Depth vs. duration of friendships

This was supposed to be one of those grossly introspective posts that was
originally drafted while at that “perfect” level of inebriation (somewhere
on the down slope of Ballmer Peak if I had to guess 😉 Well, simply
put, fuck that noise, let’s talk about friendships!

This post had actually been sitting around as a draft for a bit of time and my
interest in the topic was renewed after happening upon this post
titled “10 Types of Odd Friendships You’re Probably Part Of”. I definitely have
some of those friends, sadly, more than I’d like to admit.

There were two big takeaways for me. First, the concept of a “historical”
friend. I have made mention to the wife on a few occasions that she has
some friends like this. Now we have a name for it! Second, the graph that
accompanied the article was just spot on for me in all aspects both positive
and negative. The “not healthy, not enjoyable” quadrant in particular sums up
the type of friend I’m about to describe.

For me, there is another type of friend that I didn’t feel was covered by the
article (although it does have some aspects of the “non-question-asking”
friend). This is the type of friend that you have known for a while (albeit not
necessarily a historial friend) that feels they know a lot more about you than
they actually do. The depth of the friendship is merely topical and for the
most part, I have not let the person too far past the foyer of my psyche.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a relationship with someone
that isn’t as deep and emotional as you may have with someone else. That’s just
how the different levels of friendship work. Where this becomes a problem is
when the person feels that your friendship goes deeper than it actually does.
It’s the social equivalent of telling someone that wants to get intimate with
you that you only like them as a friend.

Perhaps that’s just how those types of friends should be addressed. “I think
it’s really great that you think we have this really deep thing going on here
but in all honesty, I only like you as an acquaintance”. I generally shoot from
the hip but that’s rough even for me. Actually it’s not, I’ve said some pretty
shitty things to people that I know I am simply not compatible with.

So what to do with a friend like this? For the most part the level of
interaction ends up being at a minimal just because neither party makes much of
an effort because deep down, I think we both know our friendship is a chore at
best. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to make some excellent friendships as
an adult and have grown to realize that the depth of relationships is not
simply implied based on the duration of said relationship.

Perhaps next year I’ll revisit all that introspective nonsense, Happy New Year!

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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