What constitutes a real friend? What I mean is, does anyone know what the word friend means anymore? Wikipedia says this:
“FriendshipÂ is a form ofÂ interpersonal relationshipÂ generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees ofÂ intimacyÂ in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the sameÂ continuum. The study of friendship is included in the fields ofÂ sociology,Â social psychology,Â anthropology,Â philosophy, andÂ zoology. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, among which areÂ social exchange theory,Â equity theory, relationaldialectics, andÂ attachment styles.
ValueÂ that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
- The tendency to desire what isÂ best for the other
- SympathyÂ andÂ empathy
- Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak theÂ truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
- MutualÂ understandingÂ andÂ compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
- Enjoyment of each other’s company
- TrustÂ in one another
- PositiveÂ reciprocityÂ â€” a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
- The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.
- It is very important to have honesty, trust, sympathy, respect and helpfulness in friendship.”
As I write this, I look at my life at this moment and realize that I do not have many that I would consider a true friend. I have MANY wonderful acquaintances, but not true friends. My Grandparents would get together with friend a couple nights a week. They would play, dominoesÂ or cards, laughing and joking well into the night. They’d go on vacations with their friends. They’d have BBQ’s with their friends. They’d drop everything to rush to a friend who needed them. They made it a priority to have friendships. What happened??? Have we become so self absorbed that we feel we don’t need this anymore? I watched my children, now fully grown, struggle all through school AND beyond with friendships. When they were little, they’d look up at me and ask “Why can’t I find a friend who likes ME?” Â Talk about a heart breaker! I’d sit there hugging and crying with them, assuring them that it would change. But will it? Does anyone know how to be a friend anymore? Is anyone willing to take the time and EFFORT it will take to build a relationship like that? I hope so…