At what moment do we consider some one a friend? If all we have known is comfortability in solitude or fear of getting close to another individual, how do we move forward? Because of my experiences, I have labeled any interaction that is two ways as a "ship." I created levels to obtaining friend"ships," relation"ships", and partner"ships," and slowly realized how to build "ships" that were meaningful.
The How: Start Out Slowly and Engage In Conversations
When gathering the intention to build your "ship," take your time. True "ships" are not instant, they require time and patience. Keep a safe distance emotionally from the person, and remember you do not want to unload everything about yourself when you first meet them. Instead, be friendly and engage in conversations that capture your interest or listen to the other speak about a topic that they enjoy. When we take the risk to discuss topics with another individual, we are opening ourselves to establish a potential "ship." The most important advice, however, is to be yourself. Only then will you acquire genuine "ships," because you will be around others who accept your true self.
The When: Know When To Trust
So now, you have gotten to know this individual a little. Because building a "ship" takes time, it is important to know when you can trust the other individual. Trusting is a process that can only happen when you are ready to want a "ship" in your life. Don't trust someone fully right away, keep in mind that they may be as guarded as you are. Think of it as you do not know the person fully yet, but it will be a journey to get to know them. When the moment is right, you will know you can trust the other individual. You will look forward to having conversations with this person and will be excited to spend time with them.
The Why: Every "Ship" Holds A Life Lesson
I am a firm believer that no one comes into our life as a coincidence. Instead, we are supposed to learn something through each interaction. When we go through "ships" that do not last, we learn what we do not want from a person and internalize what we are looking for. We begin to understand the types of people we want to surround ourselves with that will fulfill what we are looking for. We find those who are trustworthy and we let go of those who we feel are not. Ultimately, we grow from each interaction, and become stronger and wiser consciously and unconsciously. We begin to realize the importance of our "ships" and who they influence us to become.
Taking the time to begin the process of investing in a "ship" is scary, but ultimately has it's benefits. It is up to each of us to open up to learning more about ourselves. We become stronger when we build our "ships" and take the time to get to know another individual. In the end, it is worth the risk.