Soulful Saturday: Friendship, Online and Off

Hey there everyone! Today, I want to talk about a very important topic to me: Friendship. Friendship isn’t something that occurs in a day to me- it takes time, it takes conversing, and- okay actually, cut that. That’s how it should be, not how it is. For those of you that don’t know already, I have borderline personality disorder. My views of people can change at the drop of a hat. So that makes me wonder… Why do I feel loyal to my friends, and not feel that light switch go on and off?

I think to start this conversation with you, it’s best if I make something clear: I’m not talking about online or offline separately. I’m talking about friends of all forms. For me, a friend is a person I feel safe with. I feel they’re honest people, and not people I have to fear losing as easily. This feeling is strongest when I first meet people, online or offline. However, the closer I get to people, the more I usually pull away…

So why is it I have certain friends that I’ve had for years now? I certainly feel unusually close with them as time’s passed. Have I improved my ability to trust people?

The answer to that is probably a yes. Or rather, I hope it is. See, just last week I met up with an online friend for the first time (as in first time meeting this particular friend, mind you! I’ve met others before this.) I was offered a free ticket to join her at Comicon, which was my first time going to a convention by the way. Trusting someone so much that I’d want to meet up with them and even go to a big event that’s sure to bring me anxiety and such isn’t exactly my norm.

Another thing outside my norm that I did recently: I texted my offline friends just to check on them. I’m not a big phone person, but texting is something I feel comfortable with. However, I don’t normally text friends that much. The last time I’d texted these friends was in April! I had nothing really to talk about with them, but I wanted to see their names, and to see how they were doing. I’m never good about keeping in touch. It’s just part of my internal algorithm, if you will.

This just brings me more questions and, surprisingly, more anxiety than I can shake a stick at. What led to these changes? Is it actually a good thing I’m doing these things? Sure, I’d talked to my friend from the Comicon adventure plenty of times- we’ve been friends for years through a common interest, and we’ve even video chatted many times, alongside our mutual friend circle.

And that’s another thing I’d like to mention- I never even wanted to video or voice chat with people only a year ago. When did I start wanting to hear the voices and put faces to the names I’d used for them so long? It feels as if I’ve changed drastically in just a couple years. I just don’t know what lead to it!

I think it’s a good change- I hope it is, at the very least. Still, I can’t quite put my finger on the trigger for these changes… and that bothers me a lot. I’m thankful to have the friends I have, whether it’s my friends from middle school I texted just the other day or online friends like the one I went to the city to meet.

I just feel a little rattled by the fact that, for the longest time I’d been the type to pull away the closer I felt to people. To suddenly realize I’m not doing that… It makes me feel vulnerable and scared, even if it also makes me feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. I must be lucky I’ve met so many kind, honest and patient people!

What do you consider the most important thing in a friendship? How often do you communicate with friends, and how do you personally prefer these communications work? As someone new to keeping in touch with friends and trying to keep them, I could really use the feedback from your own experiences. Let me learn from you- and maybe, if I’m lucky, you’ve in some way learned from me what not to do based on my past.

As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings about the deeper parts of my life. I hope you’ll share your own experiences with me someday- and I hope mine can do something for you, too!

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Jaluna

A young adult who writes as a way of life, and treats all her characters as her children.

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