Friendship is a form of relationship characterized by mutual affection between two or more individuals. It surpasses mere acquaintanceship and possesses a stronger bond. Various academic fields, including sociology, social anthropology, and philosophy, have examined the concept of friendship. Different theories, such as social exchange theory, equity theory, relational dialectics, and attachment styles, have been put forth to elucidate the notion of friendship. Although friendships may differ depending on their origins, there are shared characteristics that can be observed in numerous friendships.
Friendship encompasses various emotions and qualities such as affection, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, mutual understanding, and compassion. It also involves enjoying each other’s company and having trust in one another. Friends should feel comfortable being themselves, expressing their feelings, and making mistakes without fear of judgment. Although anyone can form friendships practically speaking, friends often have common backgrounds, occupations, interests or demographics.
Here is my personal story: I grew up in a bustling city but managed to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. Being humorous allowed me to easily socialize with others regardless of their status. To me,“Give and Take” is an essential aspect of friendship.
In high school,I had many friends despite concealing my background from them.They always saw me as someone funny,friendly,and lovable because I was part of the youth ministry.In many ways,I felt more fortunate with my friends than with my own family.Since then,I always wore a smile on my face even when facing challenges.These moments hold great significance for me.
In college, I had a friend who would only appear when she required assistance, which altered the dynamics of our friend group. Initially, it was acceptable for me to aid her; however, over time, I began to view this as unjust. Our outings to the mall and movies depleted my weekly allowance while she covered our food expenses during those occasions. At first glance, everything appeared satisfactory.
Until it lasted for a month, someone pointed out, “hey, you’re a one day millionaire. You treat your friend In Just one day you suffered for the whole week.” I felt like they were treating me like their maid because I cooked the rice and washed our plates after we ate. Even though I was the one who provided food, I didn’t hear any appreciation from my co-housemates. It hurt even more when one of them said I don’t have a debt of gratitude, and it felt like a slap in the face. I realized they never knew why I didn’t have money during school time.
Quietly, without uttering a single word, I fulfill my promise to myself – to be more cautious. Now, every time I receive my allowance, it remains concealed. If dining at a restaurant is on my agenda, I refrain from disclosing this information to my friend. Though I do not wish to appear self-centered, it appears as if she solely relies on me. She invites me for leisurely window shopping outings without comprehending that ultimately all expenses fall upon me; even our fair share of the bill at an extravagant eatery is financed by yours truly. In instances where monetary scarcity plagues her, both parties should contribute equally towards payment since she initiated the invitation.
I find it unfair that this situation has happened multiple times. Despite feeling this way, I choose to suppress my thoughts and no longer ask for my allowance. Instead, my friend is satisfied if I bring her something. However, it doesn’t end there as I am the one responsible for paying for her snacks and meals. She doesn’t have the means to buy her food, yet she can afford to load her phone daily. Despite these circumstances, I continue to ignore it and simply believe that she is not a good friend. I still listen and provide guidance when she shares her problems with me.
Despite being a student like her, I provided both emotional and financial support to my friend. She was going through difficulties with her boyfriend and family, and I stood by her side throughout. On the other hand, I faced my own problem independently without any assistance or inquiry from her despite knowing about it through others. A true friend would have offered help and comfort in such a situation. Nonetheless, I am content with this outcome.
Gradually, I grew tired of trying to comprehend our dynamic while cherishing the moments we shared together as she seemed disinterested. Eventually, another one of my friends entered the picture and we formed a closer bond due to our ability to connect.
I acknowledge that everyone has flaws, so I am trying to understand things. In this situation, she consistently treats me, and I always reciprocate. As a result, I started working at her store and completed all tasks. It is difficult to be flawless and satisfy others in order to gain their favor. At that time, I had no other choice because not attending school was not an option. Therefore, I decided to work part-time. However, it seems that it was more than just a part-time job since I would come home after my classes and continue working even in the early mornings. This continued until I successfully finished my degree program.
Due to our friendship, I refuse to work for any company even if the salary is low. Having a dependable friend is a rare occurrence and outweighs missed opportunities. Maintaining our friendship takes priority over my higher education accomplishments, which unfortunately led to negative outcomes as she believes I have become someone different. This disagreement sparked a cold war between us as I merely wanted her to acknowledge that being older doesn’t always equate to being correct.
At first, I didn’t give her any attention. However, eventually, even my friends got involved in our argument. Despite my friends greeting her, she stayed quiet and acted like she didn’t notice. If this had only happened once, I might have understood, but it kept happening with different people. As a result, I decided to ignore her too. This situation lasted for about a month until something happened with my first friend (whom I apologized to but not her). I never told her that my friends were consistently pressuring me to find a good job opportunity because I knew she would react negatively. She always has something negative to say about everyone and it’s draining me.
She holds a consistent belief that others are constantly trying to deprive her of what she possesses. She fails to acknowledge the ways in which they have actually provided support, perhaps not financially but through their actions. Consequently, those who consistently stand by her appear to have abandoned her. I am fatigued from attempting to comprehend her behavior. There was a moment when I contemplated reaching out to her directly. Nonetheless, my friend informed me a day later that she had messaged my close friends and cautioned them about my dangerous and untrustworthy nature, along with other negative remarks. It felt like a significant blow. In spite of all the shared experiences we’ve encountered together, she has simply squandered them due to her pessimistic interpretations.
Perhaps her fear stemmed from the idea that I could bounce back from my defeat more quickly than she could. These are the friends who taught me valuable lessons about friendship. It brings me joy to see my old friends return, giving us ample time for socializing, unlike before when I felt restricted. My time was once limited, even my laughter felt regulated. Despite feeling liberated now, I still harbor sadness over our previous falling out. To sum up, during my early twenties, in that uncomfortable phase between adolescence and adulthood, I started reassessing my connections with others.
Upon engaging in self-reflection, I came to the realization that some individuals whom I had known for a long time and considered friends may not actually be true companions. This revelation led me to reassess my relationships with others. After careful thought and deep introspection, I identified the specific qualities that are important in a friendship. One crucial insight was that friends are more than just people I occasionally meet or socialize with; although these individuals may be pleasant and fun to be around, I classify them as acquaintances rather than true friends.
A friend is not merely an acquaintance but someone I genuinely enjoy being around and can depend on for more than just favors. Genuine friends possess knowledge of important details about each other, such as birthdays, favorite colors, pets’ names, and parents’ names. They make extensive efforts to participate in one another’s lives. To perceive someone as a friend, genuine care for them is essential. Friendship necessitates a substantial commitment of time and attention, with caring for the other person being vital.
Friendships may vary depending on gender, with female-female and male-female friendships potentially exhibiting differences. Nevertheless, both types of relationships rely on mutual respect, love, and genuine emotions for their growth. If these profound connections are lacking, friendships are likely to face challenges. It is crucial to recognize that the development of friendships requires time and may not occur instantly. As humans, we often guard our feelings and emotions, making it challenging to embrace new individuals in our lives. However, through time and thorough familiarity, intimate friendships can thrive. Trust also plays a vital role in friendship.