#reverb10 – Friendship

 

So at the end of the year last year I was doing a project called “Reverb10”.  In this project we were given prompts such as the one here. It is supposed to inspire us to blog about certain topics.

REVERB 10 –  Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

The dictionary defines friendship as:

friend·ship

is a form of interpersonal relationship generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association can be thought of as spanning across the same continuum. The study of friendship is included in the fields of sociologysocial psychologyanthropologyphilosophy, and zoology. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, among which are social exchange theoryequity theory, relational dialectics, and attachment styles.

Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:

  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
  • Sympathy and empathy
  • Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
  • Mutual understanding and compassion
  • Trust in one another (able to express feelings – including in relation to the other’s actions – without the fear of being judged); able to go to each other for emotional support
  • Positive reciprocity – a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
All of those things are true.  As a human I think friendship has many levels. Loyalty, kindness, sharing of the same values, and ultimately love.  I know I love my friends like they are my family.   That being said let’s get back to the prompt.
Has a friend changed my prospective on the world? – Yes.  Was it a sudden change? Yes.
At this point I do not feel like telling the story, lets just say that I no longer look at friendship the same way. You can know someone inside and out and never really know them. True friends, as far as I am concerned, are supposed to support you, guide you, help you, be there for you in times of good and bad, laugh with you and cry with you. In turn you are supposed to do all of those things for your friends.
In the last year I have had to sit and evaluate who my real friends are. Who would consider me their true friends, and who I consider mine. Having to do this was not my choice, but I am slowly getting to be okay with the outcome. I did learn that you need to trust the people you decide to be your friends. Yes friendship can be hard, it can be easy and fun. Either way it is still friendship.
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