🧶 Tags:: #Letterstonoone, #Permanent_Notes
2022-10-16 - 16:11
Who Is A Friend?
It can be easy and hard to define what friendship is depending on who you're talking to, but as I'm getting older the more I look into it, the better I feel about the friends that I have in my life.
So who is a friend? A friend can be anyone, even a family member, if they fulfil some of these roles -
They Love And Care For You
When you talk to them about your problems or anything that you're struggling with, they'll listen to you and the reason they'll listen to you is that they care a lot.
It's often easy to find out who you can really call your friend, just by seeing how much they remember about your problems and do they follow up on it by asking you about it later. Like, "Hey, the last time you told me about X, is it all fine now? Is it solved? Are you ok?"
Remember this well, listening may seem simple, but it's not as simple as it sounds, We humans are a bit selfish and narcissistic by nature. Give someone enough time, and they'll forget not only the problems you talked about with them, but also anything else.
This is why I say notice the people who remember. Because if they genuinely care about you, for them, you'd be one of the priorities and when someone is a priority to you, You just don't forget about the things they talk to you about.
Yes, they might still be selfish and narcissistic by nature, but you'd be above those things if you're a friend to that person. You can say the hierarchy would be different when it comes to you.
Someone Who Tries To Offer You The Best Help They Can
A Friend can be different when it comes to opinions, just as we all are different. Some really think about what they should say, some just don't, but one thing is common among the people you might call 'best friends' even though they might not think, if they are giving valuable opinions or not, they tend to really give it from their heart.
"You want the best, for the best in them"
- Jordan Peterson
In short, a good friend will try to do the best they can in order to help you. Even though they might not have the right answers. They would try to make sure that you have the best possible advice that they can come up with. And when you think about it, it is a very big thing!
We often don't take care of ourselves as much as we tend to do of the people who we love, and friends are a great example of this. Having someone who wants the best for you even though they don't have any obligation of doing so is an amazing example of 'what love is.'
Why Is It Rare To Find Good Friends
Good friends are very rare to find and even if they are found it's rare for people to build a relationship so strong that it lasts a lifetime, and you might wonder why is that?
In my opinion, there are a few reasons -
You Don't Find Them Compatible
We tend to blend in with people who think and act they way we do.
If you're going to make a life-long friend, there are most likely going to be some common topics that you'd both be interested in. This creates an environment where you both might have similar tastes and thinking patterns. You don't have to be too similar in order to make a wonderful bond, you can have completely opposite opinion to your friend but until you respect each other's opinions you can still make it work. More on this in points below.
So what I mean when I say 'you don't find them compatible'? We all have a few world views that are too important to us. We can't hang out for long with people who have the opposite world view to us in those particular things. These can be anything from your perspective on God, Religion, Sex, Etc... or it can be something totally insignificant to others but to you, it might be a big thing.
When we find someone with the potential of being a true friend, but there's can be this one thing that you don't agree with, which really matters to you. You might think about keeping them at a distance and this might now be a conscious decision, but because we see them differently now, it does stick in our minds.
These things are fairly subconscious, but they are there. We just don't find people like these attractive and avoid hanging out too much with them.
You Don't Give Enough Time
Time is a valuable deterrent when it comes to building a great friendship. When you're getting to know people and creating a bond, time becomes extremely important.
Think about having the chance to see all the different sides of someone. The more chances you have of doing so, the better and faster you'll be able to understand them. When it comes to time, it doesn't have to be a lot of time in a specific period. We just cumulatively keep the data in of how much time we've spent with someone subconsciously.
To consider someone a friend, different people have different time spans. Someone can consider someone a friend after just spending 5 minutes, while someone else might take a year to do the same.
How we decide this just doesn't rely on the time, but also circumstances as well, Which we'll see in the other points.
One Person Does All The Work
You can have selfish 'friends' who are always there to take things from you. These are mostly your time and favor. Like, "can you do this for me?", "help me out with this or that".
The problem is that they never give back or help you out when you need them. This one-sided favors are never sustainable in any friendship. Soon enough, you'll lose respect for them and won't consider them a friend.
The problem with people like these is that they are usually very good at pestering. They'll talk sweet and say things like, "you know I'm your friend, right?!", "You remember that one time I helped you!"
They'll make you remember all the things they did for you, so that you listen to them. This emotional manipulation can be a very tricky thing to deal with. You don't want to come off as rude but, at the same time, you don't want to be around them.
In these kinds of situations, it is best to be clear, define your rules of 'friendship' (if that's what you want to call it) to them so that it doesn't continue.
You Don't Respect Each Other
Respect is a funny thing, and it's not paid much attention when it comes to friendship, but it's something that will make your friendship worth a lot more.
When you respect someone, you listen to their words and advice well. You try to learn from them and understand their point of view. You might not accept everything they say, but if you make the right friends, you listen to them when they are giving you any advice.
Respect is also crucial for creating boundaries. You might ask, 'why do I need to set boundaries when it comes to my best friends? shouldn't they be allowed to know and say anything they want?!'
Well, NO! We all have invisible boundaries, like someone might be too intrusive, someone might make fun of serious topics in your life. Firstly, you don't want to make friends with people like these, but even the best of the best might slip up once in a while. The problem with boundaries is that you never know where it is until someone crosses it.
This is why, "respect for someone creates a boundary" and it's best to keep those boundaries because you won't cross any lines that might hurt your friends.
You Haven't Gone Through Similar Experiences Together
Going through similar experiences is an automatic 'bond creator'. We can instantly relate to people who have gone through the same shit that we have. It can be anything from your home environment to the college you guys went to.
If you have very different experiences then you might be interested in finding out what experiences the other person might have, it's also a double-edged sword as your overall views might not match with them. This is similar to the first point of being incompatible.
As you might be able to see, all these points are interlinked together. We might have someone who might fulfil many of the conditions, but might fail at some. As humans, we keep on progressing and changing and so is true with friendships as well, It's not an end all be all situation, but it helps give us a good baseline of how good friendships are born.
What Makes A Good Friendship? Summary
We already have most of the answer above, but here are a few more things -
- They really listen to you.
- They’re honest with you.
- They like you for who you are and respect your boundaries.
- They genuinely support you.
- They’ll be there for you through both good and bad times.
- They prioritize you and put effort into the friendship.
- They know and remember things about you.
- They don’t take advantage of you.
In the end you need to realize that bonds aren't created they just happen, given that you find a reasonable person for it to happen with!