Once again, Glenn Kelmann wrote another fantastic post on the Redfin blog — this one titled friendship and solitude (which he wrote after reading this “Solitude and Leadership” lecture). The lecture focuses on leadership, which is a topic I’ve also thought a bit about. But I won’t dive into that topic now — instead I’ll focus on the topic of friendship.
Below is an excerpt Glenn pulls out and included in his post:
Introspection means talking to yourself, and one of the best ways of talking to yourself is by talking to another person. One other person you can trust, one other person to whom you can unfold your soul. One other person you feel safe enough with to allow you to acknowledge things—to acknowledge things to yourself—that you otherwise can’t. Doubts you aren’t supposed to have, questions you aren’t supposed to ask. Feelings or opinions that would get you laughed at by the group or reprimanded by the authorities… Instead of having one or two true friends that we can sit and talk to for three hours at a time, we have 968 “friends” that we never actually talk to; instead we just bounce one-line messages off them a hundred times a day. This is not friendship, this is distraction.
I’m extremely fortunate to have friends all across the country that I interact with via social media and — GASP — the telephone on a regular basis. I don’t consider them a distraction at all, but I do agree that, in both business and life, it’s vital to have a very small group of friends (2-3) you trust with your life. I’m blessed to have a few of those in my life. Friends I can tell anything and everything too without worrying about being judged. Friends who I can talk to for hours about any topic, debate ideas, and share my deepest fears with. Friends who I can vent to for an hour and not feel bad about it. Friends who I can talk to about getting a raise during a crappy economy without feeling like an asshole.
Those friends know who they are and, if they are reading this, thank you for your friendship; it means more to me than you realize. Friendships like yours are what life is all about.