Two is company while three is a crowd, or so it’s always been said. I tend to think that three is a powerful number that we tend to overlook. Even our African forefathers knew this when they designed the fireplace to be in the form of three stones. Presently even our modern jikos and modern cook stoves borrow heavily on that.
Looking back from the time I was a child to now I realise that I have always been in a threesome kind of friendship. No, I do not mean the gutter mind kind of threesome as you would like to think though I know that would have been a more interesting tale to tell. Maybe one day I’ll write about that as well, who knows. As I was saying, before I got caught up in your naughty thoughts, I almost always find myself in a triangular kind of friendship.
It’s not something I consciously go out to embed myself onto. On the contrary it’s such a natural phenomenon that we all find ourselves into. Just think about it, look at your circle of close friends, you will find the triangle bond. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses that they bring to the table. I am tempted to use mathematical illustrations so kindly bear with me.
While there are about seven types of triangles I will use only three to illustrate what this analogy is about. There is the equilateral triangle which has equal sides and angles. The right angle triangle has one angle being a right angle, that is to say it is 90 degrees. The other triangle am interested in is the Isosceles triangle that has two sides being equal in size and angles as well.
Just like triangles the threesome friendship can be categorised in different groups. I have attached the above photo that I picked from Google to help you from having a migraine from the mention of mathematics. An equilateral friendship is where the three friends give as much as they receive. Their level of emotional, social and intellectual intelligence are at par, the friends will reach at the same conclusion whether individually or collectively. They have an equal chance in decision making and will seek each other’s opinion to reach an amicable decision.
In an isosceles friendship, one friend always stands out, either socially, emotionally or intellectually. The other two tend to have similar opinions in most matters and the third friend always feels as a third wheel. For this friend to get her way she must put in a lot of effort to sway one of the other two. It also implies that at any one time two friends will always be on one side and at no one time will the opinions be the same.
The right angled friendship is a friendship that is based on one of the three friends being superior in most areas and therefore almost always has the final say. Sometimes it’s about the friend who keeps giving or taking from the friendship. There are friends who at all times suck from the friendship and may even be draining like a tick.
Now that we are done with the boring illustration maybe you want to practically look at your chain of friendships. As for myself I can tell you for a fact that I probably have one or two non-triangular friendships. Otherwise I exist in triangles, in some am a silent follower, in another am thrown into the limelight of leadership while in others am among equals. I definitely enjoy being part of the triangles because I can’t imagine having only one friend. Okay so maybe I can have one very close friend but not the only one.
Let me tell you why I wouldn’t give up my triangles for other kinds of friendships. There’s this girl I know and she tells me she has no friend. When I asked her why, I realised she had put all her eggs in one basket. Friends aren’t angels my dear, and are entitled to mood swings and making mistakes. So apparently she stopped keeping friends because her one “most” trusted friend had betrayed her. Of course am curious to find out how she was betrayed but that will be too nosey of me. All said I do tend to think she’s miserable, as a woman you need a girl to gossip with, another one you can be a kid with and another you can be with when you feel like letting your hair down. In fact the third force is important to restore sense and sanity to the group. If these ladies were three, the third one would have found a way to bridge the gap.
I remember back in high school, my friends, Grace and Maureen had had a tiff, and weren’t talking to each other. At the same time we needed to go watch a play and no one was willing to go alone. The two of them picked me at my place and I was the centrepiece for the better part of the time. Had to make small talk with both without seeming to favor anyone until we picked Dorina, my twin at the time. She and I were assigned the duty of being the voice of reason and this meant we broke into twos. See this is why three becomes very handy, and not a crowd in a bad way.
I know men get annoyed whenever they are trying to hit on a girl who always seems to have her crowd in tow. In such a case you shouldn’t feel intimidated because the other girls have specific roles to play. There’s the one party girl who’s the life of the trio, without her the group is boring and the other girls would be better off staying at home. There’s the polite one, she doesn’t talk as much and when she does it’s about deep stuff like politics et cetera. She may seem to be enjoying the drinks but in truth she’s the group’s guard. She will try to stay sober at all costs and gather what you are all about. Of course there’ll be the girl you are hitting on who you will not figure since today she’s assigned the sweet girl role. As girls we wear these roles as the need arises.
Even the creators of the cartoon series “Powerpuff Girls” knew this and exploited this bond. Some of the best music bands were made of trios, Destinys Child, Spice Girls, The Supreme, TLC and many more. Find a triangle that complements you and build a strong bond. Because many a times one of the three breaks away the friendship of the other two will most definitely suffer.