As I had alluded to in last weeks social media posting, I will be taking a break from the typical look at my new life in Manhattan to talk about another topic that has been on the forefront of my mind lately. It’s one I feel that many of us will be able to relate to on some level, and it will be a deeply personal topic for me to talk about. This week we are talking about maintaining friendships as an adult, how different personalities might handle those friendships (specifically my own), and the truth about your feelings when you, or a friend leaves you behind.
When we are young, friendships come much more readily. Often times just proximity to people lead you to become friends with them. Sometimes those friends become permanent fixtures in your life, much like some of my friends from elementary school that I still talk to. Others, may have been fleeting, in your life at one part, and out at another. Friendships, as an adult have an an unfortunate tendency towards the latter of the two. What’s worse, in my experiences so far, it’s much harder to make those friendships as an adult. Confidence, Anxiety, Common Interests, all play a much more integral role in the process as an adult, much more than our childhood counterparts. Friendships as an adult also have a tendency to be harder to maintain, busy lives, other friendships, politics, all have an impact on the companions we keep.
To go even further in depth, one can even look at the personality types each individual might have. Certain personality types, have a tendency to get along best with certain other personality types. I’m only going to get into the basics of my particular personality type today, but if you are interested in learning more there will be a link at the end of today’s post that will bring you to a test you can take. I’ve taken the test several times over the years, and it’s fascinating to watch how the results of that test changed over time. When I first took the exam, I came back classified as a “Defender” or ISFJ-T, I used to be extremely introverted, to the point that I fell into this defender classification. As time went on however, over the course of several years, and teaching classes to students where I worked, I became more outgoing. The last time I took the exam I was reclassified as “The Protagonist”, ENFJ-T, and no it doesn’t mean that i’m self centered. The protagonist is defined as follows
Protagonists are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence, Protagonists take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.Protagonist Personality. (n.d.). Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://www.16personalities.com/enfj-personality
Now that you know a bit about the basics, lets focus on the protagonist and it’s friendships…
Protagonists are active friends, and do nothing half assed. We genuinely take interest in getting to know people. Protagonists want to be the best version of a friend they possibly can. Protagonists want to see their friends succeed, and willing give their own time to help see those friends succeed. However, as a protagonist this means we have difficult dealing with personality types who are more interested in the moment, then the future, or those whom are firmly assertive, those whom are content with who they are and lack any kind of desire for self-improvement. Protagonists as a result can be EXTREMELY critical, and it can cause them to push people away. Looking at even just the basics, I can easily see all of these traits in myself the good and the bad. Personalities are a fascinating thing, and I do generally have difficulty navigating friendships with those whom live in the moment. Having to recuse myself often, from saying more critical things, that might cause those people to drift further away.
But, sometimes, despite our best intentions that drift is inevitable. Much as the snap was in Avengers: Infinity War (Don’t you be screaming spoilers, it’s been well over a year now). Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, how much we give our friends, our all; It just isn’t enough. Sometimes, those friends are just realizing that you are too different; perhaps those friends are growing in a direction, where you are no longer the best thing for them, or maybe just maybe you are the one drifting. Regardless of reason, there’s one thing I can say with certainty, it’s going to hurt like hell. But I’m realizing that’s okay, pain is part of the process of living; without sorrow, we cannot know joy, without anger, we cannot know patience, without mistakes, we cannot learn. One thing I really want to drive home though, is no matter how much you hurt, no matter how much you are going to want to blame yourself, to think that maybe there was something you could have done. The honest truth is, there wasn’t, this is all just part of the process of life, you weren’t part of the problem, and even if you were; the foundation to weather it just wasn’t there then. Sometimes, friendships are made to last forever, to weather the darkest of storms like the lighthouses of old. Other times, they are fleeting like the cool winds off the ocean at dusk. Whatever the case, you must never forget that you are good enough, and that sometimes, things are just as fleeting as the wind.
That’s it for this week, next week we return to normally scheduled programming.
Until next time…
As I stated earlier I was going to post a link to a personality test, if you are interested in learning more please check it out.