Ah, the beauty of relationships with fellow humans! As you’ve probably already guessed, this post will be on social relationships and all their amazing and annoying pitfalls. First, it’s key to address that all relationships are different, and are on different levels. That’s why we have best friends, friends, and friendly acquaintances right? It’s also why we have family, friends, and “significant other.”
First is friendships. They can be so dangerous to children, and especially teenagers. Normally when you get to be an adult you’ve already located the friends you want to be in your life, but this can still apply to adults. Friends are the people you can trust no matter what you do. They forgive, the make fun, and they never leave you alone (That sounds like a bad thing, but it’s really not). Friends don’t stop talking when you say you don’t want to talk about it, and they know when to be quiet when you’ve had enough. Conversations with friends make you feel better (and they make me laugh with my friends). Friends know every secret and they accept you just the way you are rather than trying to change you. Lots of teenagers can’t identify a true friend from a manipulator. I think that’s why the trust fall was invented…..but I would never trust my friends that much. The thing always to remember is that a friend will know everything about you, and you will know everything about them. If it’s only a one way street, you have a problem there.
Family. The people you have to love, but pretend to hate. Here is a personal example of what family is really like. I was talking to my mother the other day, and I jokingly compared her to Hitler. Your family knows when you are kidding around, and they know how to take the joke. My mom normally just shrugs my sarcastic insults off or thumps me over the head with a smile. I don’t think people get our family dynamic. They think my family is too tough on me, but, in my family, we’re tough on each other. We’re just a tough family. We support each other, knock each other down a couple pegs when we need it, and we push through challenges together. That’s what a family should be like. There is respect, love, and understanding. And with siblings there is a mutual understanding that in public you have no idea who that weirdo-person-that-may-secretly-be-related-to-you is.
Significant other. This has to be the most frightening relationship out of all of the ones you will ever face. It requires masks to be taken off and walls to be knocked down. On both sides. All social relationships should be mutual, but this one needs to be a partnership. I always use this: I don’t want someone to stand behind me, and I don’t want someone to stand in front of me as a protector. I want someone who will take my hand and stand by my side in the face of our demons. That’s how married couples stay married. It takes two to tango (in almost everything). You have a partner while dancing, and you have a partner while fighting. Yes, it is terrifying to let someone in to your bruised heart, but doing that can heal it all together. You can’t push them away if they get too close, or you’ll end up losing them. Your heart is going to be broken over and over again, so it’s probably best you have a needle and thread ready to stitch it back up. That’s what love is like. Torture, fright, exhaustion, but completion, warmth, and strength. It’s someone to lean on, and someone who can lean on you.
That’s the beauty of relationships. They’re supposed to be mutual things for two people. Ah, social relationships 🙂
The quote (as usual) is from my book. *See drawing below*