I was silently angry with my friends! What I mean is that I was upset with them and they didn’t know it. I felt that our relationship was one-sided. I felt that I was the only one pouring out and they were always receiving. There were times that I didn’t want to pick up the phone for them. There were times when I outright watched it ring, and ring, and ring again. There were moments where I made up in my mind to stop being friends with them because I was tired of not having the support I needed. I was wrong!
The reason that I felt all those negative ways was because I was never transparent with my friends. I was never open to allowing them to see my wounds, to give them the bricks to destroy me and trust that they wouldn’t. I never gave them a chance, but I expected them to show up! But where were they showing up? How did they know to come if I didn’t extend the invitation?
Transparency from all parties is extremely important in healthy friendships. You have to trust the other person enough to know that if they cut you it is because they love you. If they call you onto the carpet it is because they want you to change. If they hold up a mirror it is for the sole reason of showing you who you’ve become. Perhaps they want you to grow too. Maybe they want to be there for you like you are for them, but for the strong friend, we cancel out any opportunities for communal healing.
I’ve learned over the past couple days the importance of transparency with my friends. I’ve learned the importance of allowing them to see my humanity, my craziness, my shortcomings and trust that they are committed to me just as I am to them. I’ve learned to believe them when they say that they are “here” for me. I’ve learned to take them at their word and not make decisions about their capabilities.
My friends are stronger than I once gave credit. They have the ability to refill my cup when it is running on low. They have the capacity to handle my weak moments. I don’t know where this will take our friendship. I don’t know what barriers it will break. I don’t know how it will transform their lives, but what I do know is that I am grateful for them.
If you are “the strong friend” I encourage you to see the strengths in your friendships! Trust the intellect and the wisdom of your community. Believe that they won’t drop you even if they challenge you to be better! Even strong friends have weaknesses and blindspots, and it is in those moments that your friends can close the gaps!