On friendships that drift


I’m guessing we have all had friendships that have just drifted off into the ether. People that were once friends become acquaintances for no particular reason other than one or both parties stops making the effort that was once made. Most often neither party is at fault, sometimes the effort of constantly being the motivating force simply wears thin.

Occasionally it results in slightly embarrassing impromptu meetings in shopping centres or community get togethers but once that is taken care of the new status is confirmed and everyone is much the happier as a result.

I was watching a brilliant Netflix series on chefs the other day called (I think) the The Chefs Table, and the chef described many of his past friends as “just not interesting him much anymore.” While that is an extreme take on it, we probably also have old friends like that too. He or she may be OK in the right social setting, but that setting just wasn’t happening often enough. (think drink)

Perhaps in my case, I could sheet home the blame on my upbringing. After all, as the son of a Naval man, we moved house and school almost every two years which meant that I had some practice at not bonding totally and leaving people behind. Though in truth that may have some bearing, I do not blame my upbringing at all for allowing many of my best friendships to simply drift.

I really enjoy friendships that mean I don’t have to see people every day. I like to meet with my friends at a rhythm that suits me, not too often (whatever that may be) and not so rarely that I feel out of touch with their current challenges.

Supporting people through their challenges whether they might be mental, emotional or intellectual is the hub of all of my friendships. Offering a shoulder to cry on, a brain to pick, an ear to a version of a story or simply the comfort of a great meal and good wine is the cornerstone of every meaningful friendship I have. That may not be the case for everyone, but there you go.

That then may also explain why some friendships drift. Having picked my brain or eaten at my table or explained their story or cried on my shoulder, perhaps the other party needed more and I failed to provide it. I get really excited when I get the chance to share something with my friends. Sport or food or news it doesn’t really matter, life is exciting when that opportunity comes along. Friends are great, and I love to spend some time with them.


Footnote.Michael is the Chief Curator of http://www.thelifelogproject.com.au a business that helps people to tell their story for the benefit of future generations.

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