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ATS - Lets talk about friendship

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posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 08:50 AM
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Various definitions of friendship state that a friend is a person whom you have a nonsexual mutual affection with. A state of mutual trust and support exists between the people. There is an emotional bond. Evolutionary psychology states that friendships in the past have been a group survival instinct.

My definition - A friend is someone who is trustworthy and loyal. They believe the best in you and want the best for you, and you want the same for them. They care about you and you care about them. My main criteria for considering a person to be a 'friend' and not just an acquaintance is that the person must be honest with me. If I get lied to or manipulated in any way by the friend, then I have lost trust in them and they are no longer a person that I'd consider a friend. I forgive them, of course. I don't hold a grudge (dwelling on the situation and holding anger). But because the bond of trust is broken, I can't consider them a friend. They have to earn back my trust before I can think of them as a friend again. Friends forgive each other, but for me trust is the vital issue. Lies and gossip kill friendships.

My friends come in all sorts of different political leanings and religious/spiritual beliefs. I won't disqualify someone from my life because they lean left or lean right (unless they won't stop preaching at me about their leanings ... then I admit I run away). My friends have different life goals and different thoughts on what is right and wrong. (no career criminals ... that's be what I'd consider toxic and not good ). Many of my friendships actually started out rather rough with both myself and the other person at odds but then gradually we came to actually know and like each other.

So, ATS, for discussion -
What do you think it takes to make a person a good friend? Are YOU a good friend?
What would it take for someone to be taken off your 'friends' list?
How much do you forgive and when does a friendship become toxic?
Are you able to speak freely with your friends, or do you couch your words?
Do you nurture your friendship and work on them, or do you think friendship should just happen naturally?
Do you tell acquaintances that they are friends, even though they don't fit the definition?
Anything else you want to talk about in regards to friendships?




posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

I have 3 people I consider my close friends and I hope that I am a good friend but since I can only see it from my viewpoint I cannot be 100% sure. We have been friends for over 20 years so if we where not compatible with each other we probably would have stopped being friends.

I do not need to work that hard for our group to work but that might be a man trait. I can speak freely about most things. There are a few things about spirituality that I keep a lower profile on and just hint at since they might not be ready for it.


edit on 10-8-2014 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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A good friend will try to talk to their friend rationally if they see them going in the wrong direction. Some people do not listen though, you do not have to abandon the friendship. Many people sit by and let their friends destroy their lives, not telling them how they feel about what they are doing. People get caught up in things, following in the footsteps of others that they have learned to admire, sometimes they are following the wrong path.

A good friend is not someone who will abandon their friend if they say something they don't agree with. A good friend will say no sometimes if they don't want to do something that will get them and their friend in trouble. If you just agree with your friend and then talk behind their back to others, are you a true friend. I will try to talk reason to my friends, but do not get pushy or mad. It seems that they remember your trying to tell them that their direction was wrong and after thinking about it after you are gone, they do come to the conclusion you are right. But they do not tell you they erred usually, they just say they changed their mind. This helps to preserve their dignity, something that is important. Don't rub it in, drop the subject, someday they will return the favor when you are going in the wrong direction.

When I was brought up, there was this saying, you have to learn by your mistakes. This is true to a certain point, you have to guide the young and not try to break their spirit. We are responsible for our actions after we are out of that hormone driven age, and sometimes earlier if the problem is big. The law knows of the teenagers desires and gullibility. I'm getting off topic with this now.

So finding true friends is good, there will also be fair weather friends, it is important to identify these. A friend does not try to do things that will get you in trouble, they try to steer you onto an honest path so that you do not wind up sitting in the slammer. Now, I had friends that were misguided, they got in trouble when I was not around, but while they were hanging out with me, they were not getting in trouble much. They were and are good friends to me. I could not keep them out of trouble when I was not around, just like I influenced them to not get in trouble, others they knew influenced them to get in trouble. But that is life.

We can't use Ad Hominum to judge people, some people just can't say no and want to be liked by others, even others that will get them in trouble. My father told me you are who you hang out with...he was wrong. He wasn't wrong very often, and the reason he was wrong is that I figured out how to work with this, understanding most kids actually want to be accepted by others. Learning and evaluating what he said gave me an advantage and the ability to say no. It gave me the confidence to challenge the thinking of my friends when they wanted to do something wrong and to try to alter their perception. Some people cannot be fixed though. That is life.

Sorry if I got off topi c OP.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: FlyersFan





But because the bond of trust is broken, I can't consider them a friend. They have to earn back my trust before I can think of them as a friend again. Friends forgive each other, but for me trust is the vital issue. Lies and gossip kill friendships.


Precisely....

Now after being disappointed by so many "friends" I have found my capacity to LOVE has been seriously diminished. It saddens me but in some way it's liberating and lonely at the same time.

I like to be around and associate with many people but I trust none of them.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 10:04 AM
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I'm generally reclusive. Being an artist, I require a lot of alone time to do my work. When I do socialize at bars or parties, I have no problem, for the most part, being friends with everybody.
There is the occasional jerk. I just leave them alone.
I have a small tribe of friends that I know are always there, even if we haven't communicated for years. When we cross paths again, it's as if no time has passed. These are people I know I can always trust and they know they can always trust me. I don't bug them for favors and they don't bug me for favors unless we actually need help.
I tend to avoid clingy types that constantly try to drag me into their personal drama.
I have no need for a constant companion. My dog fills that niche.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 10:17 AM
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I have many friends of many sorts and levels of friendship.

Plenty are more 'friends' aka a percentage of those on my facebook that I either knew from childhood, relatives, some close some not, some from school, university and various work places.

I have a few close friends where there is a true bond, similar to that which you described in the opening post of this thread. Some friendships having their 'ups' and 'downs', some consistent.

I have, over the years realised that some have attempted taking advantage of my kind nature, but that naivety soon diminished.

I never openly trust people like I used to and always consider 'ulterior motives' at all times.

I make friendships easily when the bond expected is more superficial, I am not fake but I know how to manage situations that could otherwise be intense. I am rather humorous and often negate any potential conflicts in group settings with some clever words and humour.

Stronger bonds and long term true friendships takes more effort though.

There is an aspect of my family that instead of admitting their own failings, since I recall, have always tried belittling me as a means of placating their own ego and took it upon themselves at attempts at turning my friends against me using all sorts of means including 'buying them off''. Any so called friends that ever 'bought into' that aren't friends IMO and aren't trustworthy.

I am honest, and those that are my true friends and have proven that they are 'on my side', consider themselves lucky as I am a very good friend to those that are good to me.
edit on 10-8-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

I consider my few friends to be extended family members, closer than even some of my own actual family. You hit the nail on the head in my opinion.

And while I do appreciate it when people add me to their friends wall, I find I can't do the same as it doesn't really fit my own criteria. I'm sure that if I met a few of them they would become actual friends though.

Close acquaintances is a good thing though in my opinion and I have plenty of them. I have found that many people would say that they are friends...and they are in a manner of speaking. But I know that if I or they move elsewhere, we will drift apart eventually. Though a true friend will stay in touch and occasionally swing by from time to time when they or I can afford it on vacay. (I love road trips!)

You mentioned "What would it take to leave a friend?" I recently have done just that. I considered the guy a brother and we talked almost daily (He lives in another state). But I could see that his mind was starting to leave him and I told him that he should see a Doc. Maybe it was his pain meds doing it, maybe something else. But his conversations were starting to ramble all over the place, he repeated himself a lot and worst of all he would make things up out of the blue and act as if they actually happened. The last month I talked to him, he was turning extremely combative as well. He accused me of saying the same thing as his sisters and brothers concerning that he needed to get checked out (He was probably right) and would proceed to tell me that no one understands (like a teenager).

I decided enough was enough and that I didn't need this aggravation any more, I tried to help but he wasn't having any of it. So I cut sling load. I haven't heard a peep from him going on six weeks now. I still worry about him from time to time though. If he calls and says that he finally took mine and his families advice, well, who knows?
edit on 10-8-2014 by TDawgRex because: Just a ETA



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 11:03 AM
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My experience with friends in this lifetime has not been a good one. However, the classification of friend can be many. There can be close friends, friends with benefits, friends by association, situational friends, drinking friends, childhood friends, coworker friends, circles of friends and social butterfly friends. Each one has a very specific attribute that makes you friends in the first place. IE: friends with benefits and coworker friends doesn't work and you don't mix one circle of friends with another either. Teenagers can make friends almost instantly where adults are more reluctant. (why is that btw?) Personally, I have found that people with too many friends can never be your friend even if they accept you.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 11:12 AM
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originally posted by: FlySolo
My experience with friends in this lifetime has not been a good one. However, the classification of friend can be many. There can be close friends, friends with benefits, friends by association, situational friends, drinking friends, childhood friends, coworker friends, circles of friends and social butterfly friends. Each one has a very specific attribute that makes you friends in the first place. IE: friends with benefits and coworker friends doesn't work and you don't mix one circle of friends with another either. Teenagers can make friends almost instantly where adults are more reluctant. (why is that btw?) Personally, I have found that people with too many friends can never be your friend even if they accept you.


I used to think as you do with the many classifications. But I found that to be irritating on a emotional level. So I boiled down the list. We all have standards after all, why shouldn't we also have standards when it comes to friendships?

I found it actually helped me. (probably others as well)



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 11:21 AM
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I am curious..

At what level of disrespect should one no longer associate with friends and relatives?

I have one relative, a first cousin, who asked me to borrow $3000 for a piece of equipment for his career/occupation. It was very important to him. I don't make a lot of money and it takes me along time to save that money. I wanted to help him, so I lent him the money. He paid me back a thousand over a couple years and but never paid me back the rest. For a few years he kept telling me he was going to pay me back, and but never did. Eventually I stopped talking to him.

It was very traumatic as we were very close as children (into adulthood), but as an adult, I could not look him in the face and call him a friend. He also cons other people out of money, and does not pay them back, as I have observed.

As kids, it is easy to make friends because you are not so critical of people. As a result, I had a lot of friends and interesting experiences. But as an adult, (at least for me) it is more difficult because you are more critical of peoples qualities.

Anyway, how would others react to my situation? Would you still be friends with someone like that? Need some ATS therapy over here.. Some think I am actually wrong for no longer talking to him since they perceive him as a nice guy.
edit on 10-8-2014 by nOraKat because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 11:25 AM
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I've not had many in my life, REAL friends, I'm picky who I trust. A friend must back you up when they think you're right and kick you're ass when they think you aren't. Well down the path of substance abuse my best friend once slapped my face about 25 years ago knowing he was probably going to be thrown from the _ THAT'S a friend. Am I a good friend? Yup. I hold myself to the same standard.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: TDawgRex




I used to think as you do with the many classifications. But I found that to be irritating on a emotional level. So I boiled down the list. We all have standards after all, why shouldn't we also have standards when it comes to friendships?


I realized the same thing. That's why at this time I remain friendless by the definition of true friend. I have not been able to find a single person in 43 years that is on the same wave length or doesn't annoy me to some degree. Sometimes it takes years to realize that your friend isn't who you thought they were. Then there's the cognitive dissonance that happens where you realize that none of the people you have as friends really fulfill you to the degree you need but still remain friends even though secretly you don't like them.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: FlySolo

Rarely are my friends and close acquaintances on the same wave-length as me. But our humor usually is. I like it that way.

Any one I find that I am uncomfortable around or dislike, I ignore them. I refuse to remain an acquaintance of them unless it is absolutely necessary, such as work. You can't avoid conflict in life as it always finds you. LOL



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

I tend to get along right away with most everyone. After a while, they start to fall into the categories of, good friend, close deep friend, and friends of just aquaintance status. They seem to slip back and forth to some degree between the diff cat's, but mostly those who have fallen into the Deep Close area, stay there, even if they have done something wrong that has a negative effect of the relationship. I can forgive things that the Close Deep friends do, and have done, easier than forgiving those in the other 2 categories, for some reason. I never really Forget the bad things, but after a time, it does get easier when remembering the bad event(s).

Thought provoking Thread. S+F for You! Later, Syx.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 12:09 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


originally posted by: nOraKat
At what level of disrespect should one no longer associate with friends and relatives?

My 'red line' for friends is when I am lied to. Lies are manipulations. That's not something a true friend would do. When I discover lies ... I forgive and I don't hold a grudge, but I no longer consider them a friend. As for relatives, we are kind of stuck with them. I am polite because it keeps things civil but not buddies with them ... if you can follow that.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.
edit on 8/10/2014 by FlyersFan because: fixed mod quote



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: TDawgRex

There's a girl I've been friends with for years in my home city but has slight racist overtones I learned which disgusts me. However, I'm at the point in my life if I don't maintain some degree of contact with people I know, and knowing as you get older it becomes harder and harder to make friends, I'll surely be alone. I'm alone now 99%. Then there's the friends I go visit in my home city that still get snot puking drunk where I've outgrown it. And then I sit there thinking to myself, I "hate my friends" "None of these people do anything for me anymore" but they haven't done anything bad to me per se, so I try not to condemn them too much. After all, I'm not perfect either. Then it gets to the point where you're so disgruntled it's sometimes better to fly solo.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 12:13 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


originally posted by: intrepid
I A friend must back you up when they think you're right and kick you're ass when they think you aren't.

I can see that in you. Really. And I think that's a very good man's description of friendship. The female description would probably be a little softer but I appreciate the straight forwardness of what you just said.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



edit on 8/10/2014 by FlyersFan because: fixed mod quotes



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

Nah, relatives can be culled out of your life too.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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originally posted by: FlySolo
Then there's the cognitive dissonance that happens where you realize that none of the people you have as friends really fulfill you to the degree you need but still remain friends even though secretly you don't like them.


No man is an island even though many of us want to be. People disappoint us. And conversely we disappoint them as well. Example - I don't want friends negatively gossiping about me and yet, to my shame, I have bought into negative gossip about them at times and later found out they were innocent of what the negative gossip had claimed.

We dislike others for doing some of same things we do.
Very few of us are truly likable.



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

Sometimes I can be a bit of a friendship slut - I make friends pretty easily

But, I guess like any job in sales - it's a numbers game. In the end I am actually very choosy. Extremely choosy

I've learned (after a certain number of years) that it's OK to let some people go. The only rule I have (now - and it took me a very long time to get to this point) is you don't treat areal friend like crap. Crap can cover a lot of territory - but you know it when you see it. Betrayal is hard to come back from Flyers - I agree. Trust is everything

Like you - I don't have a type - I'm pretty much interested in all people

This is a timely thread for me because I just had a long conversation yesterday with one of my sisters about friendship. Something I realized a few years ago is that my sisters are absolutely my best friends - even though they're blood :-)

I'm lucky in that way - very

(Something got deleted as I was posting...)

The friends I have outside of my family are people who've just got under my skin in some way - moved me, challenged me - it's a lot like love (and probably is love) - very hard to pin down or describe

edit on 8/10/2014 by Spiramirabilis because: (no reason given)





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