The evolution of my interpersonal relationships has been a varied one – from a painfully shy young childhood to an ever-increasing social adeptness that some might call “charm” (if you were trying to pay me a compliment) as I became an adult. The formulation of friendships in the early years was rooted nearly entirely in a quick emotional connection with a classmate or neighborhood kid, generally because I rarely said more than two words to stranger unless pressed until I reached the age of seven. As my shyness wore off and my social skills increased, friendships slowly evolved out of that sphere and were based on shallower foundations – popularity, prettiness, being in the same social group in high school. I never subscribed too much to the popularity pressures, but they changed the way my relationships formed nonetheless.
And so my relationships with my fellow species evolved to the point where “the click,” which had been the basis of my younger year friendships, became more and more rare as I grew older.
You’ve probably heard it said before, “Oh we met and just clicked.” And that’s how it goes: Two people meet each other, and after the initial friction of making room for a new personality in one’s life (masked by clever one-liners and a few too many beers), they find out if they “click.” I think the click means that two souls align on some fundamental level that cannot be explained by science or reason.
The click isn’t just a romantic one – best friends are formed by the click, family members are confused when they don’t click (it’s actually pretty rare that they ever do), colleagues are expedited into friends in a very short span of time thanks to the click. It’s different than forming a new friendship through what would considered “work,” coffee dates or post-work beers repeated often enough that an acquaintanceship tentatively and slowly steps toward friendship. It’s a few meetings like that, or sometimes even one, and then it happens. You click.
I have made some good friends out here in this past year in Australia, but clicks have been rare (as they have been more and more in my adult life). Many of the friendships I started were of the “work” variety – friend dates, setups from mutual friends, repeated exposure until we knew enough about each other to be considered friends. By no means am I discounting this type of friendship, it’s just a valuable as the click – but it is nice to be able to bypass that once in a while.
It’s a sudden recognition, a feeling of “oh I found you,” but you weren’t even really looking. Something that makes you realize you aren’t alone, because you have found another one of your kind. That thrilling feeling when you reveal the unpolished bits of yourself and are met with delight instead of repulsion. When silences aren’t awkward, when you know they’ll “get” your joke when someone else definitely would not. People who believe in reincarnation believe that it’s one soul finding another soul that had been important to them in a past life. I’m not sure about all that, but I definitely am sure of the click.