The evolution of friendship or other

One thing I find utterly fascinating is the way that the relationships we have with different people evolve.  It’s inevitable that as time goes on you are likely to change as a person, as is the other in the equation, and because of this it means that the relationship you have has to also evolve to match that.  In some circumstances it drives people apart and other times closer together.  The occasions that I’m specifically thinking of are the ones where things seem to change overnight.  I don’t think it is possible for a person to change who they are in that space of time but there must be a shift in their thinking, no matter what that shift may be, to make the relationship change.

It would seem that a lot of people in this world don’t take the time to take a step back and look at the reasons for any changes in their lives or relationships.  People are very quick to blame others for things changing when, in reality, it takes both people to react a certain way for things to work or not.  I’m not saying that one person isn’t necessarily to blame for a situation turning sour but it takes the other to take the negativity and let it grow.  By no means am i innocent of reacting badly to someone’s poor communication with me and letting it ruin something that was lovely but I feel like I have mostly grown since then to try and understand why people act/react the way that they do.  There will always be people who will catch you on a ‘bad day’, just as they are having, and together irreparable damage is then done to a seemingly strong relationship from that point.  The main difference is whether you choose to address it or keep it to yourself to fester!

My sister is naturally a very bitter person, it’s who she is and because of that it is very difficult to have any kind of rational discussion with her regarding any kind of disagreement.  She is horrendously competitive and seems to think that the world owes her something so, for that reason, I find it easier to deal with her by just trying to spend as little time in her company as possible.  Alone time is always a lot easier to deal with than if we are in any kind of company as she is very eager to be the centre of attention and sees everyone else as a threat to that so channels it into subconsciously acting superior.  I have no need to want to be in the spotlight and would happily just sink into the background but it’s the need to try and belittle me that grates on my very soul.  When we were little we were very close, closer than your average siblings.  She was almost another parent to me (she’s 6.5 years older) and always treated me as if I was precious to her.  As I grew into a teenager she had already left home so the time that she would have adjusted to this by seeing it every day was lost.  In her mind, I was and will always be 12 years old which was just unsettling for her when I grew up, became sexually active and got attention that she wasn’t prepared for.  I understand all of this, I understand all of her bitterness but will never understand why she seems to be incapable of honestly analysing who she is as a person.  The healthiest relationships will only ever occur when both people truly know who they are, or are at least willing to listen to someone else’s honest opinion of them.

Most of the friends that I surround myself with have the emotional and social intelligence to be able to be self analytical.  I feel it’s important for a healthy mind and a healthy relationship to be able to openly discuss with people your triumphs and failings.  We all have good bits and bad bits; we all have to accept this.  The people who don’t mesh with me are the ones who are completely delusional about the person they feel they are compared to the person they portray.   Maybe it’s for this reason that the friendships I do make are so deep and connected.

One relationship in particular, with an already close friend, has recently evolved into something that I have never experienced with anyone else or seen anyone else experience.  I always refer to her as best friend 3.  I have 3 people that I class as a best friend because they are of equal importance in my life.  Their numeric order is the amount of time that they have had a piece of my heart and soul in theirs.  These 3 relationships are HUGELY different and are independent from each other.  All of them are aware that they are classed as one of my best friends and there is no jealousy on either side about the other friends in our lives.  Best friend 1 is just that.  We have been best friends for 21 years now, although we have known each other for 25, and are never short of conversation topics.  There is no necessity to see each other frequently as we are aware that if anything happens or we need the other then everything else will be dropped.  Sporadic texts and phonecalls are exchanged but mostly we share everything over meals.  Best friend 2 is a combination of best friend and little sister.  We have a huge history, spanning over 20 years where we have shared everything.  She was a child when we first became who we are together and I was a teenager, minding her while her mum went out and did what she needed to.  There have been tragedies in that time, for both of us, and we are always bluntly honest with each other – no matter how hurtful anyone would think something would be.  Our mums were best friends and that was what originally threw us together.  We spend together sporadically and have both played the friend card when we have needed the other to drop whatever plans we may have to troubleshoot the latest drama.  She is the person that I can rely on to always be there and love me while still pointing out my faults very honestly.  I respect that, and her, greatly.

Best friend 3 deserves a paragraph all to herself.  Actually, she is the reason I’m writing this entry really.  We were brought together at work where we were both rather stand offish with each other originally.  We are both people who are wary of others until we can evaluate the type of person they are.  As both of our walls were up with each other, it was kind of difficult to assess this for a long time.  We had mutual friends which made us realise we can’t be that dissimilar in reality.  Through time, our relationship has very slowly grown into something unique and surprisingly beautiful.  We have only been in each other’s lives for just over 3 years, but it’s only within the last few months that things have grown as dramatically as they have.  Over the time of our friendship she has had the most unfortunate series of circumstances known to man!  I have endless respect for everything that she has endured and all the more for having the courage to open herself up and finally let me in to share it all with her.  We have both had a ridiculous amount of unfortunate circumstances in our short time and the fact that neither of us will ever feel pity for the other is the greatest relief in the world.  I will never understand why anyone would ever want anyone to pity them but some people seem to crave it.  Although we will openly admit that we have had it tough (if the circumstance was appropriate) and would like understanding would avoid telling people things on the basis of avoiding that pitying look.  Although the people at work understand that we are friends and are close would never in a million years be able to comprehend the way we are behind closed doors.  We text continually on a daily basis.  All day, every day, and need that contact to remain centered.  I am not implying that we need each other to moderate our moods but find a level of calm together that cannot be created elsewhere.  This is important.  Through all of the trauma with Mr. B. she was my rock.  She has given me more by letting me talk about everything to the point of obsession without judging me negatively than anyone would normally have the patience to.  I choose to step into her physical world, rather than mine, through convenience but she sees this as me making more of an effort than her.  This is entirely untrue.  In her world we can lie together, snuggling and watching a ridiculous amount of bad music on the tv.  We don’t always need to talk, just to be.  We do talk,  A LOT, but there are hours where we will just curl up together only making the odd comment on how gay that Take That video is or laughing at Mariah Carey’s “Ken Lee”.  Sometimes I take a step back and laugh at how we must look to any bystander when we’re cuddled up, me stroking her neck with my nails, holding tight and watching 50 greatest love songs on VH1.  Ridiculous but exactly what we both need.

There are often times where the analysis is made on our relationship and closeness to try and put it into a box.  This is an impossible task and something that we both like about it.  We have every element of a romantic relationship without the need for it ever to turn sexual and can’t think of anyone else, ever, who has had this luxury.  Don’t get me wrong, I am bisexual as far as my sexuality goes, I am aware of what sexual or romantic feelings are like with someone of the same sex- we just don’t happen to have that element there.  For either of us!  This has confused a few people, including my husband and her father, but we are very careful not to disclose the details of that part of our world.  We know that other people would struggle with the concept because we are in it and occasionally struggle with it!  This is the biggest evolution of a friendship I have ever experienced and feel blessed on a daily basis that it is now in my life.  Sometimes you just know that someone will be with you forever and she is one of those for me.  My husband has struggled with this on occasion as it is the first time he’s had to witness me giving a chunk of my heart and soul to someone else.  Best friends 1 and 2 were in my life for a long time before we met and he never had to think about it so to have had to witness it for himself was initially a threat to him but he is now completely understanding and accommodating to anything that either of us need.  There are benefits for him that I don’t have to take everything out on him as I have a separate outlet which makes it all the easier to focus completely on him without my baggage getting in the way.

In short, if you want a relationship to work and grow then take a step back, look at the bigger picture, take your feelings out of the equation and the logic will make itself clear.  If things go wrong then someone is pushing you away as a defense mechanism, not because they dislike you or who you have become.  Roll with the punches, don’t rise to any bait and wait for things to calm down before you react.  If you let people push you away then you miss out on the opportunities that are more nourishing than you could ever think possible.  If I hadn’t let my barriers down or pushed through their’s then the greatest gifts I have would never have been mine.  At the same time, if someone is not willing to listen to you because of themselves taking too much of a priority or you feel like you don’t care then it’s best to just walk away.  You’re fighting a losing battle!

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