The power of dormant friendships

Max and I in a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

Max and I in a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

Since I got to Singapore, two things happened that made me feel immense gratitude for the friendships that I have been able to build and nurture throughout the past ±10 years of my life. 

After I posted that I’m coming to Singapore, my Singapore-based friend Nicolas reached out and offered me his apartment to stay while he is out for three weeks traveling. Now I’m using the term “friend” a little loosely here because not only did we not see each other for 8 years but we also didn’t interact that much with each other back in 2008 when he was on a 6-month exchange at my university. But there was enough trust and knowledge for him to reach out and to offer me his place. 

Something similar happened with my friend Max. Max and I studied together for 3 years form 2006 to 2009, but we were never close. In fact we only got to see each other once for only one hour over the past 7 years since graduation (I quick coffee in SF before I had to leave for a flight). Yet Max saw that I’m coming to Asia and suggested to do a trip together since he was based nearby in Hong Kong. And now I find myself headed to Bangkok to hang out with him.

These are just two stories, but they feed into a collection of many more. Admittedly, both Nicolas and Max are "weak links” – people that I haven’t really talked or written to for years. And as I think about the why and how these two re-encounters came upon, I come to realize that these types of weak links are not actually weak. They are just dormant and they can come to life at any time. The stories of Nicolas and Max serve as two real examples.

Now for that to happen, Max and Nicolas had to trust me and actually want to reconnect with me. And that trust and willingness came through a certain visibility which they had into my life. If the two had not heard or known about me since we last met, they would have probably not felt the incentive to reach out and reconnect. I didn’t have to look for their contact and then cold-message them, but because they knew where life had taken me ever since we last met and what I had been up to, they reached out to me. If it wasn’t for that insight, I don’t think they would have been so welcoming and inviting. 

Now I don’t want to promote self-promoting behavior on Facebook, but the fact that my two friends were able to follow my journey through social media, was really a deciding factor in them reaching out. For good things to crash into your life, you actually have to put a part of yourself out there. You actually have to take the risk and share a part of you.  

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