Throughout our lives we have a lot of different friendships. They come into our life for many reasons. As the saying goes, “friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”
If you are anything like me you may find that you adapt yourself to ‘fit’ when you are with some friends. You will behave a certain way around certain people, depending on how you know them, and what you share in common.
You may put on your intellectual face, when around friends you met through study, your party face, around the friends you like to be social with, your humorous face; around friends you share a sense of humour with, and so on.
Depending on how much you have disclosed about yourself to a friend, you may show more faces than others. It all depends on your comfort level as to how much of yourself you are willing to expose.
To my mind, the best therapy is time spent with those friends who you can completely be yourself with. They know all your skeletons, your dark secrets, the times in your life you wish you could forget.
If you have only one friend in your life that fits this description you can consider yourself extremely fortunate. There is nothing more therapeutic than time spent chatting with this person. You feel so free, so relaxed, and have no fear that what you might say or do will bring down judgement upon you.
There is no need for different faces, you can put all the masks aside and just be you. This is why such friendships are therapeutic. It’s so liberating to not have to be on your guard, not have to second guess your actions or think before you speak.
I recently spent a day with one such friend. I came away feeling so content, so exhilarated and so positive about myself. It is the greatest boost to your confidence when you know that there is someone out there who accepts you for everything you are and everything you’ve been through.
So next time you are feeling depressed or down on yourself, make a date to spend a few hours with your therapeutic friend. I guarantee you will come away smiling.
Due to medical reasons and my social phobias (plus living in isolated communities over the years) I found that my "need" for friendship is not as great as when I was younger. Instead of collecting friends like we tend to do in youth I really only have one or two very close ones these days.
I think it's much better to have even one person you can be genuine with rather than lots of people you need to wear masks around.
And don't forget the most important friendship you will ever have.... The one with yourself.