Over-Familiarity

Over-familiarity  –  Image rights ShutterStock

It's the left hand sneaking round the back of your elbow as you shake hands. It's the sly nod and the conspiratorial wink in conversation with others when you've got no idea why you are suddenly linked. It's the 'darling, sweetie, love' from someone whose name you are still struggling to remember. It's the horror of meeting someone at a dinner party who within seconds is confessing their inability to hold on to a boyfriend. Common to all is the hair-raising chill and miasma of dread that heralds the over-familiar.

Taking intimacy for granted is a sure-fire way to estrange; slapping your new boss on the back on your first day has you destined for the post-room. If familiarity breeds contempt, over-familiarity propagates pure bile. Over-familiarity often masks, at best, offputting insecurities and, far worse, a real idleness.

People who think that they can go straight to Intimacy without passing Go and without slogging through all the Old Kent Roads of developing a relationship do not deserve to have a Monopoly on your friendship. After all, true friendship is not a game.

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