The “Friends” Debate – Reblog

surround yourself with greatness
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

   Anyone can name their friends, right? But how do you differentiate between friends and acquaintances? The amount of time you spend talking with them? The things you say to them? What kind of things you say to a friend? If you think a certain person is your friend, does that person think the same? It’s about thinking that someone is a friend or is about feeling that someone is a friend? What kind of feeling do you need to have for someone to name that person a friend? How a true friend should be? What’s the difference between a friend and a true friend? Are there multiple levels of friendship? For what do we really need friends? How much time can pass without interacting with a friend so it still be named friend and not acquaintance? Do we have friends for good times and friends for bad times?

   Those stupid questions and many other make me wonder who my friends are…if I have any. I think that a friend should be named a person with whom you feel free to tell anything you want without the fear of losing that friend no matter how strange the things you say are. In my opinion, if you fear to say some things to a friend, that person is not a true friend. Is more like a good play buddy with whom you hang out from time to time. You may think that the free feeling is connected with the fear of judging. It is…in our minds. But for them to judge is a good thing. We need different opinions…we need to have a conversation to clear things up and if a friend tells you that something is stupid, it makes you ask yourself some questions and you might find a new perspective. A friend should be able to comfort you when that’s the case, but also slap you to wake up and you shouldn’t be afraid of that slap because is for your own good. A friend shouldn’t be a person with whom you feel obligated to talk at least once a month because you fear he or she will get mad at you for not talking. If that’s the case, why is that person a friend?

   Maybe what I’m describing here is a true friend or a best friend, but if we have them, do we really need other people? Why should we spend our time with people with whom we have to wear a happy mask and pretend that our lives are great even if we have problems?  What’s the point? Time is the only thing we can’t get back, so we should spend it wisely.

15 thoughts on “The “Friends” Debate – Reblog

  1. Those are the only friends worth pursuing. The rest just make you feel like shit because you didn’t have your whole attention always on them.
    The real friends are the ones where your friendship doesn’t need constant maintenance, because we grow apart as we grow into and around others. But if, after a deal of absence, it’s like we never left? That’s real friendship, or what I like to call my soul family. 😊
    I say the acquaintances are “friends” because people get too butt hurt about titles. So the differentiation is the inflection upon the tone

  2. A person is a friend if I freely choose to interact with them. If it’s only through social media? No. If it’s the real world and we are making real connections? Then yes, otherwise I don’t waste my time.

  3. You raise important questions. But the answers aren’t easy or straightforward.

    I think someone can be a true friend, but then five years later, she might not be, because you both developed in different directions. I think someone can be very important and care deeply about you, and you about them, but that someone still isn’t the only friend you need in your life, because you may connect with different people about different things. I have a friend I know from graduate school, and we share a lot of intellectual interests. We talk a lot about books and ideas, and I love how smart she is. But I also love to draw and to make crafts, and she has zero interest and thinks (I believe) that it’s a bit childish. Also, she has a great passion for horses and owns two. I know nothing about horses, so she needs her horse friends, and I need my art friends.

    The other thing I have noticed is that now that my boys are grown and don’t live at home, I need more friends than I did when I was super busy raising children. I’m fine with some friends being people I like to see at book club once a month and others being close friends I text with nearly every day. I want them all in my life, and it’s okay with me to have different levels of intimacy with them. But earlier, when I was so busy with kids, I didn’t have a lot of time for either of those kinds of relationships.

    I definitely agree with you, however, that if you feel like you regularly need to put a mask on with a person and can’t be yourself, that person isn’t a friend, and you’re better off minimizing the time you spend with him.

    1. I think, what you are saying here, is not a friend but one to gossip with on similar interests – communication, which is merely the beginning of friendship.

      1. Yes and no–there is certainly the chit chat about a common interest. And then there is the bond that grows over sharing a passion. I think the latter can be a kind of friendship, sometimes very important and meaningful!

  4. True friends are always by your side whatever the circumstances a d vice versa. The rest are acquaintances.

  5. I “level” friends and acquaintances. What I share and how deeply we talk about things – thoughts, feelings, our lives – depends on the level. Some people are high-level friends. Some people are introductory-level acquaintances. The latter are more like the people you periodically encounter at group settings. You know them, but now well enough to share the deep and the dark. There is value and friendship there, but at a different level.

  6. I think a friend is someone whom you can trust, share core values but can hold difference of opinions. You can have friendly coworkers, or friendly classmates and I think there are different levels of friendship and even different type of friend (fair weather, party, casual, etc) but your ‘clutch” friends, your ride and die? I think those are in a level of their own. Someone who loves you and knows your bulls**t and calls you on it. Someone that loves you enough to expect you to be and do better and when you are failing or doing something wrong can hold your hand without judgement but remind you that you are better than this.

    It is something made out of shared memories and laughter and tears and “remember when we did this?” but I also think true friendship means accepting our friends need something maybe we cannot provide and loving them enough to not be possessive and jealous if they have other people and other friendships. I have one best friend in the whole wide world, but also have my sister who is my sister and best friend as well, and I have friends from work with whom I spent more time every year than with BFF and sister and they all are my friends in different way and I cherish each version of their friendship.

  7. This is so true. I’ve had to reevaluate a lot of “friends” that I’ve had in my life because of feelings of judgement and feeling like they aren’t helping push me to be a better person. Time wasting who the wrong people can cause you to go down wrong paths so this is really important to note when you bring people around you.

  8. Can people really stick around forever ? Do we truly have friends ? As we grow our preference tends to change , we out grow certain things and people . I used to have best friends I would say anything to but once I outgrow then our conversation changes and I tend to lose interest in conversing with them . just casual greeting not that bond again . I wouldn’t say I have a friend , my only friend is Jesus . I talk to everyone , love everyone. Tell different people different things depending on what I want them to know or advise me about . but I don’t have a particular person I discuss everything with . what truly is friendship ? Do we have to be so close to be friends .

  9. True and it took me a while to get in sync with knowing the difference.
    But as the word states “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother”. I do more of letting Him in first before anyone else.

  10. I love this post. The term friend is one we hold loosely. Just look at social media. Does anyone really have 1,000 friends? no. not a chance. Most of the time I feel like I don’t have any. Not in the sense that you discuss anyway. Not in the “hey, ken! I have an extra ticket to the game, let’s go!” kind of friend. I have a few people who I am close to, but they are all married. I spend most of my time alone. I lost many friends 3 years ago. I know I am a good person. I need to take more of a chance with people.

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