Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Nature of Friendship

Readers of this and my other blog Sunrays and Saturdays [and that sounds a bit prententious but never mind] will know that I have been a loner and some of the reasons for that have been discussed in various posts across both blogs.

I can probably count the number of true friends I have on the fingers of one hand, and I don't mean to offend anyone by that. I am sure that there are probably a lot of people who may consider me a friend despite the fact that we don't see each other, or socialise from one year to the next. I have been told that there are those who feel that I have somehow abandoned or ignored them in recent times as well as my family. But I'm not entirely sure of that. Since I moved out of the family home I have had no visitors of friends at the place I now live, I also have not invited anyone around I have to admit. I have also not received any phone calls from friends asking how I am travelling, although I have made some calls myself. Not many I will admit.

I look back at the various compartments of the years of my life and I realise that the friends I do have are from my school days. I see no one from university, nor from the 16 years I spent in the police force. I see little if anything of neighbours or people from my local community in a friendship sort of way.

I am sometimes envious of those who are always busy, always visiting or talking to others. And I am often comfortable in my own space which I suppose is both the blessing and the curse of the loner.

With the current estrangement from one particular family member I got to pondering about the nature of friendship. So here are a number of rhetorical questions -

1. How do you maintain friendships?
2. In order to maintain one, does there need to be regular contact?
3. Can you pick up a friendship where it leaves off when there hasn't been regular contact?
4. Everyone has parts of them that they wish to conceal, for many reasons, but what are the risks of revealing them to friends?
5. Is it possible to be a friend and also something else - e.g. father, son, boss, teacher etc.?
6. Can friendships only be maintained with a physical proximity?
7. I ask the last because I wonder about the nature of cyber friendships - are they real, are there risks in taking them outside the bounds of the cyber world in which you met - whether that be blogger, social network sites or whatever?
8. Is there a risk to friendship by assuming that the cyber world is semi anonymous? I.e. Can we reveal too much of ourselves to strangers here?
9. What is the definition of a friend? I'm sure everyone has come across those gregarious people who assume everyone they meet, not matter how fleetingly, is a friend, and the other type of person who take a long time to embrace a friendship.

So here's a challenge folks - write a post about your best friend and let us all explore the nature of friendship together. Let me know when you've done it and I will post all of the links here. And I guess if no one responds I can assume a bit about the nature of cyber friendship as well. ;)

14 comments:

paisley said...

i wrote a post called best friends back in april... if your interested... i will work on a new one,,, and let you know when i publish it....

http://why-paisley.com/?p=53

paisley said...

i posted.. i know it isnt what you wanted to hear... but it is my truth....

Rhea said...

These are great questions. I may just take up your suggestion to write about friendship. I like your blog.

Loz said...

Hi paisley, I make no judgement on what I do or don't wish to hear. I do know I can count on what you write to be stimulating and worth reading and this was no exception.

Loz said...

Thankyou Rhea. I sometimes struggle with finding things to write about and therfore look to other blogs for material to stimulate me or on which to comment. I'll keep checking yours to see if you do post on the topic.

Anonymous said...

Hi Loz:

What interesting questions you pose about friendship. I've tried to address some of them on my blog: www.fracturedfriendships.com and I am particularly interested in the differences between male and female friendships.

Any thoughts?

Best,
Irene

Wonder said...

Hey Loz, I still hadn't visited this blog of yours, it's as nice as the other ones :)
This post was very interesting, I've always given a lot of importance to friendships throughout my life. About point 3: "Can you pick up a friendship where it leaves off when there hasn't been regular contact?", this reminds me of something someone once told me, about not being in contact with somebody for a while; that if you got together after a long time and you could still get along, then it was a true friendship because it continued even though you didn't get in touch.
I once had an online friend I never met face to face, but he was one of my best friends, knowing everything about me, sharing experiences with me, giving advice. That friendship was very important to me, and still is even though it's ended... guess the feeling never ends.
Take care,
W.

Jeff said...

I want to know the answers to those questions, also. I do know that people have different values concerning friendship. I, like paisley, wrote about it a couple of weeks ago.

http://psychosomaticwit.blogspot.com/2007/06/for-sale-friend-low-milage-4000-obo.html

Loz said...

Irene - thanks for the visit and I will post on the differences between male and female friendships

Wonder - for the kind words thankyou and I think also that the internet has changed the concept of friendship for me.

Jeff - I read your post and have responded here. Thanks for letting me know about it

Micki said...

I took you up on your challenge, Loz. I'm a little slow! I'm looking forward to reading the other blogs who have done the same.

Beth said...

Loz - I took your challenge and I was really slow...I have enjoyed reading the other posts as well...

Priyanka said...

Thanks for such a wonderful insight about friendship!I think it is imperative to maintain contact with friends, in order to keep it going smooth, but it has to be equally reciprocated.Cyber friendships are in vogue, but I'm still skeptical about the authenticity of such friendships.I write a blog on friendship;take a look and tell me what you think.Cheers!

Bobby Revell said...

Hello Loz, it is nice to meet you! My friend Seiche has given you an award and I came to read a little. It seems we do have many friends in common here! I really have enjoyed reading some of your work and will come again:) I wrote a post on friendship and I would love for you to come by and check it out. Have a great day:)
http://revellian.com/2007/07/04/246/

Loz said...

Bobby - I have read ur post and started looking at the rest of your blog. I also really like your linklove idea.