This week, for pearls, we touched on relationship management and its derivatives: family, friend and boy-girl relationships. We shared our experiences, philosophy and values system on the above issues and other topics like bouncing back from crisis and NLP memory techniques to bounce back from crisis.
Before I elaborate my definition of friendship, I would like to highlight that there are in fact very diverse opinions of friends. That alone sparked a huge debate of across the table despite the small turn up. I realized despite the differences in opinions, there are a couple areas of contention, namely: what makes one consider another a friend, whether there should be expectation (and if so, to what degree of expectation) and what would be an appropriate response to a betrayal.
Firstly, I do not use the term “friend” lightly and therefore I will admit that throughout my whole life, I have only less than 10 true friends. Friends, according to my first belief, are individuals who have similar core values and to a smaller extent, interests. As a result, we can enjoy doing similar activities together without making each other guilty and at the same time maintain & build our relationship. Therefore, despite different personality traits and opinions, I will enjoy and feel productive spending time with my friend with similar interests like discussing about current affairs.
This stems from my second belief that relationship must be maintain or they will simply deteriorate, however there are certain thresholds generated by common experiences in which will prevent relationships from deteriorating beyond a certain level. Therefore, sharing the same 4 men bunks in the SAF or being together in a project group will bring the individuals relationship to a level whereby, it will not deteriorate too much despite a lack of contact.
Cultural values will affect a society’s different kinds of value range from ideological, moral, social and aesthetics and generating unique personal values. My third belief is that individual when bought together will need similar values or conflict will arise. Therefore, individuals like friends who maintain a close relationship needs to have similar values to prevent daily friction and grievances which will eventually destroy the relationship. My core values are credibility & accountability, individuality & independence, ambitiousness & improvement, equality & integrity and wisdom & knowledge.
My fourth belief about friendship is that my friends’ character will rub off my character subconsciously when I interact with them. Therefore, I am picky to a fault to the friends I plan to develop a relationship with as don’t want to waste both parties’ precious time on relationships that is difficult to maintain or doomed to fail. Therefore, I might appear to people who don’t know me as insincere or even snobbish but I am generally friendly to intermediate group of people who approach me or know me due to similar activities on a daily basis. However, I am very willing to open myself up first if I manage to find potential friends as I understand gems like them are rare and might not be there if the opportunity is lost.
One of my friends then quipped that one important requisite is that friends must help one another which I instantly disagreed. I think friends are not obligated to help each other first and even in the case of a good friend, each gesture by the renderer should be unconditional. However, friends just happen to help each other due to the nature of the close relationship, if the obligation exists, that is definitely not friendship.