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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

So what is a friend?

Whilst I was in Norfolk I heard a radio piece that stated that the average person routinely had loads of numbers on their mobile phones, BUT, that they couldn't remember who most of them were (not true for me!).

The same piece went on to say that people may claim 100's of friends but the real circle was often considerably smaller. Curiously I heard a similar piece on Richard & Judy a few years ago (I was round my Mums honest!). One claimed lots of friends the other said they only had a few.

Now it has always puzzled me that the virtually any z lister is a "friend" of Elton John. Elton obviously has different standards to me! I think that often what people call friends I'd refer to as mates. To me a friend is someone I really really trust, not someone I have a few beers with.

There are things in my life I've only ever told to one person. By my definition that person is a friend!! There are other people I regard as friends but for varying reasons I haven't felt the need to unburdon myself.

I don't want anyone reading this piece to think it's aimed at them, it was something that has struck me as odd at various times that people seem to have so many more friends than me. I've found it hard to believe that you can trust that many people so I've come to the view that there idea of friendship is more superficial than mine.

Strangely most of the people I regard as friends are female. I've always wondered why that is!


KAZ said...

It´s because " men don´t talk".
I´m your friend!

Pete said...

Weather getting colder. Kaz must be in Spain....... ?

nicola said...

most of my "friends" are blokes, not so sure what that says about me either!!

A friend to me is some one who listens and supports but knows when not too push it..

Boo said...

I agree with Nic. The only people I really trust are those I meet in chat!

digi-birder said...

Interesting post, 'cos I've been mulling over certain things about trust and friendship lately. I'm going to get all philosophical now!

Do you just perceive that others have more friends than you, or is that actually the case? And is there actually a difference between a mate and a friend? And just because they're considered a friend, does that mean you have to trust them?

I think 'mate' has somehow been used in error as an alternative word for 'friend'. Birds have to find a mate (a mating partner). Or it's referred to in that you 'find a mate for life' when you find someone you want to marry.

I think that you probably have different levels of friend. I had friends at school, now they're old friends as I don't see or hear from them now. Then you get the casual friends, perhaps those you work with and occasionally meet socially. Up a level would be a good friend, one you meet and talk to regularly. There may be other categories, but top of the list would probably be a true friend or best friend, however you refer to them - someone you do feel that you can trust with problems, etc.

Having said that, there are people I have known for a very long time with whom I would not share my problems, but there are people I have met only in recent years with whom I do feel comfortable enough to share certain issues. I am usually a fairly good judge of character, based on watching and listening to people and how they react to, and speak about, others. It is sometimes possible to come to a conclusion fairly quickly that someone can be trusted. And I think you can value someone's friendship, and therefore trust them, even if they are not particularly your 'best' friend.

Hope I haven't waffled on too much!

Pete said...

Di - I suppose you are right I just think that friend is used by some people way too lightly.

digi-birder said...

Not necessarily right - it's just how I perceive it. But some probably do use the term too readily.

And, like Nicola, most of my friends are male. A few were found via the Internet, so I don't know what that says about me!!