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We Will Never Grow Apart: Why Long-Distance Friendships Make The Strongest Bonds

We Will Never Grow Apart: Why Long-Distance Friendships Make The Strongest Bonds

Friendship. What is friendship? Friendship is a bond created when you meet a stranger inside your radar. Your radar is defined as the scope in which you detect other strangers. The instant bond and vibe that is created is what causes friendship to be formed. It is the bond that is there to support you when you are sad and the bond that is there to share your happiness. It is the bond that interlinks two different life together into one.

These are the bonds that will make you chuckle like a kid whenever you think of your best friend. The kind that makes you feel glad you are alive. This bond that is shared, it’s what makes you both key components in each other’s lives. You will feel grateful for the existence of each other and never regret your friendship.

However, this friendship may be put to the mettle when certain circumstances occur. You and your friend may graduate from school and your best friend moves back to his hometown or maybe your best friend migrated to another country. The bond you have forged with your best friend is now being tested.

I was at a dining restaurant just a few weeks back. It was a posh restaurant with an exquisite design. I looked around as we were brought to our seats to be seated. As soon as I sat down, the aroma of fried cutlet chicken drifted and danced around me. It reminded me of my best friend immediately.

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His favorite food is fried chicken cutlet and he loved it. He always chooses fried chicken cutlet if there was a choice. I still remembered how we made a bet on how many days he can go without eating fried cutlet chicken. He failed and I won myself 2 pieces of home made fried cutlet chicken. It was good and I sat there going through memory lane. I immediately texted him and said “I miss you” and continued with my meal. I knew he will not be able to reply since he sleeps very early and it was 10 pm for him. I miss him and longed to meet him again and during that process, our bond grew even stronger.

Here are a few of the many concepts I’ve learned during our long distance friendship.

1. You will cherish them even more

When your schedules and timezone clash, it will be hard for you to spend time with your best friend. Every time any opportunity arises, you will cherish this bond even more as you have put in extra effort to secure it.

2. You have precious memories that cannot be forgotten

All the memories you forged together will never be forgotten. Your memories that are shared with your friend are always so precious and valuable that they can never be forgotten.

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3. Every little incident reminds you of them

Once, my best friend migrated over to japan. He used a certain hair wax that has a distinctive fragrance to it. Even today I am still constantly being reminded of him whenever I smell that distinctive smell.

4. They will always be there for you

They will always be there to hear you out. Even though they are not beside you, their hearts will always have you in it. You will always share your biggest problems with your best friend and they will definitely help you solve it, one way or another.

5. You will never forget their laughter

Despite the distance between you and your best friend, you will never forget about your best friend’s laughter. The weird chuckle they makes or the hysterical high pitch laughter, it will always be deeply etched in your mind.

6. You will always remember to buy them gifts

It could be a birthday gift or a souvenir you got from another country. They will always be in one of your top priorities. You will never forget to sent them a present when you go overseas.

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7. You will never forget their birthdays

No need for social media to remind you of their birthday. Their birthday are stored in your heart automatically. You will have a clock in your head that rings whenever their birthday is approaching soon.

8. Sending a letter is a common thing

Sending an letter to your best friend, half way across the world, is the primary way you communicate with each other. You make it a point to convey your feelings across to them using physical writing.

9. You will always look forward to the day you meet-up

Every conversation will end with you asking your best friend to meet-up soon. You will always look forward to the day where you and your best friend will meet again.

10. You will remember their favorite food

I remember my best friend’s favorite food. It is fried cutlet chicken. You will never forget their favorite food and will always be reminded of them when you see the favorite food.

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11. You will feel grateful and blissful

Every time you are feeling down, you know that somewhere across the globe, your best friend is there to support you and you will feel extremely blissful inside. You will feel glad that you have a friend that will always be there for you.

No matter what happens, your best friend will never ever judge you, dislike you, hate you or even hold a grudge against you. This is because the friendship you have forged is too valuable to receive such treatment. You will feel that nothing is impossible and one day, you will eventually meet up with your best friend and have a blast together.

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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