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Ugh! Complicated Friendships

I was recently invited by a couple of old friends to join them for a cigar and single-malt on one of their decks for an evening.

Three guys… old friends from back in the evangelical, charismatic church days. They still go to such a church. I don’t.

Just before I was about to go over, I expressed my misgivings to Lisa. I was nervous that they were going to try to evangelize me, reconvert me, and get me back in. This misgiving wasn’t completely unreasonable because I had heard recent rumors that they some people felt I’d fallen away and needed to come back in.

Lisa had a simple piece of advice: “Just be you! They’re going to be them. But you just be you!”

So I did. I was just me… and it went fine.

I’ve become a master at maneuvering through treacherous religious waters, so any time these waters were approached, I managed them well.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been perplexed as to why some friendships seem to be so complicated. Why?! I love easy friendships… where you’re not second-guessing motives or trying to read between the lines or wondering what really going on. I have some friends where none of this goes on. They’re just very easy and uncomplicated. So then it makes me wonder if these complicated relationships are really friendships after all. It happened again recently and I’m wondering what the heck is really going on in one of these relationships.

But Lisa’s right. All I can do is be me. They can be and act weird, confusing, unreliable, ulteriorly motivated, complicated, two-faced even.

But I don’t have to. I can just be me and avoid being complicated. I can be straightforward, honest, and genuine. Authentic. No ulterior motives or sending mixed messages or second-guessing.

I’ll just be me as clearly as possible.

And you can be you.