My sons are both very different in every way possible. One is very introvert with a small circle of close friends…the other has many friends depending on his mood, activity of choice and weather or not they are on xbox live, playing fortnite.
On reflection of this, I think I am a blend of both. I have what I like to call, my circle of friends. Circles because they are infinite, unless cut. Circles because I like to fully surround myself with my friends. Circles because they don’t necessarily tessellate without linking shapes, circles because they can overlap, like in a Venn diagram… I think you get the drift.
I have a very close circle of best friends ( you can count them on one hand) that I know I can call up at any ungodly hour, share my most darkest and deepest secrets with, without judgement, and who just know me inside out .I refer to them as my inner circle. My confidants.
As we move out to the next realm of my friendship circle, I identify people that I enjoy spending time with, the ones who thankfully wouldn’t get the ungodly hour call, in my hour of need, but people who I really get along with. People who interest me, who intrigue and inspire me.
As we move out further, I class these people as friends in the looser term. The people I would help, say hi to and have, I guess, on my facebook. Those people I went to school with, but grew apart from. Those people who I wish well and love to hear of their successes. Friends, people who if you got invited to their party, you would go along and have a great time.
I think you get the idea of how the circle of friends dilutes the further it moves from the epicentre. The intensity of the friendship and expectations bestowed upon it change. Friends will change their positioning in the circles too, dependent on my own needs in a certain time or during a certain event in my life and in theirs too. Some get thrown out completely. Some friends have been there as long as I’ve been old enough to remember. School friends: college friends, uni-friends, colleagues, childhood friends, social media friends. They are all in there, as I am in theirs.
The one thing I know for certain, when it comes to friendship…I could never do without it. I love all of my friends. Friends teach me new things about myself, challenge and champion me. They pick me up when I’m down, give me what for when I’m in the wrong and above all else, love me for who I am, unconditionally. All of this is reciprocal. It has to be or else it doesn’t work.
So when I watch my boys and their interaction with their friends, I hopefully see them beginning to refine their own circles. Whether they are working from the inside out, or like a scatter graph of friends here and there. I love how they treat them all with respect and kindness and value what they each bring to their lives…I’d like to think I’ve modelled the art of friendship well.