OK, back to basics!

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Maldenlady. Show Maldenlady's posts

    OK, back to basics!

    I've seen some posts here, and in Love Letters, that make me think...people seem to be really confused about what a friend is...people seem to either get used/or use others and somehow think that means friendship.  One thread here seems to point out how difficult it can be to just get people to talk.  Others seem to delude themselves, somehow, into thinking that simply because two people hang out together, that's a friendship..

    So, I'm thinking:  back to square one.  What is a friend?  What are the different levels of friendship, and how do you know what the boundaries are at each level?  I'm starting to think this is a whole social phenomena, and that the way we treat sex as a topic in general as a society really confuses things...
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    When I first arrived in the USA my work gave me a handbook which was hilarious (not meant to be). One section was about friendships. The gist of it was in the USA people describe anyone as a friend, however, in real terms this is not to be taken seriously. Friends get dropped like stones when moods change. It went on to say not to take offence at this as its common-place and based on the fact that Americans are very independent people, who don't like to feel that they need anyone but themselves in life.
    As per the "Facebook Friends" discussions we have had, I think the same might be true with real ones too.
    You cannot however define "friend" as that definition is so personal that it means literally nothing to the next person you meet. Its like trying to define "Yuck" or "Cute", entirely personal in every context.
    Thats why there are many "unrequited friendships" out there, lol.
    Then there is the separation of real friends from work friends (if you lost your job would you keep up contact with these people? Really?). Or some people have different echelons of friends eg friend, good friend, best friend. Or best friend from work, best friend from school, best friend with blond hair, blue eyes, above 5'10" (ok that last one is just to poke fun at these categorizing people).



     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Maldenlady. Show Maldenlady's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    Thank you, plasko, for putting this in a cultural perspective!  I hadn't thought about the "rugged individualist" piece to this, but it makes sense...
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    I took a graduate philosophy class in college named, "5 Great Philosophers," and Nietzsche was one of the philosophers we studied.  I found his theory of friendship something I totally agree with, and I think you'll find it an interesting study.  It answers your question to my satisfaction, anyway. 

    ETA:  OOPS, sorry, it was 20 years ago, and the philosopher with the theory I mentioned is Aristotle, another one of the 5 we studied.  Here's an essay on it, although, there are many books to choose from:  3 Types of Friends
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bubs06. Show Bubs06's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    In Response to OK, back to basics!:
    [QUOTE]I've seen some posts here, and in Love Letters, that make me think...people seem to be really confused about what a friend is...people seem to either get used/or use others and somehow think that means friendship.  One thread here seems to point out how difficult it can be to just get people to talk.  Others seem to delude themselves, somehow, into thinking that simply because two people hang out together, that's a friendship.. So, I'm thinking:  back to square one.  What is a friend?  What are the different levels of friendship, and how do you know what the boundaries are at each level?  I'm starting to think this is a whole social phenomena, and that the way we treat sex as a topic in general as a society really confuses things...
    Posted by Maldenlady[/QUOTE]

    Well ML, as others can attest there are all kinds of perceived friend rules and regulations but it remains way too personal to offer a crib sheet. I know many people and many, many acquaintances yet few two real close friends I have, I rarely see or talk to. But when we do, it seems we just continue a conversation as if we speak regularly. Hard to predict but you know it when you see it. Kind of a pick it up where you left off thing.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    I think the issue is that pop culture puts a lot of importance on having a big group of friends and being "popular"
    "Friend collecting" it's sometimes called.
    The problem with that is that if you have a very large group of friends, chances are you aren't very close with them. How can you form a strong bond with someone if you've got to fit so many friends into your social schedule, or if you're only spending time with friends in group settings?

    I've never been a person to have a big group of friends. I prefer my small circle of friends, all of whom I am very close to. I have 2 "best friends" 6 "good friends" and 10 "friends", the latter are those who I like a lot, but don't see often and am not especially close to, or are my husband's friends. That would probably change if I lived closer to them, had more free time or whatnot, but you can't force these things.

    But I think it's just a passing trend, because most of the highest rated movies and TV shows glamorize and worship the close friendship, the small circle of friends- Friends, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, the Golden Girls, etc. etc.

    You get two families in this life. The one you were born into and the one you build yourself with your friends. My friends are my family. I love them more than anything.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Maldenlady. Show Maldenlady's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    Hey, kar!  Thanks for your post...a great way to look at the boundaries between the different kinds of relationships...I'm a friendship-of-the-good kinda person, myself!  Do you think these different kinds of relationships have become muddied at all, in the current time?  I'm thinking of the whole FWB thing (which I personally am kinda skeptical of -- I haven't actually seen that one working out, in real life).

    Bubs!  Great to hear from you!  Yeah, it's true -- you know it when you see it.  I think each person has got to sorta prove themselves to the other person, and show where the boundaries are.  If the boundaries are stable and agreed upon, then voila, friendship!  So, then, is the task of friendship in the current time to move beyond letting others have a say in your friendships, or allow them to judge?  As privacy is/should be a part of any friendship, how to handle that at a time when we've got so much challenge to privacy (through social media)? 

    Pinkkittie -- I hope you're right!  I'd like to see some balance regained, too...I also have a few *good* friends (lucky me!)  and not a whole lotta aquaintance-type friendships.  For me, that's an issue of both preference and time!  There are so many demands on that precious commodity -- time -- that it can be hard to cultivate that middle territory between acquaintance and life-long friend...the families we create as we move on in life are very, very precious indeed...

    Interesting thoughts!

    Maldenlady/Amethyst

     


     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    Hey, ML. :)   Interesting topic.  I think the three types of friends persist throughout human history and will persist, unchanged.  FB can be a part of all three types imo.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jim-in-Littleton. Show Jim-in-Littleton's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    In Response to Re: OK, back to basics!:
    [QUOTE]But I think it's just a passing trend, because most of the highest rated movies and TV shows glamorize and worship the close friendship, the small circle of friends- Friends, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, the Golden Girls, etc. etc. Posted by pinkkittie27[/QUOTE]

    It may be a passing trend but I don't think TV is going to do much to influnce it one way or the other. TV shows (and radio prior to it) have always glamorized close relationships so if it had that much effect, it just seems that we wouldn't be were we are today with very loose "friendships".

    I guess it'd have to be studied in a controlled environment to know but perhaps the ideas of social "inclusiveness" and "acceptance" that have been introduced through the school systems and the workplace over the last 20-30 years is a part of it.  If that's true, then if those idea's fade, the trend may fade with it.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    In Response to Re: OK, back to basics!:
    [QUOTE]I took a graduate philosophy class in college named, "5 Great Philosophers," and Nietzsche was one of the philosophers we studied.  I found his theory of friendship something I totally agree with, and I think you'll find it an interesting study.  It answers your question to my satisfaction, anyway.  ETA:  OOPS, sorry, it was 20 years ago, and the philosopher with the theory I mentioned is Aristotle , another one of the 5 we studied.   Here's an essay on it, although, there are many books to choose from:   3 Types of Friends
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]
    Kar...great link and thanks for sharing..this kind of sums up what I was trying to say in my comment on the post about the "unreliable friend". Funny though, I have a couple of friends that really don't fit into any of those categories. This makes me think I should be considering them as acquantances. 
    I think friends for the good..are rare...I am lucky enough to have a couple.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    They are rare, indeed, and I only have a couple, as well.  Friends to the end.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    In Response to Re: OK, back to basics!:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: OK, back to basics! : It may be a passing trend but I don't think TV is going to do much to influnce it one way or the other. TV shows (and radio prior to it) have always glamorized close relationships so if it had that much effect, it just seems that we wouldn't be were we are today with very loose "friendships". I guess it'd have to be studied in a controlled environment to know but perhaps the ideas of social "inclusiveness" and "acceptance" that have been introduced through the school systems and the workplace over the last 20-30 years is a part of it.  If that's true, then if those idea's fade, the trend may fade with it.
    Posted by Jim-in-Littleton[/QUOTE]

    requiring people to be tolerant and not ostracize one another had nothing to do with it. There's a big difference between tolerating someone and considering them a friend.

    I certainly hope that tolerance and inclusiveness aren't a fad. It's a myth that bullying makes anyone any better, and intolerance should never be encouraged.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jim-in-Littleton. Show Jim-in-Littleton's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    In Response to Re: OK, back to basics!:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: OK, back to basics! : requiring people to be tolerant and not ostracize one another had nothing to do with it. There's a big difference between tolerating someone and considering them a friend. I certainly hope that tolerance and inclusiveness aren't a fad. It's a myth that bullying makes anyone any better, and intolerance should never be encouraged.
    Posted by pinkkittie27[/QUOTE]

    Think about it for a bit...  If you receive a "friend" request on Facebook, how do you "not ostracize" the person sending the request and still refuse it at the same time?  You can try but you can't be guaranteed that the person won't be offended or feel bullied. "Tolerance" has pretty much moved to become synonymous with "acceptance" and the line between them becomes more fuzzy every day even theough they are very different concepts. (and many school lesson plans on the topic use the terms interchangably.)

    Ask anyone that's on Facebook how many "friends" they have on there and how many of them are there because they just didn't want to offend the person by refusing their request.  Pretty much every person I know that is on any of the social networking sites has at least a few "friends" in that category and it's mostly because they don't want to be thought of or accused of being intolerant or non-inclusive. 

    I don't know about you but I don't "tolerate" my friends. IMO, to be friends you have to cross that line from tolerance to acceptance.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OK, back to basics!

    In Response to Re: OK, back to basics!:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: OK, back to basics! : Think about it for a bit...  If you receive a "friend" request on Facebook, how do you "not ostracize" the person sending the request and still refuse it at the same time?  You can try but you can't be guaranteed that the person won't be offended or feel bullied. "Tolerance" has pretty much moved to become synonymous with "acceptance" and the line between them becomes more fuzzy every day even theough they are very different concepts. (and many school lesson plans on the topic use the terms interchangably.) Ask anyone that's on Facebook how many "friends" they have on there and how many of them are there because they just didn't want to offend the person by refusing their request.  Pretty much every person I know that is on any of the social networking sites has at least a few "friends" in that category and it's mostly because they don't want to be thought of or accused of being intolerant or non-inclusive.  I don't know about you but I don't "tolerate" my friends. IMO, to be friends you have to cross that line from tolerance to acceptance.
    Posted by Jim-in-Littleton[/QUOTE]

    um, yeah, that's why I said there's a big difference between tolerating someone and considering them a friend.

    having people be tolerant and not ostracize people in the workplace or classroom in no way shape or form requires them to be friends on Facebook.

    Most people I know don't accept every friend request that comes their way. They definitely don't "friend" people from work unless they're friends outside the office.
    Most kids are now are taught that the best way to avoid cyber-bullying is to not accept friend requests from people who they aren't friends with.

    Many schools have set up social sites so that students that are working on projects together can collaborate without having to connect on "personal" social sites like Facebook.

    The beautiful thing about Facebook is that people don't know if you "unfriend" them, or if you stick them in a group where they can't see anything you've posted and you can't see what they've posted.
    People who are unaware of these functionalities or cannot bear to hit the "ignore" button have no business using that site.

     
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