MyBest Friend Transforms to My Best Enemy
Everytime I go out and have fun with my current friend, I fear that a timemight come when they will turn to be my haters. The fear of losinggood friends originates from my past painful experience ofterminating a deep friendship with my high school friend Kathrynne(Kate). My first encounter with Kate was in a school fun event duringmy first year in high school. I had recently joined high school andthe few students, who came from my place, were not so close to me.Therefore, I was so disparate to meet new people from other regionsand make good friends. Being an extrovert, I love dancing. As I wasdancing, I noticed Kate, who was elegantly dancing on the dancingfloor alone. I approached her formally, asked her name and begged herto dance with me. We could not help but notice how the other studentswere admiring our dancing styles. By the end of the event, we hadshared a lot with Kate concerning our hobbies and interest indancing. After the event, I sent a friend request to Kate viaFacebook, and we chatted at length almost every day. We metfrequently and went out dancing with her and with time, we realizedwe had become best of friends.
Myfriendship with Kate can be described through the Mark Knapp’sstages of coming together such as initiating, experimenting,intensifying, integrating and bonding (McConarck, 334). Theinitiation stage was quite short. I made an impression to Kate duringthe high school fun event by approaching her and telling her she wasa good dancer. According to Robert, one of the factors that compel aperson to befriend another is a sign of similarity in behavior (3).Robert`s argument is valid from my personal experience with Kate. Themain reason I felt attracted was because she seemed a good dancerjust like me. After the initiation stage, people start experimenting(McConarck, 337). After dancing with Kate, we started exploring ourlikes and dislikes so as to find a common interest, which in our casewas dancing. Robert argues that a common interest is a factor thatplays a significant role in building deep and meaningful friendships(3).
Duringthe intensification period, our friendship became less formal. As(McConarck, 338) explains, during this period, our friendshipintensified through spending more time together, buying each othergifts during important events such as our birthdays. According toRobert physicalproximity is a significant factor that intensifies and makes thefriendship stronger (2). Physical proximity is the distance betweentwo people. The closer the people are, the higher the probabilitythat their friendship will intensify. The fact that we were in thesame high school with Kate made it easier for us to meet daily hencenourishing our friendship on a daily basis.
Thenext phase of coming together is as integration (McConarck, 340).During this phase, our friendship entered another level. Kate couldgo shopping and buy me gifts such as dresses since she was aware ofwhat like and don’t like. My other friends were aware that Kate wasmy best friend and on the other hand, her friends were aware of thefact that I meant the world to Kate. We became so close in a way thatnone of us could go out without the other. From Mark Knapp’s stagesof friendship, bonding is the last stage of coming together.McConarck explains that during this stage, he two people in afriendship or relationship make the whole world aware of theirrelationship (442). During this stage, Kate and I made our parentsand other family members aware of our friendship. I go and sleep overat Kate`s place, and she would do the same. Our parents were sosupportive of our friendship, and we became inseparable.
FollowingKnapp’s stages of coming apart, the first step is differentiating(McConarck, 446). My friendship with Kate started experiencing somechanges in our first year in college. After completing high school,it was unfortunate that Kate and I got enrolled in differentcolleges. Therefore, the physical proximity factor as explained byRoberts contributed to our coming apart (2). In college, Kate met aboyfriend, who was a staunch Christian. Therefore, he influenced Kateto embrace Christianity and develop new hobbies that were pleasing toeyes of God. Therefore, Kate interest changed, and I could say thatKate lost interest in dancing secular music, which was still my hobbyin college. Kate would decline my dates to go dancing, and I would beforced to go alone or with another friend.
Thesecond stage of coming apart is circumscribing. According toMcConarck, this is a stage where the two partners set up boundarylines in their communication (446). After noting Kate was no longerinterested in dancing, I feared to touch that topic wherever we wouldchat to avoid arguments. Kate wanted to be given her space and timeto indulge in Christianity and hobbies such as taking care of the oldin the community. After the circumscribing stage, our friendshipstarted stagnating. Stagnation is the third stage of coming apart,characterized by limited communication. With time, our communicationbecame more limited because there was nothing much to talk about. Icould not talk to Kate about my new dancing styles and fascinatingclubs in town. On the other hand, Kate would not talk about hercharity work with the old and disadvantaged. The only reason ourfriendship did not break at this stage is because of our commonfriends and families. Friends and families would organize events suchas birthdays, anniversaries through which we would meet with Kate andtalk shortly on general issues.
Thenext stage of coming apart is avoidance. McConarck explains thatduring this stage, the partners try all means t avoid each other. Itis during this stage that Kate completely avoided me. She woulddecline an invitation to a party if she knew that she would come intocontact with me. She got rid of me as a Facebook friend to cut ourcommunication via the social media. The lack of communication drew usapart and despite the fact that I still had feelings for Kate, theystarted fading away and Kate was being replaced by another goodfriend I had met in my second year in college. The last stage ofcoming apart is terminating. This is the stage where the relationshipor friendship comes to an end (McConarck, 451). During this stage,Kate did not just end the friendship but also turned to be my bestenemy. To validate our coming apart, she preached malicious gossipabout me. She told our friends and families that I was a badinfluence, and she has been forced by my immoral hobbies to cut meloose as a friend. I was informed of the gossip by a friend and Ifelt very offended, I was so pissed off to an extent that when Katecalled it quits, I gladly accepted the request and did nothing topersuade her to hang on to the friendship.
MarkKnapp`s stages of coming together and apart have opened my eyes onhow friendships and relationships are sustained or broken. Beforethis class on communication, I had fears of betrayal by good friends.However, after getting so much knowledge on the importance ofopenness and constant communication, there is no need to have suchfear anymore. The information I have gained from stages of comingtogether and apart will help me enhance my current friendships andrelationships. Of more importance is that I am now fully equippedwith the right knowledge and experience t to prevent current andfuture relationship from entering the coming-apart stages.
McCornack,Steven. Reflect & Relate. Second ed. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin`s, 2010. Print.
Roberts-Griffin,Christopher P. "What Is a Good Friend: A Qualitative Analysis ofDesired Friendship Qualities." PennMcNair Research Journal 3.1(2011): 5.