What fun it is to make new friends. When was the last time you found a new friend? And how is that relationship going? I hope it has developed and is good for both of you.
That’s the way friendships should be, right – good for all parties?
I recently had a lovely opportunity to spend some quality time with a handful of friends I’ve known for a while, and at the same time a chance to make a couple of new friends.
The group of us – about a dozen women, ages 18 to at least 65, worked together on a project. We each brought our unique experiences, talent, energy and spark to work together in what became a cohesive unit. The project was a great success.
I can’t speak for all the others, but I came away with a fresh perspective on younger folks, a greater appreciation for the older ones, and solid respect for some truly hard workers.
I imagine most of the friendships made and grown will carry on for years. But, as strong as the connections feel right now, some might not last as long. Why?
Because that’s what happens sometimes with humans.
At the same time this group friendship was developing, another friendship was hitting some rough ground. These two friends had been “besties” for a few years, spending a lot of time together in various pursuits common among 20- to 30-somethings.
For purposes of this story, we’ll call these friends Chris and Pat. Chris had some business in another state and invited Pat to go along on the five-day trip, at no cost to Pat for transportation, lodging or the car rental, in exchange for some assistance with documenting part of the trip for potential video promotions.
All was well for a couple of days, and when the business was complete, there was free time to explore the new locale.
Chris wanted to drive around to outlying towns and see some sights, both known and those yet to be discovered. Chris was looking for nature, architecture and landmarks – with only a general idea of places to visit.
While Chris wanted to wander, Pat disliked being in the car for long trips, especially those with no set destination. When a GPS direction led to a dead end, Pat blew up and began to swear about the misdirection as if it were Chris’s fault. Pat wanted to go back to the hotel immediately.
At that point, Chris said, the first thing that came to mind was, “If you don’t like the way I’m driving, get out of the car.”
It seems the stress had been building for some time, even before the trip. But now, Pat was in a continuous agitated state, and more focused on personal entertainment than in helping with the business documentation. Chris was disappointed but didn’t want to get into a row while on the trip.
Chris’s “get out of the car” comment sounds like a good metaphor for a dissolution of any relationship that goes wrong beyond repair.
When friends or acquaintances or even family members disagree, most can usually talk things out, find a middle ground and move on. It might take some time to resolve the issues, but eventually the parties will work out the disconnect.
Relationships are created when people share commonalities of some sort, whether interests in activities, or work, or culture, or interest in one another. Sometimes those interests change, or people change, or perspectives change.
If things have changed, and issues continue unresolved, maybe it means the relationship has run its course, and it’s simply time to “get out of the car.”
That’s not always a bad thing. Maybe the road ahead will take various turns in different directions that are better for all concerned.