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a girl takes picture of her friend in front of light blue brick wall

I don’t want a ‘BFF’

Is a ‘Best Friend Forever’ a teen fantasy that cannot become reality? I remember at school having a BFF was like today’s equivalent of having a job. If you didn’t have one, you had to constantly search for one. If you were lucky enough to hold the position with someone, it was a constant battle not to be demoted by the next ring of the school bell. But from a very young age, I’ve found it hard to make friends. Not because I’m not friendly, but it has always seemed like a lot of effort, stress and nervous tension for which I’m not prepared.

At the age of eight, being surrounded by a gaggle of screeching girls in the playground and inviting the whole class to your bouncy castle birthday party held a high status amongst my peers. The more guests at your birthday party, the more popular you were. The more popular you were, the more guests’ wanted to come to your party. I never quite grasped the concept. Who has the space for the sheer amount or characters, personalities and energies in their life? Plus, the term ‘best’ states something which pioneers above anything else; a single entity, not multiples of such. Maybe this is why I gave up on the whole idea of making friends lost my touch to do so easily and stuck with one friend, two at a push.

At work, I am convincing, professional and certain with my actions when it comes to networking and making sound business relationships. This is my alter-ego. I am confident and sure of myself in a business environment. I know what my job is and I know how good I can be or how far I can push myself.

This is where it ends.

Nowadays, when conversing with others outside of work, in the pub or at a party, I feel myself sink backwards with less to say. It can be a lot of effort to make an anecdote as witty as possible or a story as engaging as you can. Others seemingly elaborate on their tales of by-gone times with such ease, whilst I hide under my fringe with a simple smile slapped across my face and a disbelieving opinion on their fiction.

Making friends is a scary prospect for the first school pupil on their first day. It shouldn’t be a task a twenty-something finds sweat-inducing and awkward.

Am I the only one? I am surrounded by people that open their diaries to pages of dinner dates, parties and holidays with friends, acquaintances, colleagues and long lost fellow students. Am I the only one that fails to show the enthusiasm to keep up the charade? And yet, that one or two friends I had at such a young age, are still close to me today. Maybe this is why I’ve become lazy in my friendship building; I feel I have all I need. No room for more here! They know more about me than I know myself. They have the inexplicable ability to pick me up, keep me grounded and help me find my way in life.

Having a close friend which is not a partner or family member is held in such high regard for me. They know the best, the worst, the most wonderful and the most awful secrets of your heart and your life and don’t judge you for one aspect. They are a shoulder to cry on that can look at your life from the outside whilst making you feel that that are right there with you. Life paths inevitably take you in different directions, but having that friend that has known you for the whole ride reminds you of how far you’ve come.

I guess it doesn’t matter whether that’s one sole person or a gaggle of girls you surround yourself with daily, as with a friend like that, what more do you need? A BFF may be a term used by those in their early years of life, but it can be something we all take seriously when making sure we have the right people around us. And, making sure we are the best we can be for them too.

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