I wrote an article on Friendship a while ago and my mind keeps going back to what “friendship” means to me. Situations and circumstances occur weekly that cause me to ponder, again, what that word means to others.
Is it a simple click on a social media site? A feeling of comfort around a certain person? A sense of knowing you can communicate openly with someone? None of the above? All of the above? More than those few items listed? Do tell.
I meet people often. I attend both “vanilla” (non-kink) and kink-related events. People are people. A person you may glance at in the post office may end up being someone you see at a kink-event. You may be browsing a website such as Fetlife.com and see a co-worker’s picture on there. I’ve added that tidbit in hoping you’d be less likely to judge. I have a story in my head about judgment, which I’ll save for another posting.
Back to where I left off: I meet people often, talk to them, share a few words, introduce each other to those we are with, may like each other’s social media sites, may “friend” each other, etc. I may see some of those same people at future social events or kink-related parties and we hug, say how good it is to see each other again, play together if we’ve been in touch and arranged such a thing, and the list goes on. But, are we “friends?” Aquaintances? Somewhere in-between those two?
I often say, “Just because I’m cool with someone, that doesn’t mean I consider that person a friend.” How can someone tell? Well, they’d have to watch me to see who I interact with someone an ongoing basis, know the content of conversations, watch our body language. Most people don’t seem to be that attentive and assume because you say “hi, good to see you,” you and that person are best buds. I go to social events and parties to meet people. Therefore, I’m friendly unless there’s something about a person that tells me “DANGER! Run away!”
Those I consider in-between acquaintance and friendship, those people I spend quality time with. You’d see me at a social event standing off to the side with that person having a conversation. More than the cursory greetings most people give. You’d hear me asking about their family, not in a way that will alert everyone to their personal business. I’ll ask how they’re feeling, if I know they’ve been ill. Those types of things. Things you wouldn’t conversate with a random person about, or maybe you would if you’re a very public person. Once I explain to a friend how they can tell if I’m cool with someone or if I’m building a friendship with someone, they easily recognize the signs.
What are some things about you that would cause others to think someone is your friend if they saw you in a public place or at a private party? How would they be able to tell if you disliked someone? How would someone know you consider them a friend?
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(This article is cross-posted from deborahldixon.com)