I think everyone is my friend.
I remember, at around 8 or 9 years old, going on a road trip with my extended family from Utah to Georgia. We caravanned, and got to spend lots of time with aunts, grandparents, cousins etc.
We would stay at KOAs along the way. If we were lucky, we stayed at ones that had a pool.
I remember at one KOA, we were swimming in the pool and I made a friend. We played and played, as little kids so easily do.
Later, walking back to our campsite, my aunt said to me, “You are sure good at making friends.”
Either I really was, or I was highly suggestible, because after that, I saw myself that way.
Even now, I’m good at making friends. But I think everyone is my friend.
I’ve had several experiences where I realized that I saw someone as a very good friend, and they saw me as an acquaintance. At first, this concerned me.
Does it have to be agreed upon to be real? If I think we are friends, and they don’t…who is right?
Well I guess we both are. Perception is reality. What I believe on my end is real to me, and vice versa. So my relationship with another person is really just my thoughts about another person mixed together with shared experiences.
I think it serves me really well to believe everyone is my friend. So I keep doing it. The more I believe it, the more evidence I find for it.
Believing everyone is my friend feels so much better than the alternative.
I know, because for a while I forgot about my friend-making talent. I remember a time, in my 30’s, in the throws of depression and the isolation of motherhood, where I sat in a lesson at church about friendship and cried through the whole thing because I felt I had no friends. Thinking you have no friends feels terrible and lonely. And I’m not saying that feeling isn’t real. It was very real to me.
What I’m saying is what you think and believe, you will find evidence for. Either way.
I recommend believing everyone is your friend. Because what really is the downside to that? Only good stuff is going to come from you if you believe that.