The one crowned your best friend was once a stranger. Somehow the awkwardness of your initial meeting dissipated, and things changed for the better. However something sets this particular friend apart from others, and it is often time-based and infused with shared experiences.
I have known David for 18 years. We have raised our kids together, helped each other out with projects where we each bring some level of expertise and celebrated milestones with our wives on double-dates.
I conducted a learning deep-dive into the effects of shame (thanks Brene Brown @brenebrown) last year. Shame has had an out-sized influence on my life, and I was looking to go after it head-on. I learned shame is weakened when we expose it, and share our stories with others. Additionally, any similar shame the listener is holding onto is weakened, and they gain healing benefits during the process.
I asked David if he would be willing to hear my life story and dig into all the gory details, with an emphasis on experiences of shame, guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment. This endeavor coincided with three weeks when we were commuting together. He not only listened but jumped into the deep end of the pool; I shared on the way to work, and he shared on the drive home. We didn't hold back, and we each became a bit more resilient to shame.
This friendship wasn't forged on foreign battlefields nor navigating the tumultuous broken-hearted drama of high school love interests, but time and experiences have been shared.
Writer and podcast host, Cal Fussman @calfussman, offers the question, "why is your best friend, your best friend?" as a great conversation starter with new people or to keep a conversation going.
Go ahead, answer the question for yourself, and get ready to ask it at your next social gathering. Connection is around the corner. Add your answer or experience with the question in the comments.
Mr. Fussman, I am grateful for your question, and #YouveBeenCurated!