A galaxy of friends

I did a little exercise today. I wrote down a list of people I consider friends, and then checked in with myself about the feeling each friendship evoked in me. In these evoked feelings, I was surprised to discover an enormous variety. Some people are sort of life-lines. If I’m in trouble, they are the ones I call. Others I can hang out with on the phone for hours, both of us happily talking until we are just too sleepy to go on. Still others I care about deeply, but this feeling is not associated at all with any sense that we would have a lot to say on the phone.

I wonder whether each of us creates around us a galaxy of diverse friendships that reflects, and in some sense maps out, divergent aspects of ourselves. We are each a highly complex bundle of opposing impulses, likes and desires, all of which get collectively labeled as a “self”, for want of a better word.

In this sense, the diversity of one’s friendships is not really about them, but about one’s own self. The part of me that connects to one friend may have very little do to with the part of me that connects to another friend.

This might go a long way toward explaining why we find, from time to time, that two of our closest friends cannot stand each other.

One thought on “A galaxy of friends”

  1. So, while the enemy of my enemy might be my friend, the friend of my friend is not necessarily 😉

    I think its very true that different friendships fulfill different needs. It is surprising then how often people expect their romantic partners to fulfill all of them.

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