Tuesday, September 22, 2009


What is friendship?

I thought i knew what being a friend really meant. But I decided to look up the meaning . Here is what wikipedia says of friendship:

Friendship is the mutually cooperative and supportive behavior between two or more people. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, affection, and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis. Friends will welcome each other's company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism. Their tastes will usually be similar and may converge, and they will share enjoyable activities. They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as the exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship. A friend is someone who may often demonstrate reciprocating and reflective behaviors. Yet for some, the practical execution of friendship is little more than the trust that someone will not harm them.

I think this value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
the tendency to desire what is best for the other
sympathy and empathy, honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart and mutual understanding.

I personally do not think you have to necessarily have all the similar interests. For example, my spouse and I do not all like the same things with the same amount of passion. This may be sports or television, the type of movie or color schemes of a particular room. I think, by the way, of my spouse as my best friend. The kind of friend that you think of first when something good(or bad) happens because you want so badly to share that with them. Life really is better when you are sharing it with someone.

What is strange though is that I never really had "best" friends growing up. I had a lot of friends but not that "best" friend that was always there for me and vice versa. I started to think about that.

Why did I not have a best friend growing up? After serious reflection I think I know that answer. I am incredibly selfish. There, I said it. Not particularly proud of this but I see it for what it was. I had really good friends so I examined these relationships. I found that these friends were the very epitome of friends as described in the opening of this post. They thought of my wants and needs or shared my desires and so we got along splendidly. But it was only because we were in the same after school activities or went to church together that "I" was their friend. I don't think I was ever that friend who went out of his/her way to look after those friends.

What my spouse has done with me is amazing. I have noticed that I have been shown by example what the true meaning of friendship is. When I looked up friendship, what I found described their attributes in our relationship to a tee. Now does not that feel awesome! You bet it does.

I think during my 200+ years I have grown and matured and I think I have developed some very good friendships. But these are only because of the fact that I was able to learn how to be a better friend. I have learned to listen. To be willing to do something that maybe is not my favorite thing to do because it is theirs. To be willing to go out of my way in order to help/serve someone else.

So, what kind of friend are you?

Do you have many friends around you who really can be defined by wikipedia's definition of friendship?

Are you that kind of friend?


RhondaLue said...

I'm not always the kind of friend I want to be but I do try. There are many times that I wouldn't choose a particular thing to do on my own but I'll do it because I know that a friend may need me to.

People should always come first, ALWAYS. And if my peeps need me I hope they know that I'll drop anything for them. I find that the best friends are the ones that sit with me in the hospital when my kid is in for a stay, they don't always have to be in contact every day, or every week for that matter. Some of my best friends are people with whom I only speak to occasionally (super busy life, what can I say?) but the next time we talk or get together we're right back where we left off.

My best friend is my spouse too, my hubby. He's the one I can't wait to see, talk to, hang out with. Other friends are bonuses!

bettyl said...

I don't think it matters how anyone defines 'friend' except ourselves.

I had 'best friends' growing up and have one for the last 6 years that will be forever, even though she lives half a world away.

To me, if you accept me for who I am, warts and all and I accept you, warts and all, then we are definitely friends.

Night Owl Mama said...

WOW in your 200+ yrs does that mean you remember past lives are is there a little vampire in ya...ICK I hate that word..ANy anyway interesting post. I believe that people enter others lives for the sake of being true friends. ANd some for a learning experience. I'm for a true friendship. I have 1 true friend! And think of her as family more so than a friend. I'm that kind of friend.

Summer said...

Oh- you aren't that selfish. You are interested in other people, too- obviously.

I'm the kind of friend who will be nice to a lot of people, but will only invest myself in one or two friends at a time. I can't be best buddies with everyone and feel like I'm actually friends with them.

That's why I like Facebook. I can have "friends" that are really just people I can be cordial to and keep track of- it's like gossip that people tell you about themselves, so it's usually only helpful. You know when to send the get-well card, or the congratulations, but you don't have to invest much time in finding thses things out. So nice.

EmmaP said...

i always have a good group of friends. and then i have about 3 or 4 "best friends"... but none of them would i ever completely tell EVERYTHING to... and when i was married, he was NOT my best friend. I remember hearing other couples describe their spouse as their best friend. i never felt that way... should have been a red flag. one thing is for sure. my NEXT spouse WILL be my BEST friend and I will NOT be selfish with ANY thoughts or feelings... I will tell him EVERYTHING!!!

Mike said...

I won't even make you go to my blog to read this. Here's my main greeting.

There are billions of people and a version of normal to go along with each one of them. No two versions are exactly the same. There will be hundreds of thousands of little things that make up your version of normal. With any luck you can find people that have close to the same idea of what normal is that you do. These are your friends. Anyone else you try to tolerate as best you can. Sometimes that's not possible. Avoid these people at all costs. They will be the proverbial pain in your ass.

Tulsi said...

I had best friends in school. I still am in contact with friends from 3rd and 4th grade. And we moved a lot growing up. I am still best friends with my Jr. High/High school friend. We both have families now, and we now live in the same town. Her oldest daughter and my son went to high school together, one year apart. She is the first I call in bad times, or good - and I am the same for her. We have a good long history. Plus our husbands were Guardsmen together and were friends before we met them. We didn't know that until we were engaged. Her husband isn't a Guardsman any more. Not to sound vain, but I think I am a better friend to my friends than they are to me. I care about keeping in touch more than most of them do. I circulate at class reunions, trying to talk to everyone. Not staying in my "group". We had less than 40 graduate with us so really, how many groups could there be? Most don't find me first. I want to know how their life is when they don't ask about mine. I know our school class were all friends with each other. With a recent situation, 4 of us tried to contact every member of our class. I stayed up nights writing down who I thought we had left out and tried to find a friend or family member who might know where they were. We had pretty much 2 days to do this. The 4 of us who worked on this did not hang out really, but we were friends and had the same goal and decided to put the effort in. We cared. I know some that we told were like "thanks - and now I'll forget". But we worked our butt off getting word to them so they had a choice. But, sad as it is, I don't think they would work as hard to contact everyone if I had been the one who had died. Some of us are working on traveling to Las Vegas for his funeral, spur of the moment as it is. I was in some power positions in school but I still don't think people would scramble to contact people on my behalf. A few would. They might as I was friends with even those who were left out. I've not had those great friendships since high school and that was 25 years ago. Mostly we moved a lot, but then I never found anyone who was unconditional with me. I think friends are people who care about others even though you know they may not work hard for you. It's unconditional. Not the caustic friendships. They aren't friends. I'm not really selfish in friendships. Since HS, I just haven't made the effort to work harder than anyone. Steve is my best friend. We are not the same person, but we balance each other out. And thus far, our kids aren't screwed up.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had some girl friends on occasion. It would be nice to have a girls night out. Since we moved here I have met alot of great people, just not made any good friends. Maybe if I made more of an effort! Just have not made the time. I love all my blogging buddies!

Gloria said...

I have friends but my husband is my best friend. I did a posting about being let down by a friend recently. I'd been let down and it hurt. Dreadfully. This will bring you to that post, Fairweather Friends. http://gloriacarringtonferrira.blogspot.com/search?q=friends. A few days afterwards I wrote another post, Shooting for the moon. http://gloriacarringtonferrira.blogspot.com/2009/10/shooting-for-moon.html.

I love your blog. Am rushing out for the day but am going to sign up and follow you. I will be back to read some more of your postings.

Have a good one!


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