When we’re negotiating the challenges of friendship (or any intimate relationship for that matter), we tend to desire a feeling of “safety” about being able to engage with the other person before we open up or speak our mind. Sometimes we want to ask where the relationship stands, “Are we still friends? Do you value what I have to say?”
But, let’s use an example from 3rd grade — if we’re caught up in our fears, in a fight, or embroiled in a misunderstanding, then the answer to that question from both parties will probably be different than it would be if we were comfortably and excitedly playing at recess, in happy, excited, “BEST FRIENDS *FOREVER*” mode. (It’s hard to get an adequate perception of the facts at hand when someone wants to fill your undies with sand or push you down in the mud by the monkey-bars).
Needless to say, exultant “BFF” mode doesn’t last forever, but neither does the falling out. Before you try to sort a problem or advance clarity in your relationship, assess which side of the playground you stand on and ask yourself whether or not you’d rather get back to “playing” with your buddy instead of the conflicts ( real or imagined) experienced through adherence to fear. You will also get a much more informative answer to the “how do you feel about me?” question as well!
(The energy of childhood “play” is also the energy of adult openness, forgiveness and excitement about potentials instead of attachment intellectual or petty “over-analysis” – it offers expansion instead of contraction, it inspires creative solutions, heart to heart talks, and enjoyment.)
Along the lines of youthful friendships – here we have a funny (my warped sense of humour) skit – WHY JACKIE AND DEBBIE ARE NO LONGER BFFs… enjoy: