Friendship. What is it? Is it a real concept and how does it work? What are its restrictions and limitations? I have been discussing these topics with a couple people lately as well as thinking to myself and I haven’t been able to come to a conclusion; until now. I think a friendship will be shaped by a number of factors including environment, compatibility and neediness. Let me elaborate on these.
Firstly; environment. I definitely believe that friendships can be limited by where they are formed. I think often, well at least in my experience, we are able to make friends where we spend most of our time. Personally, I would like to think I was quite sociable in the sense that I find it easy to talk to many different types of people and not feel weird or uncomfortable about it. For example, to use a cliché example, as a high school student I didn’t really fit the ‘mould’ of any clique as I was able to gel with people from all of the different groups. I guess you could say I was a ‘drifter’ of sorts. Anyway, being a drifter has it’s benefits, for example never being lonely at lunch time as you always have someone to chill with or speak to. However, it also has it’s downsides as you are unable to cultivate meaningful friendships with one person because you’re always moving about. Your friendships are limited because they do not surpass a certain level. Conversations don’t really progress and they often stay around the same sort of topics. Thus, these friends are confined to ‘school’ as they don’t really travel out of that environment. This can apply to any given social environment.
Another restriction to friendship can be compatibility. Have you ever had a friend that you honestly really like but because of a certain trait they have, you try to avoid putting yourself in certain positions with them. For example, if they are oversensitive which means you are unable to make the type of jokes you personally like due to the fear of the other person taking them the wrong way. Another example of this is where a friend is not able to take criticism or advice because they feel like you are being controlling and overstepping the mark when that wasn’t in the slightest bit your intention. This is a case of incompatibility of sorts as you have to condense yourself for that person which shouldn’t have to be the case if you are truly ‘friends’. Shouldn’t you feel free to be your true self around your friends? That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be think before you speak or purposely try to be mean; just being able to let your guard down and relax – something we are not able to do much in today’s society as we are always fearful we will offend someone with what we say through misunderstanding or communication barriers, or hypersensitivity.
Finally, another aspect to friendship which raises question marks is neediness. Let’s face it; some people are too needy! In many friendships one person is George and the other is Lennie. In other words; a leader and a follower; a parent and a child. In my experience I have been put off people who have the tendency to be excessively clingy and do not respect the fact that I need space and have my own problems too. Also, that I am not a 24 hour agony aunt/uncle. Don’t get me wrong! I love (and have a natural flare for) giving advice, but it can get tedious when I have to repeat myself over and over and over again or when the other person doesn’t take the advice in the first place and then comes running back for more advice which they probably will not follow either. Friendships in my opinion should be balanced, although obviously this will not always be the case. The same way I should be able to give you advice is the same way I should be able to ask you for advice – an even playing field.
In conclusion, it feels great to have exhaled this weight of my chest and to have have freed my mind of this clutter. In a room in my brain right now, brainiacs are rejoicing that the garage has finally been cleared. I think it shouldn’t be your number one goal in life to have a true friend as I think they either happen or they don’t. Similar to finding the ‘one’. You can’t force these things. And besides, who is to say there is anything wrong with having specific friends for specific places anyway? It keeps life neat, clean and organised!
If you agree (or disagree) with the points I have discussed or want to share what friendship means to you, or even if you just want a chat, feel free to leave a comment below and share this post! 😀