If you want to hang with me, if we are going to be friends, you’ll behave within certain parameters. Not like “you gotta do this”, but because you are like this.
Its totally cool if you don’t behave in this way, but we are not going to hang out. We are unlikely to be friends. And that’s ok. If you have respectable ideas, I will respect them. If you voice your opinion, I will listen to it. But you will not be a part of my circle nor any of the advantages and disadvantages that come with that.
I used to be flexible. That guy who continuously adjusts their behaviour until connection is found with the other person. The one who flexes their boundaries ever so slightly so that others can be a little more comfortable.
I now have little need for flexibility in establishing connection. If I’ve had to make more than a couple of flexibility adjustments to my character to connect with you, I probably won’t be talking to you again, not in any real, deep sense. And, I’ll be making a quick exit.
Flexibility is exhausting, and certainly inauthentic. However some people armour themselves, and it can take them a little time to find that dialogue with me is a safe space. They’ll armour with humour, or accent, or trivialities. I’ll take a little time to see if there is something worth pursuing in the other person, to find a connection that is rewarding. A connection that has you walking away with a feeling of joy, humour, warmth or lightness, and a desperate need to talk with them again.
These people I want to connect with again are usually recognised within the first 2 to 3 minutes of conversation. They are the ones that dive deep straight away. They are talking of their likes and dislikes, talking of their fears and loves, talking from the heart. They are not parroting shit from TV. They are not repeating the tripe of the social media day. They are not outraged about anything.
They are explorative.
They are learning.
They are unsatisfied with how little they know.
They are feeling.
They want answers.
They are blackly humourous, you know?
They are probing.
They ask questions.
They deftly reinsert conversational threads that we had barely unravelled ten minutes ago before being distracted by another fascinating turnabout.
They disagree, healthily.
They criticise, constructively.
They bear the same from me with grace and good humour, without a trace of defensiveness.
These people understand that it is ideas that are to be argued, discussed and disembowelled, not people. They know that the idea and their Self are utterly seperate, thus an idea can be hung, drawn and quartered without the Self suffering in the least. They are grateful for torture that teaches. I know I am.
I want dialogue. I want interaction. I seek connection above all else.
And what a beautiful thing it is to connect with another fascinating human.