Dual perspectives

What we have learned from our friendship with each other

Claire Wen and Iman Malik

This year, both of us have promised to keep track of all the memorable moments in our friendship under an iPhone note titled: Iman and Claire’s History. So far, we have exactly three things listed: The first time Iman wore a jacket and Claire didn’t (usually it’s always Claire who’s cold), the first time Claire wore shorts to school (a result of her cat having fleas) and our vows to become cow farmers (inspired by photos of adorable baby cows from the Facebook group “subtle asian pets”). But these three events don’t represent the reality — our friendship is several years old, and as a result, both of us have several distinct memories of each other.

 

This column taught us that learning about yourself from the perspective of someone else is eye opening, to say the least. It indicates that the impact you can make on another’s life is often much greater than expected. It teaches us that every moment is important; even the smallest ones add up and create a relationship that’s meaningful. 

It is impossible to predict whether or not the first interaction with someone will lead to a lasting friendship. But even so, we should strive to cherish even the smallest of actions, because you never know where they will lead.

At first glance, our personalities seemed strikingly different: the extroverted kid willing to talk in front of the class and the one who kept to herself and the people she knew. But we’ve found more similarities than first apparent — other than introversion and extroversion, all our other personality traits are the same.

And we’ve found that where we differ is where we can learn. Take the time to recognize what makes your friends special. Everyone has their own unique strengths, and it is through interactions with others that we can refine our own abilities and learn from each other. 

But more importantly, we now have one more thing to add to our friendship history note— “11/24: Together, Iman and Claire wrote a column about their friendship.”