If We Are Really Friends

Here is what I really need from you.

Photo by Natalia Almeida on Reshot

I’m better in writing — especially when the conversation gets serious. But I’m hoping we can have a talk. Because I want to talk about our friendship, but I know I’m not the best person to do it. I don’t exactly have a tot of friends.

The most common reason I lose friends is that I let the connection fade away. If I’m not hearing from you, you’re probably not hearing from me because I have the tendency to believe I must be bothersome to you.

Which brings me to the first thing I need from you. Acceptance. I’m hoping you can accept that I’m awkward and sometimes shy. Can you accept me as your friend even if I don’t act like you or what you’d expect?

You should know that I’d be happy to accept you just the same. I’m not looking for a one-way street. I want to be your friend too. A good one.

Speaking of being friends, of giving and receiving… I really want to be the kind of friends who give each other security. I want to know that you’re not just going to drop me at the drop of a hat if I do or say something you don’t like. Because I wouldn’t just drop you.

So I’m hoping we can agree to talk things out instead of shutting down. I want to know that we’re both committed to the friendship enough to avoid letting conflict in the way.

I suppose what I’ve really been looking for is the kind of friendship that feels more like family than not. Something where we don’t treat each other like we’re expendable — because we’re not.

And I’ve been looking for friends who really value other people, and welcome authenticity. There’s nearly nothing worse than walking around, feeling like you can’t be yourself with the people who supposedly love you.

I know that it’s not always easy loving someone like me. Sometimes my depression leaves me prone to canceling plans because I don’t feel like I’m “fit for people.” The are plenty of times where I feel too ugly or worthless to go outside. But if you can extend a little grace down to me, I’ll do the same for you, and I’ll promise to be honest about my struggles. I will not lie to you. And I will try to face my fears.

You know, sometimes I feel like friendship is a minefield. Because I’m autistic, because I’m an emotional INFP, because I don’t really know what I’m doing in any relationship. My whole life, people have always told me that I couldn’t be honest with other people, not really. Like they were saying, “When they really get to know you they will run.” But I don’t want to believe them about honesty. Please, help me prove them wrong.

Being the single mom of a small child, and working a lot from home, my life may be more or less flexible than yours. Can we both try to meet each other where we’re at anyway? Can we be considerate of the other’s circumstances?

If you’re looking for a true friend, let’s grow up and be kids about the whole damn thing. When we were kids, it was still acceptable to ask, “would you like to be my friend?” And it was more than okay to tell our friends when they hurt us. When we became adults, however, the way we made friends changed. The way we spoke to them changed too. It became immature to admit when we were sad or feeling bad.

If we are going to be friends, I admit I need a lot from you… but I promise to give back to you in kind. My hope is that you’ll know you can talk to me about anything and that I’ll always be a safe and judgment-free zone.