You can have a lot of friends, (some might be animals or relatives, and some not), but only about 10% off them will be special enough to be your besties. But I also suggested that while some friends are more special than others, we should give equal consideration to all – even those we don’t know (yet).

The friendship matrix in shown below.

I trust and treat other beings as well as I want to be treated.
creaturesEstablishing a safe and fun space for my dogs that includes safe haven for native creatures
DBMaintaining and improving relationship with significant other
friendsMaintaining and improving relationships international and e- friends, making new friends, especially local.
familyManaging and constraining relationships with family.
contributionGiving something back to the community and the planet.

Originally I was going to talk about meeting people and setting goals about that – as perversely paradoxical as that sounds.

How can you set a functional target and track your success in making friends?

I mean you can, but I’m not sure this would result in “quality” friendships.

Anyway, a couple of things happened last week to challenge my assumptions.

  1. I got some paid work in an office and was thrown together with a bunch of strangers from around the country.  Over the space of the week, some cordial relationships developed, some with an exchange of mutual benefit.  There’s potential for some to deepen into friendships that’ll last longer than the placement.  And others will just end as the placement does – a pleasant interlude in an otherwise interminable period of unemployment.
  2. Over the weekend I met with some people I would’ve called friends prior to these friendship ruminations.  During the long, trying and somewhat farcical day, it occurred to me that these people no longer came under the banner of friends – the relationship was not mutually beneficial and I was the one missing out!

Friendships, it seems, can grow and change as we do.

What to do about these relationships?

It seems I can do something or nothing.

To do nothing would be to cede control of my life to whatever deity you believe is out there.  This is unacceptable to me – I think a worth while life is an intentional life carefully constructed through well-considered choices.  So I must consider my options.

  1. I think I should cultivate the workplace relationships I want to keep. Say nice things that are true. Go out for coffee/lunch/beer/something.  Give them my contact details and leave the next thing up to them.
  2. Demote these people to the outer circle of the friendship zone.  We have history, and maybe it was a bad day, but boundaries need to be put in place.
  3. Put myself in the way of other opportunities to meet new people. Join the local historical society for example, or take a painting (or kick-arse blog) class.

How does that sound?  Have you ever demoted someone? How did it go? Did you end it, or just let it whither untended?  Are you brave enough to take charge of creating new relationships?

Next time I’ll be looking at family

Photo of my Dad and his friends


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