How many friends or followers do you have on your social media accounts? I think this social media friendship has caused quite a problem for true friendships.
I have been going on and on about friends and friendship. I’m just so surprised at the number of adults who don’t seem to really know what it is to have friends. I understand now.
It’s like speeding dating. Once we are “Facebook official” I can see pictures of your family, friends (the ones you actually spend time with), vacations, new relationships, broken relationship and anything else you are inclined to post. This gives me a sense of intimacy, without the time usually required to get to that place naturally.
As a result of these “friendships” when I met someone in person and enjoy a conversation with them, maybe a follow up meal and/or movie she now thinks we are true friends. I just don’t understand. We just met and we don’t really know each other, how can we be friends already?
Let me explain to you why this is a problem. If you think we are friends, you know……real friends, I quickly become the worst friend ever. Here’s how…..
You have expectations of me that I can’t keep because they are unreasonable for someone I just met. You are upset because I didn’t invite you to an outing and you saw evidence of it on Facebook and now you are upset with me. A real friend should (and probably would) apologize for these things if they some how made these mistakes. I, however, will not be apologizing for anything, therefore…..worst friend ever.
That’s not really fair to me and it puts me in an uncomfortable place. This really drives me crazy!!!
What then is a girl to do?
I have to redefine what it means to be friends. I must accept that the Facebook has created a new society where quick and fast is the norm.
When I meet someone and it seems like we might become friends I will now do the following
1.) Start from the mindset that this is going to friendship
2.) treat her like she’s a friend already
3.) when there is a misunderstanding give her the benefit of the doubt like I would a friend
4.) if, however, I am called in for being a “bad friend” then I will have to defer to the following:
“So you thought we were friends, but I’m not there yet.”
1.)Have a face-to-face meeting to allow them to express how they feel.
2.)Don’t try to convince them that their feelings are wrong or stupid.
3.)Sincerely apologize for their hurt feelings. (this isn’t to say I did anything wrong, but certainly I didn’t intend to hurt their feelings so that warrants an apology)
4.)Explain to them my process of building friendships and my expectations and boundaries for my friends.
#4 could possibly result in her deciding she doesn’t want to be friend with me and I am okay with it. Instead of always saying “We are NOT friends” I’ve changed my motto.
I guess what I’m really saying is, “I’m open to being friends with you!”