The Chemistry of Friendship

What are we really doing when we are adding friends? (Did your mind just go to social media? I am talking about that too, but for ALL the ways that we add friends). I would like you to indulge me for a while and read what I have pondered with an open mind. I have been doing a lot of thinking about changes and reactions; and the word “Catalyst” came to mind. I think that adding friends is like adding a catalyst to create some sort of solution.

Chemists look at a catalyst as a substance that causes a chemical reaction to occur, but is not itself involved in the reaction. Also, it could be an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action. The definition I like best is “a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

How does this equate to friends? I will attempt to show you with an example. Think of marriage as the ultimate in friendship. We often say “I married my best friend” and similar statements. Our spouse is much more than “just a friend”, but let's put spouse in the category of SUPER friend. Even super relationships can end at times; DIVORCE. But at this end, we are still two people, just like we were two people when we went into this relationship. If it has been you that had gone through a divorce, do you still have the same ability to learn, grow, to be sad, to smile? You are definitely in a different time, time changes all of us and everything, but the things that make you YOU, are still part of you, correct? So the even though you grew when you were together, you are still YOU.

There are changes that all our friends put us through. They provoke us, they sometimes goad us into doing something NOW, instead of procrastinating. We look at our friends sometimes with envy, or they inspire us and we change; we are motivated, we do more, but are still just US ourselves and they are still just themselves. As a matter of fact, just today a friend said “You are a writer John”, which I never really saw myself as, but with over 55 blogs on Linked In - and nearly as many featured on YesLouisville, I took the complement and will now see myself as a writer/motivator. The friend created a change in me, but my friend is still the beautiful soul that she is, the reaction was totally in me.

There is a saying that you can’t necessarily change the things that are going on around you, but you can control on how you react to things. This takes much discipline to change how you react, but even by not reacting you are making some sort of action; thus YOU are changing, but the things around you are catalysts. I think subconsciously we know that our friends affect us, we are reacting to how they are and what they are doing in our lives. We add friends to create reactions in us at times, and we let go of friends when those reactions are contrary to where we want to go.

We “add friends” on social media to have their messages make us happy. Face it, if they share cute cat or dog videos, they are a friend you NEED in your life, right? We also let go of friends when all they do is bring us down. Also when the drama is all about THEM all the time, and they stop being a catalyst for us at all, they tend to slip away too. So, we add friends to change us and grow us in a positive way, or at least that is the hope. Uncovering this truth, allows us to look at who is truly changing us for the better. We can also surmise that WE, being friends of other people, it is our responsibility to stimulate them to be the best they can be too!


John “Z” Zeydel - your PUSHcoach

Not just a catalyst, but a PUSH for positive change in the right direction - not “just” change.