Do Your Friends Really Know You?

Question:  Do your friends really know you?  Do they listen to you?

Answer:  We have all heard the blah, blah, blah that 500+ people in your social network doesn’t translate to the real world and that it is critical to cultivate a handful of real friends who really know you.  At 3:02PM EST, April 15, 2013, I was surprised.

I was conducting a coaching call that began at 3:00 when call waiting appeared not once but several times within three minutes, all with different telephone numbers.  Not wanting to interrupt the client, I glanced at the telephone numbers and recognized them Didn't knowall:  Katye from Indianapolis, Kathleen from Las Vegas and then Joyce from Newport Beach all calling within seconds of each other.  Finally, I placed my client on hold, answered, and was met by a rush of words:  “You are safe—I was so worried. I thought that you were at the finish line.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Don’t you know?”

No, I didn’t know. And, I didn’t know that my friends across the country knew me so well.

For over 25 years I have been at the Boston Marathon Finish Line.  I wait until the male and female winners cross the finish line, then I cycle from Heartbreak Hill.  When I arrive on Boylston Street, the prime spectator seating has thinned and the real Marathon fans replace the dignitaries in the previously reserved and now free area.  By around 3:00PM I have claimed a free seat in the bleachers—close to the street so that I can watch my bicycle.

The first bomb exploded at 2:50 EST.

Why am I telling you this story?  I was surprised that although I had never talked in detail about the Boston Marathon, my friends had been listening.  How well do your friends know and listen to you?  Consider:

  •  When you are not with your friends, do they know about the activities and interests you enjoy that differ from their interests?
  • What are the “blind spots” in your relationship?
  • When issues/concerns arise in your conversation with friends what do you do?  Change the subject? Ask questions?
  • Are you comfortable disclosing information about your personal life?

Me at 2014  MarathonGiven my love of the Marathon, why did I schedule a coaching call at 3PM? By doing so, I was breaking my “don’t work on holidays” rule.  I don’t have an answer and now I no longer wonder why I made that decision.  Today, I am thankful –and my friends are, too—that I did. 

Boston Strong.

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