Further exploring our friendship theme, below is an example that Susan used in Dare to Connect. Sometimes even our closest friends have trouble communicating their appreciation of our friendship, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Some people, even while feeling deeply, have trouble opening up, but that is the beauty of a true friend—they don’t always have to. Here is Steve’s story:
Jim has been my friend for about 25 years. He’s very closed and anything I talk about beyond baseball, football and women he doesn’t want to know. But about a year or so ago, he had his third back operation and it was really a difficult situation. Two nights before he had the surgery, his wife called and said he was really down about it. I went over to the hospital where he was already checked in and bought about twenty or thirty bucks worth of Chinese food and a paper tablecloth and napkins that said Happy Birthday—it wasn’t his birthday but it was the only kind I could find—and I spread it all over his bed and we had this Chinese food and had a ball. He had his surgery and everything was fine. And he sent me a card. (Now he has never written a card to me in 25 years!) It said, “Dear Steve, I know we have been friends for all these years and I have always wanted to tell you something. I love you and thank you for all you’ve done for me.” I’ll save that card till they bury me. Even now when I think about it I get really choked up. Because this is a guy that even to this day shows no emotion. So what I think is, this desire to communicate our love is really in everybody. It is really just a question of how you get it out, when you get it out, and who you get it out with.