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Summer_Twilight
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13 Aug 2021, 12:27 pm

Other examples of what friends are not

1. Minor acquaintances who you meet a few times through a friend
2. People who one gets along with at a venue or organization but neither party moves forward to invite the other one to do something.
3. Roommates- The unwritten rule is that one signs an lease and an agreement which you do your share of chores, etc.
4. Same applies to colleagues as with roommates
5. Just because you are "Friends" on Facebook does not automatically make you "Friends." FB is a way for people to stay in touch



AquaineBay
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13 Aug 2021, 4:02 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
I would be very interest to hear other WP members' general thoughts about friendship. For example, in your view, what is friendship? Do you personally have friends or desire to have friends? And, if so, how do you personally go about cultivating friendship,?

I honestly have no personal view of friendship. Anything I say or use to describe friendship is usually recited from other people which I find is dishonest cause it's not personal to me which means I won't actually feel like I have a friend.

I have one friend...I think? We talk by text a lot not really much calling or video chatting(said friend lives too far away to meet in person). But, some say that online friends aren't really friends so I'm not sure...

I have a desire to have friends but, I'm starting to come to the realization that if I have no personal definition of friendship than how can I call anyone a friend? I'm starting to think that emotionally you have to know your own personal definition of friendship to call someone a friend. As for how I cultivate that, I tried getting out more and right now going to the professionally-led autism group to try and gain friends but I think it's not working cause I internally have no personal definition of friendship... :cry:


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Mona Pereth
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13 Aug 2021, 6:13 pm

AquaineBay wrote:
I honestly have no personal view of friendship. Anything I say or use to describe friendship is usually recited from other people which I find is dishonest cause it's not personal to me which means I won't actually feel like I have a friend.

I think a lot of people do manage to make friends without abstractly defining the word "friendship." However, if one is having difficulty making friends, a definition can be helpful. The definition doesn't need to be original with you, but it needs to be something you see as desirable.

AquaineBay wrote:
I have one friend...I think? We talk by text a lot not really much calling or video chatting(said friend lives too far away to meet in person). But, some say that online friends aren't really friends so I'm not sure...

I think it's possible, though uncommon, for a purely online friend to be a real friend.

AquaineBay wrote:
I have a desire to have friends but, I'm starting to come to the realization that if I have no personal definition of friendship than how can I call anyone a friend? I'm starting to think that emotionally you have to know your own personal definition of friendship to call someone a friend.

When you say you have a desire to have friends, what do you desire?

AquaineBay wrote:
As for how I cultivate that, I tried getting out more and right now going to the professionally-led autism group to try and gain friends but I think it's not working cause I internally have no personal definition of friendship... :cry:

Are the support group meetings followed by an after-meeting dinner? If not, are members of the support group otherwise encouraged to socialize with each other outside of meetings?

I would say that a support group, itself, can be helpful in cultivating one of what I call the foundations of friendship, namely emotional intimacy. In a well-run support group, people hear each other nonjudgmentally and offer both sympathy and (if desired) discussion with the aim of brainstorming solutions.

However, emotional intimacy all by itself does not add up to friendship, in my opinion. To cultivate other foundations of friendship with fellow support group members, you would need to interact with them outside of the support group itself.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 13 Aug 2021, 10:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

TenMinutes
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13 Aug 2021, 6:13 pm

In order to be very clear about whether I am being reasonable when I am disappointed, or manipulated, or just on the wrong end of someone doing me no favor by being "nice" to me, I've come up with this definition of friendship:

A friend is someone who enjoys your company enough to occasionally seek it.

It separates those who both claim and act on friendship from those who claim friendship but don't feel it. The latter are possibly trying to make themselves feel good, or possibly keeping score of how socially successful they are, or possibly insultingly underestimating me, or possibly acting out a hero complex. Their "kindness" is the worst kind of false hope.



Juliette
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13 Aug 2021, 6:41 pm

I started out in life not wanting friends. I would push others away as a young child, though other children would attempt to befriend me. Then, once I'd matured some more, I would allow certain people in. They had to REALLY make the effort and generally be incredibly "caring and nice" though.

I learned in High School to "be a friend" to others and invite them places(skating, dancing, for sleep overs etc). There were plenty of parties. Lots of caring friendships emerged in High School. Two important female friendships remain from Primary School days.

Friendship now consists of both long term friendships from the past and newer adult friendships that have emerged, mostly from WP. I don't encourage friendships in real life if I can help it. I get so much more out of online friendships, which are more lasting and deeper than friendships people who live close try to cultivate with me. I will walk with you, spend time with you, but you have to make a massive impact for me to make any effort.

I care deeply for particular friends, but I definitely pull away at times. My closest friends understand this though and are always there, if I need them, and vice versa.



Last edited by Juliette on 13 Aug 2021, 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

StrayCat81
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13 Aug 2021, 6:58 pm

TenMinutes wrote:
A friend is someone who enjoys your company enough to occasionally seek it.

Hmm, I like it, but might still miss some cases? For example, I tend to despise people, but I still sometimes seek them when I absolutely need them for something and there is no way of doing something on my own. Also, even if I'm forced to be in proximity of someone, I might still be helpful because I enjoy helping. People sometimes mistake it for friendship, which is annoying, but I have no idea how to tell them delicately that I actually hate them without them freaking out?

On the other hand, I'm no free from being dumb myself and mistook atraction for friendship in the past :3



TenMinutes
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13 Aug 2021, 7:09 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
TenMinutes wrote:
A friend is someone who enjoys your company enough to occasionally seek it.

I tend to despise people, but I still sometimes seek them when I absolutely need them for something and there is no way of doing something on my own.


That's not the same as enjoying their company, so no, that's not a friendship. It's also possible to enjoy someone's company but they don't enjoy yours.



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13 Aug 2021, 7:14 pm

TenMinutes wrote:
A friend is someone who enjoys your company enough to occasionally seek it.

Hmmm. That would be my definition of a true companion. But companionship, i.e. enjoying each other's company, is only one aspect of friendship, in my opinion.

It is, alas, certainly possible that a person could genuinely enjoy my company enough to seek it out, as long as things are going well for me, but then drop me like a hot potato when something bad happens to me.

To me, true friendship involves not just enjoying each other's company, but also caring about each other's well-being.


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TenMinutes
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13 Aug 2021, 7:23 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
To me, true friendship involves not just enjoying each other's company, but also caring about each other's well-being.


You aren't likely to enjoy the company of someone who doesn't care about your well-being. Don't over-complicate it.

I see in this thread a very high threshold for friendship, and it's no wonder it's a challenge for many of us. Friendship can require effort, and involve misunderstandings, and temporary violation of our terms.



Mona Pereth
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13 Aug 2021, 7:52 pm

TenMinutes wrote:
You aren't likely to enjoy the company of someone who doesn't care about your well-being. Don't over-complicate it.

Actually, lots of people enjoy hanging out with people whom they regard as fun to be with, but whom they don't necessarily care about all that much (at least not yet), and from whom they don't expect much if any personal caring (at least not yet).

Genuine mutual caring takes time to grow, whereas many people can have fun almost instantly with almost anyone who seems likeable and has compatible ideas of what's fun.

TenMinutes wrote:
I see in this thread a very high threshold for friendship, and it's no wonder it's a challenge for many of us. Friendship can require effort, and involve misunderstandings, and temporary violation of our terms.

With this I definitely agree.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 13 Aug 2021, 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mona Pereth
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13 Aug 2021, 7:53 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
Hmm, I like it, but might still miss some cases? For example, I tend to despise people, but I still sometimes seek them when I absolutely need them for something and there is no way of doing something on my own. Also, even if I'm forced to be in proximity of someone, I might still be helpful because I enjoy helping. People sometimes mistake it for friendship, which is annoying, but I have no idea how to tell them delicately that I actually hate them without them freaking out?

What you've described here is an exchange of favors (if it is mutual). You enjoy helping others, and you in turn ask them for help when you need it. This is not the same thing as companionship (enjoying each other's company).

In my opinion, neither companionship nor an exchange of favors constitutes the totality of friendship, but both (along with emotional intimacy and comradeship) are among what I call the foundations of friendship.


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StrayCat81
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13 Aug 2021, 8:04 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
What you've described here is an exchange of favors (if it is mutual).

I mean, when I help someone, and I see (or even just know) they are happy, I get rewarded internally via empathy (their joy gives me joy). Works great with many animals :3

Mona Pereth wrote:
In my opinion, neither companionship nor an exchange of favors constitutes the totality of friendship, but both (along with emotional intimacy and comradeship) are among what I call the foundations of friendship.

Makes sense, although I only have my relation with myself to go by here.

How do you differentiate between friendship and relationship though?



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13 Aug 2021, 8:34 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
How do you differentiate between friendship and relationship though?

By "relationship," I assume you mean either "romantic relationship" or a "life partnership"?

To avoid derailing this thread, I'll answer this question in a separate thread.

EDIT: See the separate thread How a romantic relationship is distinct from a friendship.


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Mona Pereth
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14 Aug 2021, 1:45 am

StrayCat81 wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
What you've described here is an exchange of favors (if it is mutual).

I mean, when I help someone, and I see (or even just know) they are happy, I get rewarded internally via empathy (their joy gives me joy). Works great with many animals :3

... which leads to an important correction to something I wrote earlier:

Mona Pereth wrote:
3) Doing favors for each other: Favors should be small at first, small enough that you won’t feel ripped off if it’s not reciprocated. Favors can gradually get bigger as the friendship deepens.

Instead of simply "doing favors for each other," this really should be something more like "empathic exchange of favors" -- although I'm not sure that's really the best term, either. But the important point here is that both people enjoy making each other happy. Otherwise, the exchange of favors would be more like just a business transaction.


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StrayCat81
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14 Aug 2021, 3:09 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
But the important point here is that both people enjoy making each other happy.

True, although it doesn't really work with humans I guess, since humans only really enjoying doing favors when they want to copulate with someone?



Mona Pereth
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05 Sep 2021, 1:44 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
But the important point here is that both people enjoy making each other happy.

True, although it doesn't really work with humans I guess, since humans only really enjoying doing favors when they want to copulate with someone?

Not all people are like that.

Yes, there do seem to exist a fair number of people (at least in the modern Western world) who have no interest in friendship but desire only sex partners and/or romantic partners. I don't know how common this really is, but I would suspect that such people are disproportionately conspicuous in singles-oriented social scenes and among people (especially men) who are aggressively "friendly."


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