Enjoy Friendships While You Still Can: They too have their expiration dates

Vytas Stoskus
3 min readNov 24, 2021
©Vytas Stoskus, 2021

It was a horrid shouting match with my closest friend. As she vented her anger, I saw fear, a terrified little girl, charged with the same panic the little boy inside me was experiencing — that we had both lost our dearest friend.

Fortunately, our anger waned, our rational minds reengaged, and, as we talked it out, we realized that neither of us had meant any harm but had felt misunderstood. With heartfelt apologies, we reaffirmed that we truly cared about one another and wanted only the best for each other.

How easy it is to misunderstand ourselves, one’s own motives, feelings, desires. How much easier it is to misconstrue the motives, feelings, & desires of another with even a slightly different view or contrasting values.

But talking is the answer. Talking is always the answer. It leads to understanding, which leads to acceptance, and acceptance, with the proper care, can lead to love. I’m talking of the love of a close friend.

I teach others how to communicate more effectively, how to accept another despite the differences that make us all unique, how to tolerate others’ eccentricities, how to overlook the negative traits we all have in abundance, and how to resolve conflicts when they arise. I teach creative problem solving, help people clarify their values, and find meaning in their lives. I’m even an exceptionally effective mediator when others let me get in between them to help iron out the wrinkles and undesired creases in their relationships.

But I’m my own worst client. When I’m in the thick of an unsettling dispute of my own where I feel I have been wronged, when emotion locks out my rational mind, I’m whacko!

It’s not easy in our mobile, superficial, self-centered society to develop deep and lasting friendships, yet dangerously simple to destroy what we’ve built. The rage-filled encounter described above made me reconsider and reevaluate much in my life, and it required a lot of analysis to milk its full worth.

I believe that most things that happen to us have value, that we can learn from them, that something worthwhile can always be extracted from even the most devastating situations. It’s not easy, especially alone. This is why…

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Vytas Stoskus

Social psychologist, psychotherapist (Worldwide thru Skype), conflict mediator; organizational, creativity, & unschooling consultant; Heretic, outside agitator.