Do you know what's going on in your best friend's life? Of course you do, right? I certainly thought so. It's strange how when you first meet someone that has the potential to be a new friend, you want to know everything about them. Over time though, as you get to know the ins and outs of them better, you don't feel the need to ask as many questions. We start to take people for granted. I have a best friend, let's say her name is Madison. The scenario I just described had definitely been playing out in our friendship, but I don't think either of us realized it. I did notice what felt like a small disconnect between us, nothing major or anything like that, but it bothered me because I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I thought and thought and then, ding ding ding, it clicked. I couldn't remember the last time we had sat down and just had a face to face, girl to girl talk. So I invited her out for a coffee. We sat down and started discussing the normal, conversation-sparking topics: school, our extracurriculars, etc. Then I innocently asked her about her family. I think I just said something along the lines of, "How's your family?" She started to break down. I value her trust so I won't go into everything that was said. I will say that she was desperate to be out of the house, but in that desperation she was working herself into the ground by signing up for a ridiculous amounts of clubs, sports, and other activities. If I had known all of this was going on I would've offered my shoulder to cry on, my body to lean on, and my room to sleep in way earlier. But I didn't. All it took was one coffee date though and one conversation. After that coffee date, I've made it a goal to have at least one open and honest talk with my closest friends, individually, about how they are doing. The result has been strengthened relationships and communication that feels much clearer. Give it a try sometime, you might be surprised what you discover.
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