Meet Carlos and Tony. Met Carlos on Friday night, and Tony on Saturday night (last night). They are both pilots and were in new York on training. They are two of the nicest people that you could ever meet and yet couldn’t be more different from each other.
As we shared a cab going from one bar to another (clubs actually) Tony shared his admiration for Carlos’ spontaneity and his ability to make friends in one conversation.
You see Tony is English, and as he himself puts it “We English need to know you for ten years before we’ll call you a friend, and here’s this Spanish guy Carlos befriending people he’s meeting in a strange land based on a drink and fifteen minutes of conversation.”
Sure enough Carlos had just met me the night before, and his easy manner, natural charm (plus the women that tended to gravitate towards him) made us immediate friends. At this, Tony the Englishman was genuinely perplexed and impressed at the same time.
He also acknowledged that I had in no small measure much of the same combustible friendliness as demonstrated by my willingness to come out to spend an evening with a bunch of strangers based on one night’s encounter with one of them.
Indeed, we were with a group of ten or twelve people and all save Tony were people that Carlos had recently met. Astounding. “That’s just not done where I come from ol’ chap,” said Tony. (Ok, I took a little to artistic license with the “old chap”)
It made me think of the people I’ve become friendly with over the years, and the distinction “friend”. There are many levels of friendship and some would say with good merit that the term is way overused.
Yet sometimes there’s such an immediate and genuine connection with people that you meet for the first time, that it’s perfectly natural to become friends. Learning to enjoy these social connections is part of the joy of life. Don’t let old customs or personal inhibitions prevent you from enjoying these spontaneous friendships when they occur. Tony didn’t.