WhatsApp, or a funny photo on SnapChat, I promise you that you will have done a good thing, and they will appreciate it.
did you start a conversation with a friend after this post?
What’s the kindest thing a friend REGULARLY does for you?