Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eight Kinds of Friends Postnote

If you have been reading for the last 9 days, you got an introduction to my ideas about the eight kinds of friends, then day by day, a little more detail on the ways each of them make your life better. Remember that just as there are specialists in life that do only one thing and that one thing really well, there are also generalists who do a number of different things at a time at a higher level. So these friendship types are the specialists. In reality, each of your friends is a little bit of this and a little bit of that and quite a lot of another thing. There probably are overlaps and duplicates! Now that you have spent a little time thinking about how there are different kinds of friends and how each friend fills a unique set of needs for you, I hope that you will be both more appreciative of the value of each friend and also a little more forgiving of each friend for not being everything all the time. I hope you have seen that some of the ways that friends help us are indeed contradictory and that not one friend can be all things all the time. I hope that you see that your often changing and sometimes conflicting needs demand some wisdom on your part in choosing which friend you seek out for each situation. I hope my ideas here will help you see your friends for the value and enrichment they bring to your life. And I hope you will realize that each friend can only do so much and it is up to you to find and bring out the best in your friends just like they do in you! We are all in this together, we need each other, and together, we can make wonderful things happen!

4 comments:

Gene Redlin said...

I read the series. It occurred to me that inherently there was a selfishness that flowed thru:

""I hope my ideas here will help you see your friends for the value and enrichment they bring to your life. And I hope you will realize that each friend can only do so much and it is up to you to find and bring out the best in your friends just like they do in you! We are all in this together, we need each other, and together, we can make wonderful things happen!""

Is there not a place for a friend who asks nor returns nothing? Who just is? Who sticks closer than a brother? Who tells you the truth? Who's a little bit dangerous? Who expands your thinking? Who needs to be lifted when you lift and you get nothing but a sore emotional back from the heavy lifting. A friend who is loved briefly and then is gone.

I have such. It's often a one way street. I don't keep score and I'm hard to run off.

I think your discussion was interesting, but, well, not deep enough.

If you are going to have true friends you must be a true friend. Loyal. Steady.

I have some such. I hope you will too.

goprairie said...

selfishness? to encourage people to appreciate their friends as indivduals with unique characteristics? to tell people that one friend does not need to be perfect and meet every need?
the concept comes from the falsness of the childhood single best friend paradigm. that best friend might do certain things well, but there are bound to be times when they seem to 'fail' because they cannot be everything to every situation. if they are the one who argues politics with you to keep your debate skills honed, and you lose a debate at work and want sympathy, they are NOT the one you should go to for tht sympathy as you will just get bogged down in a rehashing of the debate you just lost and are upset about. so you go to someone who gives you unjudging sympathy for that occasion. if they are your party friend, you don't ask them to keep you on your budget or your diet or your new health plan. that would create trouble. it is about being realistic and reasonable in your interactions.

this is about the KINDS of friends, the categories. it is not about the depths and levels and recipocities. There is another layer on top of this regarding the depths of friendships. you might have two motivational friends, one who knows you deeply and has been a dear friend for years and helps you in many areas and another you just met at the health club and only motivates you to come to that gym on tuesday and friday and whom you never get to know any better.
and no, it is not always even. some friends give more than you give back, and some need more than you do, so you give more than you take. the mentor friendship especially tends to be one directional.
and friends do come and go for various reasons, because people change, because people diverge in there interests. people often step out of many of their friendships when their kids are needy and then reconnect with those people once the kids have flown the nest.
some friendships can tolerate distance and time and some cannot. some people you might get together with after years and endure a great deal of uncomfortable silence, and others you might see for a while but you are instantly comfortable with them as tho no time has passed.

selfish? in my series, I enourage you to consider what your friends do for you so that you can value them for that. it is kinda like Friendship Thanksgiving. instead of taking friends for granted, examine what fabulous things they do for us and appreciate that. and DON'T demand they do things they are not suited for or hold a grudge if you ask for something they cannot deliver.
in the summary at the end, i then suggest that you could also consider what kind of friend you are to others, what your value is to them.
the title was KINDS of friends, not The Complete Manual of.

Gene Redlin said...

In Germany the nomenclature Friend was very carefully dispensed. Most Germans would say they have 2, maybe 3 friends. I learned that because I referred to some people as friends and was corrected. They are very sensitive about who is or is not a friend. Most Germans have many aquaintances and few true friends (not best friends).

I understand. Someone who we know,like, get along with, enjoy may just be acquaintances. That's probably a better way to put it.

I think we use the "Friend" word too loosely in our culture. I do.

Just a thought.

goprairie said...

what you get out of life is a combination of what you ask for, molded by what you expect, the lens through which you see the world. i am rich in friends and that single factor is more important to my happiness than things or health or luck or anything else i can think of. more and more i find all meaning in this life is about being connected to people.