The subject of discernment AND friendship keeps coming up for me and today, I realized that the two words are related.
I’ve always prided myself on having a wide variety of friends and a tolerance for “different.” I’ve always enjoyed “not normal” and have been quick to forgive what others might consider minor slights, but I see as personality quirks.
You might say that I have a “family meal” orientation to my friendships: one from Column A and one from Column B, etc. Not very homogenous. And I like that, because I’m never bored.
As they say, variety is the spice of life.
It’s a bit ironic that in talking with someone close to me, they said (apropos of something else), “Well, I’ve seen you normal it up when…” Which is to say I’m not exactly normal, myself. So no wonder I like different.
And yet, when I look at friendships that have gone by the wayside in very strange ways, I see that maybe I failed to exercise my powers of discernment. I am tolerant, but some friendships exceed even my level of acceptance. And once in a while, the friendship crashes and burns.
Then, I see that maybe I ignored little signals (and not so little ones) that might have predicted the friendship would not go the distance. And that it would end in a bizarre fashion.
Much the way romantic relationships work, situations along the way provide clues as to whether a friendship will work or not. But we have to be awake to them.
Have you been in a friendship in which you disregarded certain signs? What did you do and what did you wish you’d done?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.