Faktrl is Best Pony
10th September 2007
What do you actually consider a friend? I think the most common answer is a local group of people who hang around and enjoy each other's company and, in time, grow a better relationship. But is this perhaps too specific? Does honest friendship rely solely on proximity and frequency of contact, or is it sustainable simply by common interests and goals? I tend to think the latter is a preferable model because we don't always have something particularly important or relevant to say, and you know what's like: some people sitting in a room talking about the weather...
"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.
Mister Angry Rules Guy
1st February 2010
The first thing is they must be someone with whom you WANT to spend time. You can have good work chemistry with someone, but that does not mean they are at all the type with whom you would ever associate in your civilian life.
Also, friendship is all about trust. If you don't trust them, then you have no business being with them.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
Friendship is slightly different for everyone. At the base of it though, I think it comes down to the question of "Who do you want to share your time with?" Do they want to share their time with you? If they do, do they want to share their time with you for more than simply the basic profit of what you can do for them? (Because it is possible to have a one-sided 'friendship'.)
But, yeah, it's very similar to what Lindale says: It's finding people you want to share your time with. For most of us trust is going to be a big component of that - generally we don't want to spend time around people we actively distrust. And you probably have other things that you want from your relationships - some people find for instance that a friendship is finding someone they can be very open with and talk about their lives, and if they don't have that in a relationship it's empty for them and they can't really be friends. Other people find that friends are the people they can talk about cool ideas with. Some people, and it's a kind of toxic friendship I would argue, find that friends are those people they can actively criticise people they both know with.
There are all sorts of friendships out there in the world, it's going to mean something different to all of us.
To me, my friends are people who I think are... for lack of a better word, possessed of a kind soul. They're quite compassionate people. I consider them smart people, they all have strengths that I lack even if they don't think they do. They share a similar sense of slightly cynical humour to myself (and a lot of my friends, almost all of them, are consequently people I used to work with - because we work in an industry where cynical humour is kind of a huge thing.) They're all fairly mature people, in terms of their emotional self-control.
And, weirdly, a lot of my friendships are with people who are smart in a very different way to myself. Like, you might imagine all of Nem's friends meet the geek stereotype of folks who type away on computers and think of everything in terms of systems and so on? Nooooo. Not at all. Nem has one friend who thinks in those sorts of terms - and don't get me wrong, they're a great person. But most of my friends are not like that.
Those are a good set of questions to ask in general, by the way. It's not a bad way to examine where you are in life in terms of the relationships it gives you and how those relate to what you value. For example, I just resigned from a job recently, and what it came down to for me - admittedly I didn't ask that last question because it's a professional context - was, "Do I want to share my time with these people for the next two years or so? Do I think I've anything to learn from them that I want to learn? Do I think these are the sort of relationships I want in my life? Do I think this will make me any more the sort of person I want to be?"
And the answer to all those questions was, 'no.' So, I put my notice in and - regardless of the outcome for my professional life (which I honestly don't think will be that bad - may even be a good thing) - I know already that it's one of the best choices I've made in the past few years.
Don't get me wrong, you've got to eat. But as an evaluation mechanism for whether you're in a good place or not, I've found it's not a bad little tool.
9th October 2007
I feel like Nem and Lindale sum it up pretty good. I personally think it's mainly about trust, respect and simply having fun with said people. I have a really close-knit group of friends, and we're all mutual friends to each other. Some to a greater extent than others, but we're all capable of hanging out together and alone with each respective other. There's been very, very dew disputes over the years and honestly, the only times I can remember is from when we were all still kids and had barely any emotional control. Communication is key also I think. It's hard to build trust if you don't know the person, and you can't know someone if you're not communicating with each other openly.