the no strings attached friend

Do you have friends?
But do you ever feel you don’t feel included or do the same particular ‘friendship group’ things your friends do with other people?
Do most of your friends not know each other?
Have you never been included in a group chat of more than 3 people?
Do your friends have their own ‘gang’ of mutual friends, but you are kind of singular, off the side and are not really part of the ‘mutuals’?

Maybe you are the ‘no strings attached’ friend.

First of all, I completely made that phrase up, but mainly cause today I wanted to write about a concept I have in my head that I think describes myself, however I have never really heard a common term for this ‘phenomenon’ or met anyone who it relates to. (So it’s not a phenomenon. It’s early, ok?)

I will protest I am not a friendless person. I have my boyfriend, friends and friends of friends I think of dearly and try my best to ensure I am an enjoyable person to be around. Granting all this, none of my friends really know each other? This is most likely from meeting each friend in different situations – some in school, some in college, some online and some at work. However they all have their own little groups or squads of friends who I will have heard of from talking to the friend I know engage in group chats, going out drinking/clubbing/shopping/meals and genuinely are a gang of friends who trust each other, do stuff together and chat about stuff all together.

You could argue “stop being paranoid Helena just introduce them to each other” however I don’t find that simple? And believe me I have tried it. The online friends live far away, some friends are in University so they are also probably living a bit further away and they’re all very different people. I am never absolutely spot on sure if any of them will get along together so I do not like putting people through the awkwardness of meeting each other for the first time especially if they have a bunch of other friends they can confide in and spend time with. Plus I am an extremely shy person myself, it takes me energy just to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a while mainly cause of being anxious about keeping conversation up or making sure they enjoy their time with me. It’s even more scary trying to make sure two people who have just met get along nicely.

Another factor of being the no strings attached friend is when something goes wrong and you have an argument or falling out with one friend, it’s really difficult to get strong advice or get another friend to help you deal with it. They don’t know who the hell you’re talking about! They just know their name and what you’ve told them, they can’t predict their personality or reasoning for whatever has gone down between the two of you. They can just give you sympathy or pity which if the thing that’s gone down with one of your friends is serious is a struggle because sometimes “I’m sure they didn’t mean it/It’ll resolve itself soon” isn’t always helpful.

So is it just me who is one of these friends? It’s like you are the tree trunk and on the end of all your branches is a unique, beautiful, healthy leaf but they all have their own extra branches who are special to them and none of your branches interlink or even go near each other. Or like a mind map in school where I’m at the center but on each of my friend’s link to my center circle they have tons and tons of people coming off theirs.

If you can relate feel free to comment! I’m quite interested

Thanks for reading,
Lenah x x

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