There is one thing in my life which I have experienced again and again and about which I would like to write a few words today: When there are no formalities necessary anymore, you know that it is a close friendship and love.
I have said this line many times in different ways, in workshops, in talks with friends and on other occasions. Do you have a really close friend? Someone with whom you can share everything and with whom you feel a very deep connection and love? Then you may already know what I mean with this line. You may have experienced how a friendship can be fully free of formalities.
There are some things that friends do that are always advertised for describing a ‘real friendship’, such as being there for your friend in the middle of the night if the other one needs you. People say that friends are those who stand by your side when everyone else turns away. A friend is the one who saves you in the emergency, would share his bread even if he is hungry and who would go through hell for you. Well, these all are pretty extreme cases and I am sure that you would notice who are friends and who are not when you are in an emergency but I believe there are ways to know this also in your simple and daily life.
It actually is the small things that tell you about your closeness. When you are together with your friend and your friend hands you over a glass of water, do you have to say ‘Thank you’ and do you expect the other one to reply with ‘You are welcome’? When you asked for it, did you ask ‘Could you pass me some water, please’? When you step on your friend’s foot while moving in a small place, do you need to turn and say sorry or is it maybe fine for the other one to make a joke about it?
When you have a close friend, he will not only be there in the middle of the night when you broke up with your partner but you can even just drop by when you are bored. The point that there are no formalities means that you can show up at any time and your friend’s door will normally be open for you. If it absolutely doesn’t fit at that time however, you will be close enough for the other one to tell you – and you will not mind.
It is the small things and formalities that show you how close you really are. Would you mind to eat out of the same bowl? Would you take care not to say anything wrong to your friend and would you mind it if he skipped some of the usual manners when he is with you? If you minded something, would you tell the other one openly and straight away? These are just some thoughts about formalities that I had. There are many more of them and I believe if you are real friends, you will accept the other one without the formalities that society has taught us to use in order to be polite.
So you don’t need to get into trouble to see who of your friends is really close, you don’t need to get a broken heart to find out who will answer your call in the middle of the night. You can just quickly think about the formalities in between you and see how carefully you behave with the other one – and you will know.