I think most of us would agree that being a really good friend requires you to be able to know how to really “be there” and help a friend in their time of need. Everyone handles tough situations differently, which means that everyone needs something different from different people. I think one of the hardest parts of being a friend to different people is understanding your role and how you can fill it for all of the different people you care about.
We all have friends that we may not be “best” friends with, but are still people we want to be able to support. We may not need to text them all day long, but we want to know how to talk to them in a way that they feel comfortable and safe sharing their personal life with us. We want them to trust us even though we’re not besties.
And, we then we have besties. We are so close that we want them to feel like they can chase us down in the middle of the night if they can’t sleep, break down and cry to us whenever they need to, and drop their baggage on us even if we don’t make the first move and ask them what’s wrong.
But, that’s precisely where it all gets gray: when do we watch from afar and wait for that baggage to be “dropped”, and when do we take the riskier step and ask before it’s offered up. When you can read people and know people enough to figure out when that magic moment is upon you, that’s when you’re really connecting with someone.
Because the opposite is true, too. When you can’t read that moment, or when you can’t find the courage to ask when you know something’s wrong, and you react by just doing nothing out of the normal “Hey, how are ya?”, you’re sending a very different message there, too. That, in contrast, is sending the message that you’re not safe.
Sometimes I wish there was some instructions manual or algorithm confirming it all one way or another for us, but I also know that we’d lost that magic of friendship if we had that “luxury”.
You can’t fake a truly magical friend, whether they’re mere acquaintances or genuine besties. Magic friends are magic friends that can come in all different forms ,at all different times. So, when you find them, be as careful with them as they are with you.