The thing which I aim for the most in life, is getting to spend as much time as possible with my friends. Whether I’m meeting somebody for lunch or planning a whole day out with somebody, I’ll find myself filled with excitement the day before because I know that I’ll soon be spending time with one of the people I value the most.
So, since time spent socialising with friends is something I value so highly, I have to ask myself what exactly I get from such an activity? It’s the kind of thing you don’t often stop to ask yourself, but it’s something I wanted to reflect on.
I guess I don’t really have an enormous number of friends; I see some people post things on Facebook and have fifty or more people “like” it and I’d never have that many people interested in something I did. Instead I have a fairly small handful of people with whom I share an especially close bond. I suppose I’m such a sentimental and affectionate person, that when I meet people it’s highly likely that I will end up becoming quite close with them.
But I haven’t answered the question yet. What exactly do I get from spending time with my friends? Well, it’s really very hard to describe. Imagine two scenarios: in one I am sitting silently on a bench by myself and enjoy the scenery of wherever I happen to be, in the other I am sitting with a close friend and we’re both sitting in silence enjoying the scenery. Really, from a rational stand point, nothing would actually be different, but I’d be much happier just knowing a friend was there. Being physically close to somebody you care about is rewarding, I think, even if you don’t do anything. Plus, I suppose there’s also the pleasant fact that in that second scenario somebody had decided to dedicate time to me, which I always appreciate.
Perhaps in more tangible terms, I get a sense of validation. Throughout my life I’ve been politely told that I’m quite “eccentric” and impolitely told that I’m quite “weird” – this distinction is not something I choose, yet it is a fact of my being. When I spend time with somebody who cares a lot about me, it’s affirmation that my “alternative” perspective is completely valid and not alienating. Plus, I suppose the thing I like most of all is seeing people that I care about being filled with happiness – I enjoy being kind to the people I love because then I can see them feeling very happy and knowing that I have the capacity to do that (especially to the wonderful people that I know) makes me feel very good about myself.
I don’t really know how to conclude today’s blog post, but I will just say: if you’re one of my close friends and you’re reading this (and let’s be honest here, my friends are the majority of my readers), if you’re on my “Friend Square” and if I’m always trying to arrange to see you, then feel happy because to me you are very important. To me you are my whole world.
(Don’t miss today’s Finger Puppet Show!)