I recently got into a fight with one of my oldest and dearest friends. This is someone who knows me better than I know myself sometimes. He has been a listening ear over the years, and supported me when things in my life were falling apart.
Our bond is so tight that our friendship is like an extension of myself.
Our argument wasn’t explosive. Neither of us said anything hateful to the other, nor did anyone utter the words, “You’re dead to me.” It was simply one of those conversations where you realize you’ve reached an impasse with another person.
In the days following, I realized how much I missed him. We have the type of friendship that permeates all aspects of life: in a song, in a meal, in a television show, in a book, in a photograph. Our friendship is everywhere.
And yet, I didn’t reach out. I didn’t want to make the first move.
Anything in excess is a bad thing, and pride is no exception. I don’t like to be vulnerable. I don’t like to appear weak. I don’t like risking looking foolish. Humility be damned.
These aren’t the behaviors of someone who has life figured out. These are the behaviors of someone who cares more about self-preservation and rightness than about fixing a problem.
Ego has no place in interpersonal relationships (or in life for that matter.) You can’t show up in any kind of relationship and expect that it’ll always go your way. It takes two to tango, and sometimes that means toes will be stepped on.
It is my belief that people aren’t all good or all bad. I only realized this after struggling for years with trying to make things black and white in a very grey world. We aren’t sound bites; we are full-length films.
My friend and I are no exception to this. Neither of us meant to hurt the other. We are two people learning how to navigate the murky waters of our own emotions, and just happened to be navigating blindly at the exact same time.
So I wrote to him. I apologized, and told him how much I missed our friendship. I spoke openly about my feelings which is something I almost never do. I had removed my ego, and wouldn’t you know, the risk of looking foolish disappeared right along with it.
He wrote back.
I am getting my friend back, and for the first time, I’m the right kind of proud.