The Zebra and Friendship
A true friend is not one who looks on your suffering with sorrow, but one who looks on your happiness without envy.
My family, my loved ones, my friends, my colleagues. All these people are an integral part of my life. They help me to build myself up, to question myself and to ask myself the right questions.
Friendship for a zebra: all or nothing
I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that I’m a zebrabut every time I lose someone I care about, I feel like I’m losing a piece of myself.
Friendship, on paper, is beautiful, formidable, incredible; it’s about sharing, getting to know each other, laughing, complicity and support. In the end, it’s like love without the carnal desire. However, for a high-potential profilebeyond this beautiful definition, friendship can quickly become a source of suffering and malaise.
When you’re gifted, you’re always dreaming of fusional, perfect, whole, uniquefriendships that last a lifetime, but your expectations, demands and high hopes are often disappointed. In the long term, the pursuit of this type of relationship is unsustainable and can even become toxic and unhealthy.
Being the zebra that I am, I’m no exception to the rule. I’ve long believed that friendship, like love, should be intense and eternal.
Zebras and friendship at first sight
When I discovered that I was gifted, I understood why I was always getting myself into improbable and complicated situations. I was always looking for strong feelings. Everything in my life had to be intense and excessive, including friendship.
As a result, I found myself inexorably drawn to people with whom I had a very strong resonance, without knowing why. I knew almost nothing about them, but I wanted them in my life. I was convinced that friendship was not a question of time but of feeling. I relied solely on my instincts and trust it blindly. If the sight of this person had set off such a whirlwind inside me, it must have been for a reason.
In a very short space of time, this person became a huge part of my life and my daily routine. At first, everything went as I’d imagined, but over the long term, I ended up not knowing where I stood.
The emotional impact of strong relationships for a zebra
Emotionally, I was no longer able to manage this type of relationship. I’d reached a sort of breaking point. I didn’t feel comfortable anymore, as if I wasn’t up to it or the other person wasn’t up to it. Everything was getting too loud and I felt like I was suffocating. I was scared too.
My weird, offbeat, dark side was bound to betray me in the end. I didn’t want to take the risk of feeling rejected again. I’d rather be alone, run away and put an end to a friendship that I now saw as a danger.
The rest was always the same. I experienced friendship as something guilt-inducing and invasive, which simply reminded me of my inability to forge long-term bonds. I already had so many issues to wrestle with that I didn’t want to justify myself yet.
So I moved on, trying to find answers, and turned the pages of the book, leaving behind both toxic relationships and beautiful people with whom I’d shared exceptional moments.
A zebra surrounded by friendly people
Generally speaking, I’ve always been surrounded by people. The fact that I’m outgoing and likable in appearance has helped me to talk easily with everyone. Yet I’ve always felt profoundly alone.
I remember when I was a teenager (like many teenagers), I took everything to heart. At this time, everything we feel becomes disproportionate, as if our lives depended on it. If you’re also hypersensitive and a zebra, this period quickly becomes unmanageable, winding and tortured. We don’t have the necessary hindsight to understand that no, it’s not serious.
Then one day, you become an adult. We have real responsibilities, a real role to play. What seemed so unfair and important at the time may not have been as important as we thought.
I may have been mature in many areas, but I wasn’t emotionally mature enough to make the effort. This sort of malaise and feeling of loneliness remained obstacles to my various friendships and, above all, to keeping them.
Friendship since I knew I was a zebra
By discovering that I was a zebra and understanding how I functioned, my relationship with human beings changed completely, and this helped me to calm down.
I no longer see friendship as a constraint and, above all, I’ve realized that I need to take the time to discover others. Instinct can sometimes be deceptive when it comes to human beings and their own projections. Time has become an ally.
Today, I build my friendships, not consume them.
In the end, what changed in my relationship with others was mostly me. Discovering that I was a zebra, and above all that there were lots of other zebras, gifted and high-potential, like me, was a real wake-up call. I could and should finally be myself. The rest was much easier.
The friends I have left know exactly who I am and how I operate. I know sometimes I get on their nerves, but sometimes they get on my nerves too. I’ve just realized that human beings aren’t perfect. It can’t always meet our expectations perfectly.
I believe that the key to friendship is to expect nothing. If you don’t expect anything, you’ll never be disappointed. And this maxim works both ways.
I think I now also know better how to identify people with whom I can maintain caring, authentic and fulfilling friendships.
It’s no longer an effort to take time for them; on the contrary, it’s become a need..
You can also find more information, resources and tools on Giftedness in Mel POINAS‘ book. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!
Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.
To go further, you can read
- How to tell others we are gifted?
- Do zebras attract each other?
- The best books about High Learning Potential
- Giftedness : 20 characteristics of complex and laminar profiles
- How to take the WAIS 4 test?