What Is True Friendship?

“For a warrior, to be inaccessible means that he touches the world around him sparingly. And above all, he deliberately avoids exhausting himself and others. He doesn’t use and squeeze people until they have shriveled to nothing, especially the people he loves. — Carlos Castaneda

For me, a true friendship is about enjoying the other person’s company, laughing together, sharing personal stuff, but most importantly it is about giving the other person the emotional space to be who they are without judgment. I don’t need to live in my friends’ pockets and I certainly don’t want them to live in mine. I don’t need to know everything about my friends, I am happy to listen to what they choose to share with me. If someone asks me lots of questions about myself, my energy becomes low and I know it is time to leave. I don’t give unsolicited advice. I don’t try to pin someone down to tell me when I will see them next; I know we will see each other when it is the right time. I rarely say, “I miss you” because that is often used to maliputate others into feeling guilty. (But not always)

When someone starts to explain to me why they are late, the energy in the room drops. Saying, “Sorry, I am late” is enough. Constantly jusiftying and explaining ourselves, and our actions is exhausting. If we do not feel like attending a friend’s party, we do not need to explain why. We do not owe anyone a reason for our decision.

Over explaining, justifying, opinion giving, analysing: all this stuff makes me feel tired. I want to be with people who are spacious, respectful and who really listen to what I say, rather than just waiting for me to finish so they can jump in with their opinon of how to “Fix me”. I must first practice being this way with others. My practise is to stay with myself inside and to listen more. It is not always easy to be still — silence can feel uncomfortable for us and the other people, but staying with that feeling is what makes a true friend.

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