There is a parlance, vernacular, code shared among friends.
Some think of this as sideways glances and inaudible gestures presumably decipherable only by the people involved. I’m not talking about that. It doesn’t take much skill to express to someone who knows you your displeasure, interest, or indifference inaudibly when among a group. That’s pretty basic.
In these instances, the types of friends I care about most focus would change the situation to amplify what’s great or minimize what isn’t knowing what I felt long before I needed to express it. That’s next level.
It take a great deal more to have the uncomfortable conversation about a topic that is private, to share something you are scared or unsure about, to admit something you’ve done wrong and ask for forgiveness.
The Kobayashi maru (more here) of life seems to be our ability to endure the discomfort and accept the risk of being ourselves – bracing against uncertainty that the friendships we’ve built can withstand the pressure of total authenticity.
This isn’t always a painful process, though.
Sometimes, it is exceedingly fun, funny, heartwarming, and is the fodder for what become inside jokes.
To friends, we are willing to say the things we can’t say to everyone. We feel safe in saying these things because we trust the other person knows the truth of who we are.
I had a conversation tonight which represented the fun, heartwarming, can’t-stop-laughing type of interaction, which makes me confidant I have a friend for life.
It doesn’t represent either of our holistic point of view, was and is private, and reminded me of another important part of friendship – unconscious authenticity.
- THEM: “We are totally compatible. We even like the same hotel in Vegas.”
- ME: “I’m not sure liking the same hotel in Vegas should be the basis for compatibility.”
- THEM: “The hotel you like in Vegas says a lot about you, trust me!”
- ME: “I cannot believe these words are coming out of your mouth, but hold on, let me grab a dry erase pen and take notes. I’m going to post this but I promise I won’t tag you.”
- THEM: “So, if you stay at the Palms, you’re in to hip hop. If you stay at the Excalibur, you’re there for the buffets. The MGM, you’re there for a convention. The Venetian, you’re European on a budget. If you stay at New York New York, you’re probably from New York and are like that guy Miranda went on a date with who could never leave New York. If you stay at the Wynn, you’re too classy to be in Vegas and at the Bellagio, you’re just old. Cesar’s Palace is classic. But if you stay at the Aria, you’re relevant and cool.”
- ME: “I have no words.”