My biggest supporter sent me a link and prompted me to write this article! Thanks Mum! Lol
I have read a few interesting articles recently about the word “Just” and how it intentionally takes power away from the thing that follows it. It doesn’t matter if you are saying you are ‘just’ an office worker, or ‘just’ a mother, or qualifying yourself in asking for something or stating an opinion; for example: I was ‘just’ wondering, or I ‘just’ think…..
Why is the ‘just’ necessary? You are never ‘just’ anything. It minimises you, apologises or disqualifies you as a full individual with a right to powerfully exist! The same can be said for friendships. How many of you can relate to having to just-ify (there’s that word again, it’s a sneaky bugger! Lol) a friendship and disqualify romantic intent to someone by stating that you and so and so are ‘just’ friends? This disqualification is so common that of course there is even a rom-com named after it!
It doesn’t matter that this person may in fact be one of the most important relationships in your world at the moment; without any conscious consideration you will take away all its power and meaning by dismissing it with the word ‘just.’ I know you don’t mean to do this, but when you stop and really think about it – what do you mean when you say ‘just’ in this context? Do you mean less than romantic? Are platonic relationships less than romantic ones in some way? Is their friendship a placeholder for romance or in some way a crappy consolation prize to the romance you really want? Or does the friendship have merit and significance in its own right? If what you mean is platonic, I urge you to empower your friendships by listing the positive qualities of your friend and how much they mean to you and qualify them with the word platonic instead of disqualifying them with the word ‘just!’ Example: “Fred is an amazing man, I am so lucky to have such a strong, handsome platonic male friend in my life. Our friendship is perfect as it is, and I know Fred will make a wonderful husband for some other lucky lady someday. I look forward to being her friend too!”
The other way we use the term ‘just’ friends is in relation to friendship problems and unfriendings. Having experienced this particular breed of pain myself a few times, I can assure you that breaking up with a friend is no less painful than breaking up with a romantic partner. In my experience it is actually more painful than a romantic split, but maybe I’m the only one who feels that way? I doubt it though. Lol Anyway, what I have found from people rather than empathy and support in these circumstances, is a reluctance to get involved (understandable) and a complete refusal to accept my pain. The whole friendship is invalidated when people say “Why are you so upset? You were ‘just’ friends!” Ah…. No. We were not ‘JUST’ friends. We were friends! Maybe we were close friends, long standing friends or best friends?! Does that mean nothing? Even if we were none of those things we chose to be in each other’s lives to some capacity so our relationship was important. The loss of that relationship is also important. It is not ‘JUST’ anything, except over!
We should never have to justify or explain our platonic relationships or our feelings about them away. Friendships exist. They are paramount for happiness. Feelings exist. Expression of said feelings is paramount for mental health. Using the word ‘just’ in context to friendships really isn’t necessary. ‘Just’ stop! Hahaha It’s ok when I say it! Lol Scratch that. Stop! Make a mental note to remove the word ‘just’ from your vocabulary or at least question the context in which you use it?! Please! Familiarise yourself with the definitions of the word ‘just’ before you use it! Apparently women do this more than men. Let’s change that statistic ladies. ‘Just’ one word at a time. Or not, as the case may be! Haha :)
Your Best Friend ForNever