So, I have been thinking about this today, and maybe a little bit over the last few periodically. And that is that I’ve been trying to think of what kind of friend I am to people and the kinds of friendships I have. To me I have various levels of friendship or relationships with people. And that sounds like a jerk thing to say, but I mean that is something I feel is true for everyone. You’re not friends with every single person you know.
So for me, and this is where most people land for me, is a general acquaintance. This usually means I know you from somewhere, or we have hung out through a mutual friend but I don’t really know you that well and we don’t really talk much. Like I said, this is probably where a good half of the people I know fall. Most of my facebook friends list are people I went to high school with, or knew when I was younger but lost track of until facebook came around. It is possible for you to transition from a friend to an acquaintance but it would take a very long time for this to happen.
If I consider you my friend that means we have at least some common interests and I care about how you’re doing. If you’re my friend I will respond to you, and will always try to be there when you need someone to be there. Even if just for moral support. If you’re my friend you probably have either my phone number, or we’ve talked in private messages, or frequently through comments on social media. Most of my friends seem to be on social media nowadays because real life and being an adult often precludes me from spending time with people. But if you’re my friend and I can do something to make you feel better I will do my best.
If I care about you, than you I consider you to be a very important person in my life. I will go out of my way to cheer you up when you are down, or be there if you need someone to talk to. I’ll probably check in on you and make sure you’re doing okay, or lurk on your social media and worry when you don’t post for a few days. If you’re out late at night I will worry about you because other people are idiots, and I want to know you’re safe. If you send me a message I will respond, maybe not quickly but I will reply. If you don’t reply I worry I’ve said something stupid and stress out, which admittedly is something I am working on. There are several people I care for, some more than others but there are people that have been there for me when I needed them, even if just to say a kind word when I very much needed it. If I care about you, my ear is always yours and if you ever needed a place to crash my couch would be yours to sleep on.
Now here’s the big one. If I ever say I love someone that means they know me better than most. I will do anything and everything for you no matter what. Now I do feel there are different types of love. There’s romantic love and there is friend love, if I love you as a friend it doesn’t matter to me if you’re a guy or a girl. There is generally speaking a very fine line here, and this is a hard one for me to get to. Admittedly I have very few people in my life I would even say this about because it is that hard for me to get there. There is a higher level of this, which typically is more related to romantic love, but it could certainly apply to either and that is unconditional love. This is not something I’ve said to many people, 3 in my entire life. One is my best friend who has been there for me for my entire adult life, my first real girlfriend and Sydney, whom I will always love. If I love you unconditionally I would give you the shirt off my back, and I’d step in front of a bullet for you. If anything happened to you I would be devastated. To put this in a better way, if this is how I felt about you we would have the kind of friendship Sam and Frodo had. I would take your burdens as my own, carry you if you were to weak to carry on and follow you till the end of all things. And I’d kick Gollum in to the lava.
So the thing is that if you’re my friend I will do anything to keep you as a friend. I don’t like losing people that are important to me. I spend a lot of time worrying that I’m going to say something stupid or that someone will just decide that they don’t want to be friends anymore and disappear. That isn’t fair to people and I wish I didn’t have that mental process but it’s happened before and it hurts when it does. I’m likely to screw things up and get nervous and apologize a lot, which typically will put you at least in the “I care about you” range. But losing friends hurts no matter what.
That kind of went on a bit longer than intended, but I needed another good mental health post today. I’ve been feeling depressed/lonely again lately which is a seemingly endless cycle because I like being alone, but I don’t like feeling alone and feeling alone makes me depressed.