I have some friends who consistently impress me with their cheerfulness.
I'm amazed that they are able to maintain a cheerful demeanor through almost any problem.
No matter how many plans go awry, these people are always able to find the silver lining. Or even when none is found, they are somehow, very chill.
Recently I was talking with a friend who falls into this category and she mentioned that during quarantine she had actually been quite depressed.
This is a person whom I had never seen in any mood less than sanguine.
It was then that I realized, for many of my friends, there is no weird trick. I always see them happy because, well, they're more extroverted.
When they're around other people they get energy, they feel joy. Thus, I'm pretty much always gonna see them in a happy state.
It's like quantum physics in a way— my friend might not have been happy before I observed them, but as soon as I was able to observe their mood, they became happy.
When these friends are alone they are just like anyone else, subject to the same unhappy moods we all get.
This was an important reminder for me because usually I put these friends into the category of "people who probably don't need my help". They appear to totally have their life together. I always think of our time together as mainly serving me. I may need their companionship, but a person this chill probably doesn't often need me.
As a result these friends were last on my list to check in on during Covid.
However, weirdly, the opposite was true. These friends are the ones that would especially appreciate my call. One week in quarantine will hit them harder than it hit me.
This makes me wonder what other assumptions I make about my friends and their lives outside our time together are worth updating.
Recently I've been interviewing a lot of friends about a product idea I'm working on. It's been awesome, not only because the feedback is insightful and totally clutch, but also because I'm learning things about my friends which I never knew. I’ve heard about challenges my friends faced in the last few years which never came up before, even in weekly 1:1s.
Anyway, it is a good reminder for me to be curious about my friends, in addition to being generally in awe of them.
And to more often build new products which I can interview people for.