How do we make friends and bond? My best friend throughout most of my life approached me in the hall at the start of seventh grade and said, “Wanna be best friends?” I said, “Yes.” And that was that. We were best friends. Sometimes I wish it were still that easy.
I know that sometimes new friends just click. Other times, we slowly acclimate to one another. For me, the deepest friendships I have were nurtured over a common cause- either planning a trip to Burning Man and experiencing the awe of an adventure together, or by gathering for a workshop where we were guided to go deep, beyond the common day-to-day, light conversation. These deeply bonding experiences created deeply bonded relationships.
I want to connect. I want to go deeper, but how? How do we launch relationships from the acquaintance level and friends on Facebook to the rich, deep connections that nourish us, heart and soul? Do we even want to? Maybe you are surrounded by deliciously fulfilling friendships with women and you have no room for more. Or, Maybe, like me, you have a couple of “Lying there dead,” friends, as I like to morbidly call them, people who would know if you were lying there dead because they call you every couple of days.
Truth: Out of my wide circle of great girlfriends, currently, I don’t have one that I talk to consistently, a couple of times a week. I go through phases, sometimes I do, but often, inevitably, life comes in, we get busy, and I am back to me and my boyfriend and talking with girlfriends on the phone here and there.
I think being a part of the Friends television show generation ruined me. Gathering weekly with pals to watch that show through college gave me a thirst for those kinds of friendships. The people who stop by often, live across the street, catch me in awkward situations and are there for the nitty, gritty of the day-to-day. Maybe I’m romanticising those kinds of friendships. Maybe I wouldn’t like that.
Though I can put on the charm of a social gal, I’m a Highly Sensitive Person and an introvert at heart. Often, I steer clear of events, as I have social anxiety. Longing for deep connection with my tribe, and those on my path, I can feel insecure, not good enough and unworthy of friends.
When I am in this space, people can energetically sense this, so then I find evidence for my withdrawal.
On the other hand, out with friends, secure in the web of affections I’ve made with them, my true self begins to shine and I let loose, have fun and then easily make new friends. We all like being around someone who is having a good time.
Facebook adds a new twist to an old endeavor.
Making friends now includes the real person and their virtual, Avatar. I may see your face, know your name and have perused pictures of your family vacations and have never met you in the flesh.
Research shows that we love famous people because we see their faces so often that our brain recognizes them as tribe. We’re wired to link a familiar face to being a member of our tribe. That now means, with the wide use of Facebook, we see and recognize more people and feel akin to them. On some level, we are already bonded by virtue of our avatar selves being connected in the virtual world.
So, I see you, I know your name, and I want to make a real life connection and bond, for you are my kin, you are my modern-day tribe, and we all are looking for our tribe.
Though I am a nice person, with a lot of friends, I still freeze. I still think, should I bother? Does it matter if I say hi? I become that little girl, wounded, who thinks I am dumb for ever thinking you might receive my love.
In truth, that’s what it is all about for me. When I see or meet someone new, I think of the old Irish saying, Eckhart Tolle says it too, “Treat everyone who comes into the space of now as an honored guest.”
If you are in front of me, I already love you. You are my honored guest.