The Art of Friendship
Tuesday, June 19
Today as I was walking around, a guy who is probably just younger than me started talking to me. He asked all the usual questions, but mostly in English, and then he said that he wanted to be my friend. Could it be possible that making friends really is that easy? It reminded me of a more innocent time, something a child might say to another child. I told him I would be happy to be his friend. We exchanged phone numbers, and I had to get back to the school. We’ll see if a friendship actually develops. I have often heard international students at Bryant say that Americans tend to say things like, “let’s do lunch sometime,” but they never follow through. I don’t know if it will be the same here. I tell the Bryant students that they need to take some initiative if they want to make friends with Americans; just because they are visitors to the US does not mean that they have to wait for the Americans to take the initiative. So, maybe I’ll take my own advice and get in touch with this guy. Being on this end of things, I can see that it’s not so easy to be the one to make contact, but then again, I think it can be difficult to do regardless of which side you happen to be on.
Friendship is an interesting thing; ideally it just happens, but I think it’s easy to forget that even many strong friendships start with some awkward negotiation of how people will relate to one another.