“A Peer is Not the Same as a Friend”

“A peer is not the same as a friend.” Someone told me that recently. It stung, but that’s their belief. Webster’s dictionary describes a peer as “one that is of equal standing with another. especially one belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status.” So, a peer is just someone who is on an equal level as you, maybe the same class, maybe co-workers who are not above you. That doesn’t mean that a peer, cannot become a friend.

What are the rules of being a peer? Someone with the same standing essentially, is someone you can talk to, communicate with. There are no restrictions when it comes to being a peer. Now if someone has restrictions and boundaries, that’s okay. Those are personal, but it doesn’t negate the fact that a peer CAN be a friend and a friend can also be a peer.

I think the harder part is realizing that a peer perhaps doesn’t want to become a friend. That’s okay. But if you had hope that one day you could have been, that’s also okay. It is not wrong. Friendships bloom in the most unlikely of ways and I’ve done a lot of reading over the last couple of months. Reading about friendships and how to even go about being friends with someone in authority, like a boss.

The readings I have done say that of course these things must be done with caution. There has to be balance. Now if there are policies in place that forbid friendships of any kind with lower levels, then that has to be upheld. Once you no longer work with that person, or whatever the case may be… it doesn’t mean that person is banned from ever having a friendship with you. Now if they don’t want one, that’s one thing… but if that aspect of the relationship has terminated, there is no reason why former co-workers or the like can’t be friends. Some may not be comfortable with that and that’s also okay. Everyone has to do what’s right for them. Some people are protective of their position, some can’t ever truly see someone that was once under them as a true equal. All of those things are okay, that friendship was never going to blossom.

It’s also okay to be sad about it. To grieve it. What you have to try to do is not beat yourself up because that person doesn’t want a friendship with you. There will be other people who see your worth and value your friendship. Take the time you need to grieve, that’s the only way true healing can begin. I know I’ll be.

As one of my favorite lyricists has said:

There are so many lines that I’ve crossed, unforgiven
I’ll tell you truth, but never, “Goodbye”

You gotta step into the daylight and let it go

Just let it go, let it go.


Categories: Op-Ed

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