Geek in Afghanistan » Uncategorized » How Do You Actually Have a NO-BS Friendship?

How Do You Actually Have a NO-BS Friendship?

In radiation training, I talk about elements, isotopes, the breakdown of the atom as well. Right now, I’m trying to figure out the components of good, solid, and as Brene Brown puts it “whole-hearted” friendship.

I mean I’ve tossed around words such as loyalty and kindness, integrity and patience, but that can also be for what you want in a nanny or kindergarten teacher.

So I’m trying to look at my closest friends, my Lanterns, my compadres, cohorts and kindreds and decipher why we’ve connected.

The Willing To Dig Deep: I think for authenetic relationship and not pseudo-connection, you need this understanding that: I will ask you hard questions. I will ask you questions that concern you heart and your motives. And I expect (but will rarely appreciate) the same back.

The Ability to Be Vulnerable: My closest friends and I experience a vulnerability; it’s the place to show wounds, mistakes and failures and have the other person say: “Me too”, “I understand”, and “I’m still here.” (I think this where the Promise Keepers movement went off the rails. I don’t think this was emphasized. Men were unable to grasp this.)

Dropping Shame:  Man, you want to turn me off, or shut me down, attempt to shame me. People who passive-agressively tell me, “Oh, Ryan, you don’t spend time with me” or “I’m not important to you” get —shut—down by yours truly. And when people say, “Man that really bothers me” and their “friends” continue to do it while laughing, I secretly fanatize about going Dexter on them.

I want friends who don’t to alter me, but want to help me grow into who I am. There is a difference. See, as Brene Brown says, “Shame grows when we use secrecy, silence and judgment.And those cannot function in a healthy growing relationship. (I’ll admit, I have a quick trigger when it comes to using shame or passive-aggressive behavior. I call people out. In public. In front of everyone. It isn’t pretty. I’m working on it.)

Fun: I want fun friends. Not just their fun. Not just my fun. But our fun.

Adventure: I have friends who take risks whether they are building a business, starting a venture, or creating something dynamic for the world. Or have awesome kids.

Who Love Well: I’m a high maintenance guy, trust me. But as I look through pictures, I see friends who love well. They are not stingy with affection; they are quick to encourage and slow to anger. My friends put up my idiosyrancies, my mistakes, numerous flaws and unending charisma.

And I’m grateful to all of you.

I’d encourage you to take a look at your friendships and see what themes pop up. What do you find valuable? What are deal-breakers?




  1. Heather Devrick
    2012/08/04 at 11:37

    I’m with you on the shaming one. Sometimes, when I’ve made complaints to friends about behavior that has hurt me, I’ve gotten, “Don’t be so sensitive.” True, I can be sensitive, but these situations I’m thinking of were honest-to-goodness they were in the wrong, at least mostly, deals. I don’t mind somebody calling me on my oversensitivity when it is legit, but I don’t like somebody using a weakness of mine as a way to get out from under the blame.

    I’ve noticed that people who have done that to me have also eventually turned out to be shabby friends in other areas (and shabby friends to other people, too).

    • Ryan (Author)
      2012/08/04 at 19:14

      You can judge a person’s emotional health by how they take criticism and how they take “no”. If they redirect and reflect your wound back on you, I’d cut them loose. I just say, “Look, when you do X or Y, I don’t like it. I’m uncomfortable. If you continue to do it, knowing I’m uncomfortable, then I’ll like you less and there will be distance between us.”

  2. Chrisse
    2012/08/05 at 0:19

    This is my most favoritest post yet. Yous a smart boy, Ryan!