You might have heard that there’s a new film out called The Banshees of Inisherin. Apparently, it tells the moving and sometimes humorous tale of how two lifelong friends manage to fall out. Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson team up once again, as they did in the film In Bruges, this time in a windswept Irish village, set in the 1920s. A simple fall out doesn’t sound that dramatic, but it seems that actually, it really is.
And that topic of friendship got the Guardian newspaper interested it seems, publishing an article that suggested that chaps are, well, not really that good at keeping friendships, especially as they get older. Sorry gents.
The article states that, “Having a circle of good friends is known to increase life expectancy and improve mental health.” And yet the expert that they talk to says that men “see no need for real friendships”, perhaps leaving it to partners to organise social goings-on.
This got me reflecting on a recent experience, when I had the privilege of speaking to a delightful group of people about hypnotherapy, during one of the weekly Eat at The Heath events in Runcorn. These are wonderful opportunities for members of the local community to gather, make new friendships and consolidate existing ones. It’s not just the guests who bring camaraderie and joy though, the team that run and support this lovely gathering nurtures a real spirit of happiness and companionship. With exceptional generosity, there is even a little minibus to help those who might otherwise struggle to take part.
So, I wonder, whether it’s ringing up an old friend, stopping to chat rather than walking on when you see that lady who you normally just nod to, or accepting an invitation to somewhere you’d usually say no to and putting your best bib and tucker on to dance the light fantastic, why not try it?
Friendship: give it a go. It’s the stuff of equals.
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
– Albert Camus, French philosopher.