Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Be a Lion, Don't Sweat What the Sheep Think

This post topic was at the request of one of my friends; someone I haven't known a very long time, but with whom I had a fairly strong connection from the jump off. There are people I meet and become friends with on a very surface level, and then there are people who I meet and share a lot with on a little deeper level. This is one of those people - someone who "gets me", someone who can talk me off a ledge when I am flipping the fuck out over something stupid. So, when he requested that I write this blog, I was happy to oblige. Because, I feel the same way!

Today's Topic: Just because I have known you longer, doesn't mean I have to be on your side.

Sometimes friends get a little possessive. Sometimes they have unrealistic expectations, or expect that you are going to have their back on any and every dumbfuck thing they ever do or say. And when you're a teenager, that's totally a legit expectation. Because in high school, we are all sheep. We do what our best friends want, we wear what they wear, we think what they think. In junior high and high school, we are much less individuals and much more in a pack mentality where you want to be exactly the same as everyone else to avoid making waves.

However, we are no longer in high school; this is real life. I have thoughts, feelings, and opinions of my own, and many of them don't line up with those of all of my friends. I have now had just shy of 31 years to form these beliefs - but my friends have also had 30+ years to form beliefs of their own. Do they always line up? Nope! Do we sometimes argue about politics or religion or sex education or children? Yep! And that is the difference between a high school bromance and a real adult friendship. It's okay to think differently. It's okay to argue and debate. And it's okay to not be a clone of your "bestie."

The thing about real friends is, even when you're wrong, they will have your back. They'll support you even through your stupidest decisions. But unlike the clones you were in high school, your real friends will not always agree with you when you are being an ass hole. A real friend will call you out. A real friend will sit you down and explain why they don't agree with your choices or why they think you're acting insane. That doesn't make them a shitty friend. That's what makes them a real friend. A real friend doesn't go balls to the wall to start a bar fight with you, nor do they agree with you like a sheep when you are debating something with someone else; a real friend has your back, but is honest with you when you're being insane.

We are adults. We don't have to agree on everything. How boring would it be if we did? A little debate or disagreement every once in a while is what keeps things spicy between friends. Part of what I admire about my closest friends is that we are not all exactly the same. We are different, and none of us fits in a little box - but we can respect, admire, and learn from those differences, and really, we're better friends for it.

Stop trying to be a sheep. Be yourself. Stand your ground. You don't have to be your friend's twinzie to be their BFF. Just let them do them, and you do you. You'll be better friends on the other side of your first real disagreement.