There are a lot of things we look for in friendship. We want someone we can relax around, who we can have fun with and we feel is trustworthy. But its difficult to see how our friendships mould us in to the perfect companion.
This post is very conceptual and maybe completely incorrect, but it is based on an observation I have made on several occasions both about myself and others. Maybe it has been made a million times or maybe I am making a sociological breakthrough, but for the purpose of this post I am going to write on the basis that I am making a entirely new observation. Apologies if this is the millionth and first time you will hear this.
Friendships work on the basis of opposites attract, I don’t mean that you can have nothing in common with your friends, but there are certain personality traits that lend themselves to occurring only once in a successful relationship. Here I am focussing particularly on being shy, or outspoken. Talking or being spoken to, leading or following. For all intensive purposes the Dominant and the Recessive.
Allow me to talk GCSE biology for a moment. All genes are either recessive or dominant, If two recessives occur in the same genotype then the recessive gene is the one that will occur. In terms of friendships, this is doomed, you need someone to step forward and be the brighter character, as horrible as it may sound to you and maybe I am not wording it correctly, there has to be a dominant friend. The same result will occur if two larger than life Dominants appear together, they will destroy each other in the fight for the lime light. So the recipe (mixed metaphor check me out) for a perfect friendship is a little bit of both.
This is not to say that two dominants cannot be friends, just that during their time together one of them will assume that alpha role and the other that of the beta. I also do not mean that you cannot at some point in time be both the dominant and the recessive person. It is all about adapting to your environment. Assessing a situation, deciding what is required of you and acting accordingly. I myself am a fairly quite person, I prefer to listen to a person and form my own opinions of them quietly never voicing them unnecessarily. I avoid conflict and enjoy pleasing people, I by nature am a recessive. However, I have recently found myself playing the part of a dominant. Taking the role of the leader and playing up to make my company feel at ease, if I’m honest I don’t know if I like this side of myself all that much, the false representation of confidence and optimism leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but I do so because It is what is required to make a friendship work.
It is not only in myself that I have noticed it, it is everywhere, the shyness we put on around those larger than life characters as it is easier to concede than to fight a losing battle for the leading role. In the same way we have all made the effort to speak a little louder and make a couple more jokes when with those crippled with nerves because it is through this that we make them feel at ease. Have you ever heard someone say, ‘Ohh they are really chatty around me’ or ‘I just can’t seem to hold a conversation with them’. Very few of us are straight forward, we all have the ability to fill the role required, some are just more willing than others to play the part.