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Thursday, May 31, 2012


This connection can handle 1.21 Gigawatts!

Unless you’re a 9 year old kid riding bikes in your neighborhood, friendships don’t just appear out of nowhere. They come from some other type of relationship – some like to call that relationship an acquaintance, but I like to think of it as a connection.

When I was about 12 or 13, connections became all-important in my life. It’s what I used to determine the girls I liked. I would feel a connection with a female and decide that she must be my soul-mate (she just didn’t know it yet). I would crush on a girl for a while until it was apparent that she didn’t like me (like that), and then I’d go in search of the next connection.

As I matured, I learned that not all connections are romantic in nature (most of them aren’t), but they are a reality in our human relationships. We just feel connections with certain people and we don’t feel connections with other people. Sometimes, it’s like the spark of romance, the phenomenon of love-at-first-sight: there’s no rational explanation, it just happens. Other times, connections build up over time and develop into a strong foundation for a friendship.

There are three main ways that connections can work: two people feel the connection, only one person feels the connection or neither person feels the connection.

Ideally you want to spend time where two people feel the connection. It’s natural, fun and easy. Avoid spending your time with people when neither of you feel a connection. They don’t want to be around you and you don’t want to be around them. So don’t be around each other; everyone’s happy.

The confusing part is when only one person is feeling the connection. This can happen when you want to be friends with a person, but they don’t appear to care much about you. Or it can be when the other person wants to be your friend, but you’re not terribly interested in spending time with them.

Take the time. Spend a little effort here figuring out what’s going on. You could find a great friendship.

If they seem disinterested in spending time with you, try to find a common ground with them. Do something they’re interested in. Often connection and friendships will develop around a shared interest. Look for those things that you have in common or that you might have in common. If you’ve never been mountain biking and that’s what they do every weekend, ask for them to take you out. Show an interest in what they do and what gets them excited and they are more likely to want to spend time with you.

It’s possible that you’ll get out mountain biking (or whatever it is) and find that you hate it with every fiber of your soul – don’t try to force it at that point. They’ll catch on and think you’re disingenuous. But, if you enjoy it, keep finding time to get together with them over the shared interest. Typically, a friendship will develop in due time.

If someone wants to be your friend, but you aren’t very interested, get over yourself. Spend some time with them. Do things you don’t like to do because it means you get to be with them. If there really is no connection at all after you’ve done a couple of things with them, then you can safely determine that you probably aren’t going to be friends (right now, at least). They can be a good acquaintance, and fun to spend time with, but not one of your closer friends. 

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