Friends, who are they?

I think there is a word that is often used too easily, applied all too often in a very casual way. In some cases I suppose it can be easily accepted that a very casual acquaintance can be called 'friend'. I would agree more readily that a person who has known you personally for a long time is better described as a 'friend'. I have a more definitive idea of what I would call a true 'FRIEND'. If I have known someone who understands me, my thoughts & moods, if they accept my reasoned discussions without stomping off in temper, if they can hold a conversation without being judgemental or prejudiced, if they are totally prepared to be a support & tower of strength in difficult times, then they are a FRIEND. If I talk with a careless disregard a friend will correct me, if I tell a joke of 'doubtful' taste or make a unguarded statement that required more thought, a friend will calmly just stop my tracks and make me aware of my errors. In the reverse this friend will also accept my regard for them, my caution on their behalf, my sense of caring and protection for my friend, my desire for good things and happiness to come the way of them.
I do use the word 'friend' casually too, but maybe we ought to have a better way of 'grading' our casual friends and then our 'true friends'. It is possible to respect casual friends & to trust them of course, but where is the distinction?
I can only say in my own defence that I say I do respect & trust casual friends & rely on mutual integrity & respect, but unless I actually know them as close intimate friends, then I will carry on using a very casual term 'friend'. To those who I have known, trusted, respected and cared about for a long time, those who have equally held me in respect & high regard through difficult periods, those are my trusted FRIENDS. My certain and loved ones, my TRUE FRIENDS.

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10 thoughts on “Friends, who are they?”

  1. Social-media certainly has affected our "friendscape" a LOT. We can connect with people from across the globe or across the yard. I have been able to reconnect with people I knew in high-school through Facebook. One friend, whom I have known for 45 years, didn't have my phone-number or email address and didn't think to call my mom for my number, so he messaged me last night on FB with his number. We spent an hour and a half on the phone talking about old times.

    I know most of the people I have connected with here from other social-networks, and look at who a person knows that I know before accepting a friend-request. I have restricted my Facebook friend-requests to friend-of-friends to help reduce the number of "unknown" friend-requests.

    I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of TRUE FRIENDS I have, and may even have fingers left over. TRUE FRIENDS are rare and precious.

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  2. i find these 2 definitions to be the most accurate re: friend.

    1. A friend will help you move. a true friend will help you move a body.

    2. a friend is there when they need you. a true friend is there when you need them.

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  3. I feel that friends, in the true sense of the word, are people you can simply be yourself around, and they accept you and your oddities just as readily as you accept them and their oddities. Friendship in my view needs to be somewhat unconditional. That is, you don’t need to be a certain way, or meet certain criteria to be a friend, nor does the other person. Conditional friendships are very unstable indeed. I’ve seen the very closest of friendships fall apart because one person was leaning too heavily on the other, or one of the parties was simply unreliable.

    Of the true friends that I have, all fall into the category that I could literally ask them for any kind of assistance, and know they would do everything within their power to help out. Likewise, if they were in that position of need, I wouldn’t hesitate to offer them every assistance available to me.

    True friendship is undemanding. Of the friends I have, many have been close over a number of years. Whether it’s a day, week or even years between contact, time has no relevance. The conversation picks up where it left off. The same sense of reliability and trust exists. It’s quite simple really.

    In terms of the modern context of “friends” in the social media realm especially, if someone has engaged in conversation, or simply has a profile I can readily relate to, I have no hesitation accepting their friend request. Often I perceive that if we were within visiting distance, there’d surely be plenty to talk about, and we’d probably get on quite admirably.

    The social media requests I ignore or reject are those that come with no introduction. From those that haven’t engaged in any dialogue whatsoever, and whose profile I can see no glimmer of, “if we met in the real world, we’d probably have something to talk about.” I actually wonder why people send friend requests out of the blue with no introduction.

    A friend is almost somebody who you can trust and rely on impeccably, but would never put any demands on unless you were in truly dire need. I have no doubt other people have very different ideas about friends, but those are my thoughts on the subject 🙂

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  4. The Quaker view of friends is helpful when thinking about friendships, especially the strong moral codes and elimination of many worldly structures. It all hinges on mutual trust and faith that each person is behaving in a supportive manner to the other. You dont need to be close, just share common mores and values.

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