Jan 2, 2009

19 Pontificating A Bit on Friendships

BECAUSE I WAS THINKING ABOUT FRIENDSHIP TODAY, I REPOSTED. WHAT ARE YOU VIEWS?
FRIENDSHIPTrue friendships (the kind where people sacrifice for each other & support you through life’s troubles) seem like a thing of the past, more and more I hear people complain about their many disposable friendships and the difficulty they experience forming true lifetime friendships and for the first time I truly begin to understand what Aristotle was talking about when he theorized about the different modes of friendships.
True Friendships can be enriching, soul satisfying, nurturing, it encourages a sense of belonging and fosters mutual bonding over shared interests and ethos, and frankly it's beautiful. After listening to colleagues, friends, acquaintances and encountering my own experiences with fleeting friendships I have to admit there seems to be some truth to the disposability factors of friendships. Is it pandemic, no I don’t believe so though it may seem that way as people are swept up in the fast pace city life working two sometimes three jobs to earn and maintain a decent standard of living while simultaneously attempting to balance love, family, friends, cost of living and self-care. Do I think we can do better; absolutely I do because I believe that people should make the time for what’s important regardless. I should have, I could have is useless after the fact.

When I first read Aristotle’s modes of friendships for which I believe if memory serves he cites three(3), (1) Genuine, (2) Utility, (3) Pleasure, I was outraged and indignant because I only ascribed and identified with genuine friendships. I didn’t see that anything could exist outside disingenuousness and was not willing to think pragmatically in relation to friendships base on business etc. Genuine friendships bestfriendsaccording to Aristotle to which I agree are long-lasting; it’s sustainable because it is based on each person mutual love and best interest of the other hence it evolves and grows as each grow.
I unrealistically expected all my relationships to be life-long and was inflexible to the varying differences and contexts. What I later discovered as wisdom, knowledge, understanding and clarity came, it is not that Aristotle was incorrect about his theories on the modes of friendships rather it was that I categorized them differently and that there can be honesty even within these modes as friendships.
Utilitarian and pleasurable friendships which are based on what one can do for the other I simply call acquaintances i.e., acquaintanceship, because they only last for as long as each person get what they want when that "thing" whatever it is no longer exists i.e. can be sustained the friendship ends. I wish I understood this when I was much younger, think of all the heartache and suffering I would have saved myself.
networkingA good example of utilitarian friendships is what is known in business as ‘networking’ where relationships are cultivated to better your business/career i.e. one builds a network that will be beneficial professionally. In other words the friendship is based on what you know that person(s) could do for you and vicey versa.
The other kind of friendship ‘Pleasure friendships’ borrowers a little from utility in the sense that its focus toward a particular end, pleasure only its more socially based, like partying with someone who has exclusive access to nightclubs, fashion, restaurants etc., both of which ends once the benefits, perks whichever you choose to call it ends. I can’t say I have ever had any of those, geez where have I been? Pleasure friendships
I guess at this point my life I understand all three modes of friendships now and I believe it is within our best interest to recognize what type of friendship we are entering into to avoid unnecessary hurt. It is wishful thinking to think that someone will come up to you and say “I want to be your friend because of what you can do for me” and have it be embraced so the best way is to be aware, be mindful and pay attention.
If you do not have a problem with having a utility or pleasurable friendship then great, just make sure you are on the same page. Sometimes true friendships are birthed out of utilitarian and pleasurable ones, a rare occurrence perhaps, it has been known to happen.
True friendship still exists, all is not lost. It does help to keep it real and not get carried away with flights of fancy. It is important to know how you define true friendship, what you are looking for, what your expectations and boundaries are and it is your responsibility to convey those at some point in the relationship because good communication is the key to any relationship
Word to the wise, when embarking on a true friendship ask yourself this:
  • How do I define friendship?
  • What are my expectations?
  • Can I bring to this friendship that which I am asking for?
  • What are my boundaries and how am I prepared to ensure they are not trampled upon?
     
D.S.B.Rhapsody©2009/2010/2011/2012 ~ First published Friday, January 02, 2009

19 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you..."True friendship still exists, all is not lost. It does help to keep it real and not get carried away with flights of fancy".

    One of the saddest things (to me)is seeing someone abuse another person's goodness in a friendship relationship, that kind of things causes a lot of people to become bitter and disillusioned.

    The questions you pose are a good starting place for embarking on a true friendship.I have never seen this written, but it exactly how I have always done it...formed friendships.

    Thanks for another great post.

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  2. I miss my old friends. We have moved over the last 23 years with 7 States and I left them. This week I started my own Facebook to reconnect with some of my old friends. My goals is to reconnect with them when I visit near on vacations. For nearer, times, I am spending more time with my dog walking as often and I realize, she is a great buddy too! I do LOVE your new blog...visually it is very appealing. You are wise beyond your years and a deep writer with honesty. Best Wishes

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  3. Excellent! Of course you know I love this post. It is amazing how some people view friendship when want they want is not genuine and can not be categorized as friendship. I really like the questions you leave for us to ponder when entering a new relationship.

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  4. Moreover, I've determined that my friendships and the degree of closeness has proven to be a barometer for the condition of my heart! I've learned a lot about myself through my various friendships. I can now say that I really see myself. Before (as a young adult) I always screamed; I know myself very well. Well, now I actually see myself in the mirrior of my past and present relationships.

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  5. I love this post of yours. well, all I can say is that friends are friends and we will know who they are in the way we relate to them or in the way they responded to us. Some just come and go and the rests stay and remain friends forever.:DBlessings !!

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  6. Submitted on 2009/03/24 at 11:27 PM

    I have two true friendships..they are like family..no, three of them and many more casual.

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  7. This is a meaningful article. I’ve disputed with few friends recently. I deeply know, for us, where is the right position I should put at. A bit sad to say is, I don’t know will I still treat them as a very normal friend or just give up… I become to take friendship easier instead of hold it tight, if it’s your’s, it’s your’s. I realized this theory after countless time I’ve been hurting and I found my true friendships in the end.

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  8. Thank you for the sweet words on my blog. Every one has their challenges. I try to share this with my daughter. I feel like I am on a new adventure after years of struggling through her school work and anxiety, we took her out of Her Senior year with her blessing and she plans to take the GED. She was so sick with anxiety and meds withdrawl that she missed too much school to graduate. I think she will get that GED very soon. She is working on the anxiety behavioral therapy and biofeedback and no meds for now. I just don’t understand why she suffers so much. We do what most folks do in the real world and we embrace our faith in difficult matters but hers falters…she is mad that God is not listening to her. In the big picture, it will get better. Depression and anxiety is a dark world. I love her and I see her making progress towards improvements but it is at her pace. We will probably move to closer with our family in Florida in the next few months and this will be hard for her but we have to do it and having family will be wonderful for all of us. I have been more stretched with time but I did want to check in with you. Blessings!

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  9. I’ve determined that my friendships and the degree of closeness has proven to be a barometer for the condition of my heart! I’ve learned a lot about myself through my various friendships. I can now say that I really see myself. Before (as a young adult) I always screamed; I know myself very well. Well, now I actually see myself in the mirrior of my past and present relationships.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I’ve found it good to give what I want to the relationship, not expect anything in returm, and never think about the relationship. If it has to happen, it will and if it didn’t then there was no expectation in the first place and no disappointment. Life makes the choices; we’re the actors :)

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  11. Excellent! Of course you know I love this post. It is amazing how some people view friendship when want they want is not genuine and can not be categorized as friendship. I really like the questions you leave for us to ponder when entering a new relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I miss my old friends. We have moved over the last 23 years with 7 States and I left them. This week I started my own Facebook to reconnect with some of my old friends. My goals is to reconnect with them when I visit near on vacations. For nearer, times, I am spending more time with my dog walking as often and I realize, she is a great buddy too! I do LOVE your new blog…visually it is very appealing. You are wise beyond your years and a deep writer with honesty. Best Wishes

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  13. I totally agree with you…"True friendship still exists, all is not lost. It does help to keep it real and not get carried away with flights of fancy". One of the saddest things (to me)is seeing someone abuse another person’s goodness in a friendship relationship, that kind of things causes a lot of people to become bitter and disillusioned. The questions you pose are a good starting place for embarking on a true friendship.I have never seen this written, but it exactly how I have always done it…formed friendships.Thanks for another great post.

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  14. I have many friends but only a few ‘true friends.’ An excellent post.
    Submitted on 2009/03/14 at 1:42 PM

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  15. Submitted on 2009/03/21 at 7:05 PM

    Absolutely, I agree with Beth & actually all the other’s comments. Love your site, blogs, everything! I am inspired to come here and read often, which is alot less than I’d like.Cory

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  16. Thanks for the link...

    Love this post, so many lessons are being taught and conveyed in a way where readers have no choice but to understand. Co-sign the fact that many different "friendships" appear to exist, nowadays. I too believe true friendship remains, as I hold my truest friends as living proof.


    How do I define friendship? Someone tried and proven, who has earned the right to be considered as a friend.


    What are my expectations? Being there is perhaps the most important thing. That, and being honest and trustworthy. Nurturing.

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    Replies
    1. Well articulated, thanks for your feedback.

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  17. You wrote pontificating a Bit on friendships....since Jan 2009, and it is still refreshing....describing exactly my thoughts....wonderful!
    Oh yes! Aristotle captured the true picture of friendship in different shades of light...genuine, utility and pleasure!
    So i just gat to find which one i want ehn?...because genuine is not easy to come by...so utility is good for business since it is all about networking....pleasure for partying and gossiping huh?..ehehehehe...i tease Rhapsody. But truly, he portrayed the truth about friendship.
    thanks for the link once again..it was educating, and i don't mind you writing a book in my comment box, i enjoy reading it as always.

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    Replies
    1. Well Sistah I think its a case of us experiencing all modes of friendship, the key is knowing and understanding which one we are experiencing so we can adjust ourselves accordingly.

      You don't me writing a book, ok then thank you for the privilege.

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