Monday, March 21, 2016

The Nature of Friendship

A friend told me that "you have to work on friendships".

I'm not sure what she really meant. I think her feeling was that people need to consciously nurture others.

This leads to a questioning of the nature of friendship.

"Your friends are your chosen family".

Perhaps mutual support, nurturing is an interpretation of a friendly attitude.

Can anyone be a friend for longer than a while?

To give and receive mutual support and nurturing we have to have compatible goals. Can we expect any two people to share goals for long?

When my goals and yours diverge, are we no longer friends?

In the attempt to "make" friends some people seem to try to remake themselves to fit the required mould - to become a friend for another. When their inability to consistently live up to the part shows them to be phoney, they lose friends.

Surely this "working at being a friend" is a sad way to go through life. 

What shall we do to find a better way? A more permanent basis for friendship is "shared values".

Unlike goals, values are not superficial. A person's values are not obvious at first meeting (although you might feel that your first impression is the best). Also our values do not change readily. 

As with the previous goal-based philosophy, some might try to "make friends", but their true values will eventually show in the way they handle situations.

Unlike goal-based friendship, it is useless to work at a values-friendship. The only way to succeed is to be yourself. 

Start by liking your own values - show them off. 

Likes will attract.

No comments:

Post a Comment