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Friendships Flow, they Cannot Be Forced

Dear Dr.Matt,

My name is Thayne, and I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, in Canada. I am 15 years old, soon to be 16. Here's my problem. Lately, I've been having troubles with friendships. After a long period of no communication, I want to become friends with my ex-girlfriend, but I don't want her to think I am going to try to date her again or stalk her.

We have been talking, but I feel that I am talking to her too much, too fast. For example, sometimes she talks to me for a long time, and then sometimes she doesn't even answer my text messages. I don't want to look like a freak and give wrong impressions.

Also whenever I see her in person she doesn't like me because I have a lot of energy which she doesn't like. She has a peevish-like character. How can I know when it is right or wrong to start a friendship and fix this confusing dilemma?



Dear Thayne:

Listen to your own words and you will realize that your ex-girlfriend is not a compatible match for you: 1) She doesn't like your energy 2) She doesn't respond back to you consistently.

Notice your own words again "I want to become friends." You alone cannot cause a friendship relationship to happen; it takes the agreement and attraction of two, to bring this about. If she will not cooperate, then the "friendship" you are hoping for will not be formed.

Since you alone cannot cause a friendship to occur (because it takes two), you do not really need to determine whether to start a friendship, or not. This is a question and a beginning point that is fruitless. In my book, I call it "the wrong question" and it is like "climbing a ladder that leans against the wrong wall."

What you alone can control is this: You can simply BE FRIENDLY will your ex-girlfriend, as well as all other people who you desire a closer friendship connection. And from there, you need to give back what you get--especially with those to whom you are most attracted.

This means, if someone sends you a text, and you like that person and want to encourage more interaction, . . . then text them back--sending a message that is similar in content, length, and tone (give back what you get). If they respond back to your return message, you have the beginnings of a conversation that has potential to continue--and thus friendship bonds may begin.

A friendship will either happen, or it won't; you can't force attraction or compatibility--it's either there and it flows, or it doesn't. Read a short Poem about Compatibility.

This poem concerns the coming together of a love-relationship, but the principle is exactly the same for forming friendships. In fact, it is the friendship-relationship that is the solid foundation of every love-relationship that endures over time. Friendship is the foundation of the kind of Love that Stands, instead of Falls.

Again, the principle to follow for developing friendships is this: Give back what you get--whenever you want to encourage more interaction. In contrast, if you want to discourage more interaction with certain people, then, either don't respond OR give LESS than what you get.

You can discern the people who are "clicking" with you, because they will be responsive to what you are sending them--they will give back to you in at least the same proportion as what you are giving them. The fact that your ex-girlfriend is NOT consistently responsive to you . . . is telling you something that you need to let in.

REALITY CHECK: It appears that you are MORE interested in her, than she is interested in you. So accept it, and don't try to force your friendly approaches upon her--patiently wait for her to respond to you, then answer her response with similar content, length, and tone. Focus upon what you alone can control: BE FRIENDLY and give back in proportion to what others give you.

In finding the best friendships, you need to flow in the directions that are responsive and fruitful. Again, you don't need to decide to START a friendship; instead, just decide to be friendly . . . and friendships will naturally appear--no pushing or pulling, no begging or coaxing, just mutual flowing attraction and responsiveness.

I encourage you to talk with your parents about these ideas, and share with them my answer to you. Your parents will have many insights that you can learn from. Also, it is important that your parents know who you are conversing with on the Internet.

Best Regards,

Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

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