The Mystery of Friendship

Please Help to Solve a Mystery

Over the last couple of days a thought - a question really - has ruled what I am pleased to call my mind. Why do you lot put up with me? I have a strange sense of humor, I make odd comments on your stories, I regularly and annoyingly ask you to visit sites which are complementary to me and a number of other peculiarities which at the moment escape me. So why do you put up with me? I asked my friend Nellieanna for her opinion on the subject and she gave it to me, but I kept wondering if there is something else. There must be some mysterious process that goes on that creates friendships without our realizing it or even encouraging it. The mystery of friendship.

My father was a rather conservative businessman with a wide circle of other businessmen friends, but when I buried him I was astonished at the hundreds of people who came to his interment. Men in business suits who had left their desks to attend the funeral, but also tradesmen in overalls who left some plumbing job half done in order to be there. A lot of the suits and a lot of the overalls were openly crying.

There was one man there in particular whom my father laughingly described to me once as follows:

“He is a liar, a thief, a drunkard, a gambler and a jailbird. A beautiful man I tell you!”

And there was this very same man crying inconsolably into his huge handkerchief for his dead friend. I thought that this is the mystery of friendship.

You lot may have already ascertained that of all the De Greek virtues, which are obviously numerous, the most endearing one to all thinking men is our modesty. We are distinguished by rosy cheeks which blush easily and all my contemporaries will vouch that in living memory there has never been a period blackened by an immodest De Greek. But besides my modesty, why do you lot put up with me, if it is not out of a vague sense of friendship?

But what is friendship? How can a conservative businessman like my father be friends with “a liar, a thief, a drunkard, a gambler and a jailbird” to the extend of having dinner with him once a week without the need to keep a firm hold of his wallet?

Thinking out aloud, without being sure of the accuracy of my thoughts, is it possible that friendship is a form of platonic love? Just as two people can fall in love instinctively - and often without any logic - can two persons recognize in each other characteristics which are similar to their own and by recognizing these, be attracted to those characteristics and the attraction then creates a likeness, a bond, the bond of friendship for the person having those characteristics? Do we in reality like someone because that someone is spiritually similar to us?

Could it be that the written word is a lie detector? One can try to pretend to be something one is not, but in the end one’s own written words will betray one. We read each other’s stories and those stories reflect the true character of the writer. So I end up with an immense liking of Feline Prophet, even though I have never met her and I have never actually spoken to her. Am I flattering myself to say that I like her because I see a part of myself in her writing?

The answer is “I don’t know”. What do YOU think?

Just consider the following: I have a story on HubPages which has had 7848 visits, but only 112 comments. Another story has had 6418 visits, but only 101 comments, and on another, just 392 visitors and 63 comments . Generally the comments are between sixty to one hundred , irrespective of the number of visitors. Could the implication be that the number of people who have felt a connection with me through my stories is more or less the same? In other words, the implication is that thousands of people have read my stories but felt no connection to me whatsoever, because I was projecting characteristics which were distasteful to them, so they just moved on without leaving a comment?

This theory tends to be supported by the following example: A woman left a very aggressive comment on one of my stories, in a supposedly joking manner, but the aggression was there for all to see. Later on, on a completely different and unrelated story she again became aggressive and she later went on to attack me in an article she wrote. Obviously this person felt no affinity to me at all. By the same token, I am happy to say that I felt no affinity to her at all, as she represents traits which I find unattractive.

So do we see ourselves in the characteristics of others? I would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to discuss this either here or perhaps in a separate article somewhere.

Dimitris Mita

De Greek

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Comments 83 comments

Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

We all chose friends (and partners) according to the characteristics we already have (some of them can be suppressed) or would like to have...your theory about parts of ourselves that are expressed in the others, is correct.


sunflowerbucky profile image

sunflowerbucky 5 years ago from Small Town, USA

Interesting concepts! I like the idea of one's writing being a lie detector test, although I don't think that's always the case, as there have been people whose writing I very much admire only to discover that as a person, I do not like them at all. I think we are drawn to people who have the same sense of humor as us, and to those who challenge us. Certainly the ego in many of us is drawn to those who lavish praise on our work. I personally enjoy those who can argue a point without getting nasty or ignorant.

Another interesting thing to ponder is how we tend to have different friends for different purposes. I have my writer friends, my drinking friends, the friends to whom I could disclose anything, and the friends who I think are fun but wouldn't trust with my deepest secret.

Great hub De Greek!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Tatjana, if we choose partners on the basis of characteristics we already have, or would like to have, then why are there so many divorces? Do you not feel that we fall in love for reasons which are not based on logic? If we were able to choose on the basis of logic, would there not be less divorces in the world? It's another subject for discussion in winter days in front of the fire, don't you think? :-)))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Sunflowerbucky, with regard to your first point, I think that it is important to distinguish between poetic, artistic, beautiful writing and writing which is either gifted or not, but describes ideas. For example, Daphne Dumaurier in 'Rebeca' writes beautiful poetic prose which I love, but I do not like her as a person, so I agree with you in that respect. But if she were to propose moral theories, she could not have carried it off no matter how poetically her proposals were made.

I agree about being drawn to those with the same sense of humor as ourselves. As to those who challenge us, only if they challenge in a kind way and a hostile manner, I think. What do you think?

And I like your idea of having different friends for different occasions, though to physical friends close by, I would prefer all rounders. However, your description fits our On-line friends very well. We adjust to our friends' preferences and enjoy a good time with them on one subject, knowing that on another subject we might perhaps have a more fulfilling discussion with someone else :-)))

Many thanks for your input! :-)


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I'm not a proponent,De Greek,of identifying with people,but finding one's own usefullness in my plans to re-order the world into my personal vision,lol...no but really I'm into juxtoposition of thought,though I am tempted to associate you with my eccentricities,as so to affirm with your hypothisis of friendship and identity.;)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Brother Mentalist, you are obviously a New Napoleon of World Conquest and who am I to stand in your way? I can imagine you absentmindedly addressing me on your return from your Moscow, whatever that might be in time, and asking me about any good out of the way places to retire to :-)))))


lxxy profile image

lxxy 5 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

I would tend to agree with your point of view De Greek--when I find someone new, I ask "how are they like me?"

It's our ability to relate to one another that seems to be common glue..those who do do not chose to see themselves in another may have something they're hiding from their day-to-day self as is.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Common glue - that is a good description lxxy :-))

Nice to see you here :-)


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

What an interesting question to ponder - for all of us. I believe that we quickly identify something unseen, or 'unseeable' to the human eye within those we refer to as 'friend.' I noticed in you, firstly your tongue in cheek humor and was immediately and instinctively attracted to you - but not in a romantic way, rather in a way that felt safe and familiar, like a hand on your shoulder as you were being lifted - congratulated for something - and I remember thinking, 'what an interesting fellow.' He says what he believes in a way that I may not completely agree with, but I like that. I neither felt that I had to agree, nor did I feel compelled to leave some superfluous comment that meant nothing just to make you 'feel better.' I felt your self confidence in your no matter what words and I found that an attractive characteristic for a friend. All my true friends have this like quality. I just admire your frank honesty that can be taken - or left - just as it is. You are who you are, no props, no lies, no camouflage, just you. I like that. I would have coffee with you - But I would NEVER challenge you to drink more tequila than I could, because I fear I would try to go skinny-dipping in the nearest sink. And that, my De Greek friend, is just my humble observation.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

I think, where friends are concerned, we tend to look for the characteristics that attracted us to friends from our past. For instance if we have liked funny people, those are the types that we look for in new friends, or if we feel we are good listeners, we tend to gravitate towards, and be attractive to needy people.

In the virtual world of Hubpages, we can befriend people that we feel in tune with, or sometimes that we fancy as their is little chance of things going beyond online flirtation.

The virtual world is a very new thing, and the etiquette is not fully established yet, so anything is possible


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

LOL, LOL, LOL :-)))))))))

Mwatkins, you have made laugh out loud uncontrollably. Skinny dipping in a sink??????????????? That is funny!

But I rarely drink. I got drunk only twice in my life. The first time I got drunk some friends and I threw the groom at a wedding in the swimming pool of a five star hotel where the reception was held, and then we all jumped in after him, everyone fully clothed. And the second was at the house of a friend and somehow we all ended up in the pool fully clothed and getting smashed.

But I digress. You brought back memories. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I think that you are correct. We identify with people who have the same sense of humor and the same morals/characteristics as we do and we feel comfortable with them. Even in this abode of sin named HubPages we manage to find genuine, platonic friends who make us feel more complete than we would otherwise be.

That's a good though: Feeling more complete than we would otherwise be. Don't you think that the phrase is apt?

Many thanks for your input. THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME LAUGH! :-))))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Christopher, that is another interesting point of view. Repeating the experiences of the past I mean and it seems very likely. I must take it into consideration in my trying to digest this subject.

As for flirting, it is not for me, though I have got engaged a few times on HubPages for fun, but only with women who have a wonderful sense of humor like DRBJ, Pam Roberson, and a couple of others whose names escape me for the moment,so girls please remind me in case the support check has not reached you yet. :-))

Thanks Christopher for contributing to this discussion, which personally I find to be very intersting :-)


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

"Feeling more complete than we would otherwise be. Don't you think that the phrase is apt?" I believe this is characteristically true and resonates well - Yes!

Actually, I've had the Tequila experience which is why I haven't had it (Tequila) for over 23 years. And it wasn't a sink, it was an actual swimming pool and who would have thought that it would take two grown men to escort me to a waiting car the whole time putting my clothes back on as I insisted that they come off. I was never very big - just strong and wiry - thanks to a youth spent working on the farm with the folks and extended family. Those two men had a 'heckuva' time getting me in that car fully clothed.

Thankfully I kept that memory so that I would never desire to repeat it again. THANK YOU - Very much! ;-) LOL


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Obviously a misspent youth to some, but a well spend one going by the results :-)))

Some of our memories are well worth remembering mwatkins....:-))))

But the other thing is, what a description of a friend this is:

“He is a liar, a thief, a drunkard, a gambler and a jailbird. A beautiful man I tell you!”

Don't you think that it speaks volumes? :-)))


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Hi Dimitris, what an interesting subject. Didn't Jamiehousehusband write about girls liking a man with a Good Sense of Humor? It is so true and you have one. That is why I like you, nothing to do with over whelming sexual desire, your comely figure. your obvious good manners and loaded wallet. Keep the good stuff coming!


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

Dimi:

Your query has the potential to set me on a long and contemplative course, one of introspection concerning friend selection. But, I will try to "wing it", and see where it leads.

I do not seek out friends. I crave recognition. I do not gather people around me, or join groups, or feel lonely when I am alone. I do not suffer fools, though I am protective of the innocent and naive. And I use the term friend so rarely when referring to people I know that it has attained the distinction usually afforded an Olympic Gold Medal.

People like me. I am a chameleon that has always been able to adapt to my surroundings while never pretending to be anything but who I am. I have charmed Maitre D's at Sardi's in Manhattan where major Broadway Stars don't get a second look, gotten drunk with cowboys and badboys in Durango, Colorado, spent the night doing shots in a Biker Bar while dressed like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, and so much more. Everywhere I went I was accepted and welcomed and comfortable amongst people with whom I ostensibly had little in common, save our honest humanity. I never pretended to be someone I wasn't, I just made it apparent we are more alike than dissimilar. And, I think, for my vulnerability, my nonchalant confidence and my sincere willingness to be one of "US" for the moment I was "BEFRIENDED".

Yet, I profess to follow the assumption that "everyone I meet is an a**hole until proven otherwise", because it minimizes disappointments.

The truth is, I am afraid, I am a "people person", and I don't want to be. I suspect that there are hundreds of people that consider me their friend, while I have seldom been able to use all the digits on one hand to number those I would claim. My criteria is more demanding.

So..."FRIEND". Why Dimi, do I call you friend? You too seem to be someone who could be dropped blindfolded into a foreign land dressed in drag and an hour later you'd be downing shots of local alcoholic beverages, stray dogs at your feet and toothless grannies pinching your cheeks.

You are intelligent and articulate with a penchant for tongue-in-cheek humor...a gentleman, tolerant of those deserving a bit of allowance, but firm in principal.

In short, (yeah, too late for that!), you and I are "simpatico". When I comment on something you have written you consider the source and recognize the wink-an-a-nudge tone. And, when I publish something, it is your comment I await...knowing you will "get it" and render an opinion I can value.

I too like your contention that our writing and comments here on hubpages can be so revealing over time that they can be used as a lie detector or personality exposer. Again, you have seen through the smoke and mirrors, and revealed something we may have sensed but overlooked.

I consider the fact that you and I connected on Hubpages the only beneficial manifestation of "HubKarma" on record. :{)

BTW: I suspect your father had an innate affection many of us share for the likable rascal, the consummate scoundrel...it is somehow comforting to see someone reach their full potential! I had a friend like that too.

CP


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

DG, what immediately struck me about you is that you don't take yourself too seriously - a quality I wholeheartedly admire. And perhaps I see a reflection of myself there. Whatever...I'm still glad to be a friend! :)


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Good questions Dimitris...

We don`t chose the other people based on logical analysis, our choices are most often unconscious or subconscious, based on inner "programs" we carry within ourselves (most often we have them from early childhood).

As I can see, people very often pick up spouses because of FEW characteristics only, but also often cannot stand the whole personality of another person. In that case, divorce must occur. But divorce does not change the fact that we projected parts of ourselves on another person for our good or bad...it just means that human projections (choices) does not last forever and it also means that the another person is not completely the same as we are. We are interested only in PARTS of ourselves to be seen in another persons.

In addition, not all our characteristics (or programs) are positive, many are negative, some of them are extremely chaotic, so when we "chose" our partners and friends, all of these parts of ourselves get expressed - not only our most positive intentions.

And, of course, there are completely different reasons why people get married when they are young, from the reasons why people get married when they are more mature - we do change with age and finally find out what we REALLY want from ourselves and from other people.

Plus - the fact is that 99% of people are not really monogamous - staying in only one life-relationship would be very boring for majority - that is the reason divorces are invented a long time ago.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Hmmmmm, interesting topic, I don't analyze why I become friends with someone, it just happens, but, now that I think of it, I connect with people who have open hearts like I do. Many are reserved as we all express our lovingness differently, but when I percieve kindness as I did with you, I feel a connection.

Also, I really think we attract what we need for our spiritual and emotional evolution.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

On the bottom of our souls is only one reason why we need and seek friends – to survive. The more friends we have, the stronger we feel, the more courage we have and the better we can and want to grow. But to find/get friends, we need to be recognized, understood and accepted. When we find people who accept us as we are, we (normal people) are spontaneously good to them because they are good to us…. we are good to them… they are good to us…. The moment this harmonieus motion stops for whatever reason, friendship seizes.

You have much to give, De Greek – your brilliant sense of humor, your ability to entertain, your charm, intelligence… People like you because you are able to uplift their spirits in a pleasant way. You really do know your best side, and you are able to utilize it for the benefit of yourself, your friends and all people who love people who have the talent to make them smile/laugh. We are all seekers of friends; nobody will befriend a person who hurts/slanders/belittles/hates them.

I like you too. I find your writings extremely amusing. But I know you can kick and bite like a horse. Therefore, to protect myself, I admire you from a distance. Just go on and be yourself and always remember we recognize a BIG man in the way he treats LITTLE men.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I like the drift of this Hub, as I enjoy so many of yours! Friendship is a mysterious thing, and perhaps there is no one answer. This Hub inspired me to do a little Goolging on the subject and I found this wonderful quote, which I think is aposite: "There is an irreducibility to friendship and anyone who tries to collapse them risks walking roughshod over the infinite variety of experiences that individuals have." It comes from a blog by an interesting fellow called Mark Vernon http://www.markvernon.com/ which I think you will enjoy.

An interesting observation you make about the number of comments per Hub versus number of visits.

Thanks for another vibrantly-written Hub!

Love and peace

Tony


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Raye, what a shock to the system it is to learn that you are not overcome with overwhelming sexual desire for my comely figure! I am shocked and disappointed to my very core! ;-))))

And your reference to a loaded wallet has reminded me of something my father used to say when he wanted to boast jokingly: “If I stand on my wallet, I can see Russia” – (echoes of an American politician?) ;-)))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

CP,

You have raised so many interesting points which truly contribute to the discussion. “I crave recognition” you say. I think that this applies to most of us and obviously that is why I keep pestering you lot with circulars every time someone says something complimentary about me. The fact that you take the trouble to go and read it without telling me to shove off, is a gesture of friendship in itself ;-))

Another point you raised is the pre-assumption of someone’s suitability as a friend. In that respect I am different from you because I always assume that someone is nice, though you are correct that this leads to disappointments at times. But I cannot change and I cannot say that I have lost by this attitude, because I have friends I made over forty years ago with whom I still keep in touch, even if it is just once a year at Christmas time. One such in particular is wonderful Austrian friend whose advice I needed a few years ago and I could feel the love flowing through the telephone line when she was speaking to me. Sisterly love I hasten to add. It was a truly wonderful feeling.

Anyway, this is such an interesting discussion, don’t you think?

And thank you for the kind words as well as for your input :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

I am going to the gym and I shall continue anon! :-)))


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Hello, De Greek, and only can say that I thoroughly enjoy your style of writing. I know that intellengence and educational wise you way above me and I like that. I always learn from your hubs either from the knowledge you put in or like this one, the way of thinking. I can only express myself in plain English and hope it comes over in the way I meant it. I had not the High School education I would have loved to and also English is my second language. So I am a handcapped in both departments. Hoping to you will always be my friend.

Not for De Greek to read

(Psss I don't know why want to be his friend. Don't we all wonder hahaha) If you read it and I sure you did, don't jump off the tall building. It was only a joke.

Seriously, I think very highly of you and your writing


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

FP,

To me, you represent everything that is good in friendship (Internet friendship in this instance) and it is people like you that make being here worthwhile. The fact is, as I have tried to explain in my article, that I repel thousands but hit it off with a few dozen. In other words thousands of visitors to some of my stories simply walk off without leaving a comment, obviously because they have found nothing worth commenting about. Yet to me, you and the handful of friends like the ones commenting here are more valuable than the thousands who simply walk off. Am I explaining it lucidly, or am I rambling off again in a world of my own? :-))))

In other words, thank you for being YOU :-)))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Tatjana,

Your intelligent, on-target comments make me wish that all of us here were sitting on sofas and armchairs around a coffee table, drinking coffee and sharing these thoughts. :-)

You are correct of course. We select mates on the basis of various personal experiences which we acquire through our growing up process, experiences which can be either good or bad, or a combination. Also, in mates we are willing to hope for the best, if the appearance is particularly pleasant to us, don’t you think? :-) – So we often end up marrying a person which is not exactly as we had hoped and we have difficulty getting out of that relationship.

But the relationship with friends is not so binding, I think. You meet someone who projects a nice image, suitable to your own character and make friends. You subsequently discover that the projected image was only a façade. It is disappointing, but you step away from that friendship before it becomes seriously unpleasant. (You cannot do the same so easily in a marriage).

More coffee anyone? :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Marie,

As usual, your kindness disarms me and I don’t know how to respond properly, since the De Greeks are such a modest lot :-))))) Thank you for the kind words.

You said “Also, I really think we attract what we need for our spiritual and emotional evolution” and I feel challenged by this. I think that I need more time to digest it properly, but you may be right because it can work in different directions. Meaning for good or bad. In other words our spiritual and emotional evolution can be heading in the direction of literature or the arts – this being the good part – or a week traumatized person could seek his or her spiritual and emotional evolution in drugs or violent acts. Is this what you mean? I need to digest this properly :-)))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

MartieCoetser

When I meet someone new, out of courtesy I accept the façade he wishes to project of himself. I always feel that it would be unfair and an insult to him if I were presumptuous enough to doubt him without cause. So if he projects the image of a BIG man, I PROVISIONALLY accept the image at face value.

BUT

If I subsequently find that behind the image is just a SMALL insecure man, then I leave him to his problems and go on my way, trying to limit the damage done by the experience to the minimum possible.

If on the other hand that person believes that a failed friendship should be like a long term marriage which must be seen through even under the most unhappy conditions, then that person will be disappointed by me. We would part rather with the Distant Stare than the Friendly Smile.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Tony,

The De Greeks have very little mind, but what we have is suffering in trying to decipher the phrase you have provided in quotes. It may take us a week, but we shall find out what “irreducibility to friendship” means :-))))

Our prejudices are not virulent, but we draw the line at the use of the word “irreducibility” :-)))))

Good to see you as always and always enjoy the opportunity to pull your leg a little ;-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hello, hello,

One of the things in this life written in granite is the fact that you and I shall always be friends. How could it be otherwise when you are such a kind and generous person, willing to put up with me and my peculiarities :-)

Thank you for being my friend :-)


DavePrice profile image

DavePrice 5 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

I dont know DG. We choose friends when we are young because we think they are "cool" or "in". We choose friends because they have something we need emotionally or otherwise. We choose friends for many reasons, but I think they become our lesser friends. It is the friends we do not choose that become the nearest and dearest. When we find we care for someone without having tried or knowing why, just that we do, those become the best of friends, because the mystery of it carries the relationship so much farther than the thinking mind could. The best of friends have nothing to offer but themselves, and that in itself is everything; who can figure that out. You have been a friend to me, tho I have nothing else to offer you, and the mystery of that is amazing to me. Thank you, my friend, thank you.


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

“He is a liar, a thief, a drunkard, a gambler and a jailbird. A beautiful man I tell you!”

Don't you think that it speaks volumes? :-)))

When a person talks of a friend from the heart - as your father did with the people he called, "friend," then I believe that it does speaks volumes - poetically so. We are all a mixed bag - every one of us. We come from a mother and a father and (I believe) that is truly the only thing that binds us together in commonality. Other than that, I believe - and have always believed - that there is something inherently and especially unique (or) special, that makes us stand out to a friend. It is that quality that, I think is only visible to the friend who shares it with you. To others that person may be only a liar, a thief, a drunkard, a jailbird, but to the true friend, they are that, "beautiful 'man.'" And all that it involves - much like a mothers child.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for your great appreciation but what is this with "outting up with you" and "pecularities". I never yet found one and I said this without a lie. Here I haven't to go to the confession box hahaha If I don't agree with something I say so but --- hopefully nice and not hurtful --- Well I am glad that is sorted out and will be friends.


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

As someone who visits often, but doesn't often comment, I would like to perhaps, add something from the point of view of the "non-commenters".

Often I will read and not comment because I don't feel I have anything worthy to add to what has already been posted, and I don't like to leave "ditto", or "great job", especially on a post by someone like you.

When I say "someone like you", I mean someone who's work I admire as much as I do yours.

There are several people who I admire very much on here, and it was difficult to make myself comment on their pages as well, some I still haven't, or rarely do.

When I do comment, I edit every comment at least twice before sending, and then, if the person's site gives me those beautiful 5 minutes, I edit again. This one has already been edited 5 times.(now 7) (now 8)(9)

So, please don't think the people who don't comment don't admire you and connect with you, some of them do.. they're perhaps just a little shy.... or intimidated.

Hey, I just thought of something... would that make us non-commenters "Stalker Friends"? OMG. I need to comment more!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada

How does that saying go? A friend is someone who likes and accepts us in spite of who we really are.

With other words we can be ourselves in front of our friends and keep having them as friends. (As long as you do not lend them any money though)

Hope you and De-Wife are well

greetings from cold, cold Canada

Zsuzsy


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

You asked, Dimi, if we see ourselves in the characteristics of others? I will try to keep my response down to just a few paragraphs.

The answer, for me, is yes. I am referring to Hub friends or other friends I have met online. Yes, because I tend to become closer with those I respect or admire or desire to emulate. Yes, because they are intelligent (they know how to spell 'separate'), or humorous (I chuckle, titter or laugh at what they write), or knowledgeable or experienced (you can interpret that any way you wish), or open, or kind, or any other positive characteristic I admire.

Positive - that's the really important element. Life is too hard and too short to be negative and nihilistic. Give me positivism and joy and humor every time.

I think it was Milton Berle who once said: "Humor is like a vacation." I second that.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

DavePrice,

What about this possibility? The process of a casual acquaintance developing into a friendship often happens without us realizing that there is a process going on. It might be an apt word expressed by one of the parties at the right time which indicates a kindred spirit.

It might be worth a thought :-)) Thanks for your input Dave :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Mischelle,

You cannot imagine how much I enjoy your always pertinent comments. Thank you :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hello, hello,

Let us agree then that the two of us have created a mutual admiration society :-)))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

sueroy333,

I don't know what version 1 was like, but version (9) is a gem! :-))

You are obviously more than able to hold your own in any discussion, so pull up a chair and have a cup of coffee with us, without being shy.

I visit a lot of hubs and if I don't like something, I just leave without commenting. But if I like what I read, I feel the need to tell the person who wrote the hub that I was there and that I liked what he or she did. So it's on the basis of my own experience that I made some assumptions. :-)

Anyway, next time you pass by and don't feel like stressing your brain, just leave a note saying something like, "Hay I was here and I read it" :-)))

How is that? :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Zsuzsy Bee,

You are a classic example. I liked you from the moment I read your profile, without having exchanged a single word with you. How's that for a way to choose. Of course it does not mean that you will like in return, but half the problem had been resolved at that stage :-)))

De Wife sends her regards :-))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

DRBJ,

You have just itemized all the reasons I like you, Kid. And I did mention in the story above that in a moment of ennui we sort of got engaged for a while, an event which I consider to be one of my better engagements-to-be-married out of many :-)))

And is this how you spell saperete? :-))


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Good morning, DG (or good evening on your end), everything in life can be part of our spiritual or emotional evolution. Going into the arts certainly can have wonderful impact on our evolution (or not), and drugs and addictions are also lessons, it challenges us to do our best to clear whatever is in us that created those addictions, and perhaps come out stronger.

In terms of friendships or relationships, one quick example, is when I was with the ex who is as I have mentioned before, wealthy, but an alcoholic, and was emotionally abusive towards me, even threatened to harm me, I reached a point where time stopped for me, and I realized with crystal clear clarity, I deserved better for myself, and I got out of the relationship. I evolved in the sense that I learned to love and respect myself, developed more compassion for women who find themselves in worse situations with partners, and out of this evolution, I attracted a very loving, respectful, brilliant man into my life. Ironically, my current mate also was in an abusive union with his ex, but she was abusive towards him, so he ended the relationship when I had ended mine. Amazing, huh, both of us terminating unions at the same time, and meeting online from opposite ends in the country.

Would love to jabber more, but this is merely my truth, don't want to get longer than I already have, perhaps this is a good topic for a future hub. :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Marie,

Good evening form my part of the world, as it is 7 pm here now.

The clarification has helped a great deal and I thank you for it. A detailed hub about the experiences you have described would certainly make interesting reading if you are up to the task.

It would be soooooooo nice if the lot of us here could sit on some sofas and armchairs and chew the fat in live form over a cup of coffee, would it not? :-))


DavePrice profile image

DavePrice 5 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

That, my friend, is probably the best way to describe it. Its those processes, begun by casual acquaintance, that develop without conscious effort, which certainly seem to be the most rewarding friendships when they bloom. So, maybe better said, thanks for the casual process :)


jrsearam profile image

jrsearam 5 years ago from San Juan, PR

Yes, I also wonder why the lot of us put up with you and yes, I think it has to do with the mystery of friendship. Maybe it's the tribe thing. Every so often we come across another descendant of our ancient tribe and a millenary seed sown in our subconscious sprouts in recognition of a fellow tribesman. Hmm.... Maybe it's the reencounter of souls. Brothers in another life becoming friends in this one. Hmm... All too esoteric, don't you think? Maybe it' all a matter of likemindedness Or the sharing of certain characteristics. A kind of narcissistic infatuation with qualities of others that we also posses. Sounds too freudean. It'll probably remain a mystery is what I think. Platonic love or any kind of love for that matter, can be described biologically as a chemical reaction and the catalyst for that reaction can be described psychologically but neither discipline can really explain it. That being said, I can tell you that I am your friend because I like you and I choose to be, as simple as that. Why I like you or why I like you enough to offer you my friendship has everything to do with who I perceive you to be based on what you write. That perception tells me you are an honest man...... and you're a lot of fun. I'll be a friend to any man like that. JR


LeeWalls profile image

LeeWalls 5 years ago from United States

Nice to read you again. I thought you said you were leaving but I'm glad you decided to write off and on.

I think we choose our friends because they have something in common with us. Maybe they have the same likes we do and maybe they understand us more whereas someone else wouldn't. You notice how drunks always hang around drunks?


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Dave,

Point taken, thank you:-)


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

I'll take a cup of that coffee. Cream and sugar please!

Birds of a feather flock together! If my head wasn't hurting so much, I might have left a more profound contribution to the discussion. For now, I'm going to enjoy this coffee and take some tylenol.

Typical friend, huh? Drink your coffee and leave! I love you!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

.

JR,

You have raised some very interesting and pertinent points. "A kind of narcissistic infatuation" is a brilliantly coined phrase on your part. May I steal it please? :-)))

You have also raised some other interesting points, like possible previous blood relationships. Well you just might have hit the mark:

Last year I had my DNA tested and I was astonished by the results. My Haplogroup turns out to be R1b1b2 (or M269+) and if you look at the map here -

http://hubpages.com/literature/How-do-I-love-thee- - you will see how the main part of my tribe ended up in France.

To my amazement, I am related to 1 - 615 Danes, who were probably the Normans in North of France. But I also have German, Scottish, Irish and English blood in abundance, with ALSO, two Greek ancestors, one Chinese, two Jews and a few Spaniards. Now this is the more interesting part: One of my Spanish ancestors must have been with the original Spanish conquerors of Latin America (probably the assistant cook), because I have found cousins in Mexico!!!! I have seen their photos and they do not look anything like me, but they have almost the same blood as I and they are in a closely related Haplogroup!!!! :-))))

So how's that for being related? :-))

Very good points and thank you for putting up with me :-)))

-


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

LeeWalls,

I said that I resigned from the "Elites" of HubPages, not from HubPages. But thank you for your kind words :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Lisa My Love,

Pull up a chair, have your Tylenol with your coffee, and get ready to use the gray cells, because JRsearam has turned this discussion into an interesting channel. If your head does not hurt too much, read what he said above and my response. And I lurve you too :-))


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

I read his comment and your response and yes, it is amazing! The DNA aspect is something to consider. I have always believed in the "soul group" theory in Michael Newton's books. It is a very interesting concept. Looking at friendships and even love relationships from a physiological standpoint is something that we should look into. I really believe that you and JR are onto something.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

JR is a clever lad :-))


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

Yes, he is indeed. I must go check out his hubs!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Hi DG -I first want to say "I was here, and I read it". I also read all the interesting comments. Why do I follow you? Because you usually have something worthwhile or interesting to say and because I somehow, in someway relate to your style and intellect. Also, because you leave meaningful comments on other hubber's hubs :) As for the mystery of friendship, I believe we are drawn to each other for just that...the challenge of a good mystery. When we cease to learn from each other, the friendship fades.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Hillary. The thing is, there are people whom I like a lot and I have come to like them because of their writing, but the same people often write about things which are of no interest to me, but I still like them :-) Very often I don't leave a comment because the subject is, for example, 'make up', which has no attraction for me. But the friendship continues. And in support of that, I think that I must disagree with your last theory, because personally I have GOOD friends whom I do not see often, but when we meet, even after years, the friendship is just as strong as it was when we last separated. Go figure :-))


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

I think friendship is totally platonic love - we "feel" what we feel for someone and it just happens - or it unfortunately doesn't!

The other thing I think about is the level of "passion". I kinda like some people and I kinda LOVE some people and that's what makes people standouts or just stands. (That kinda sounded weird but I have contest burnout - sorry)

You sum it up really - there are layers to our lives always; people we will never again love AS much and people we friend that we can't believe we ever did without. It's all about degrees and who we find that makes our boat float!


FloBe profile image

FloBe 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Very interesting food for thought. My closest friend is the most like me...it makes me feel "normal" to know there is someone out there as strange as I am :) I am, however, also attracted to people who are very different from me because I find them very interesting and a challenge to get to know. I don't necessarily feel safe enough with them to expose my heart easily in case I would be misunderstood and it would take too long to explain myself. Hmm...a very interesting topic to ponder, that's for sure!!

Sometimes we are attracted to our opposite (as in mates we "choose") and then after a while the part we found interesting becomes irritating. Is that perhaps why there is so much divorce?? Not sure.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Insane Person, how did the contest go? Made any new friends while at it? :-))

I suppose from what you say that the people you like become friendly acquaintances and the people you LOVE become the close friends. The thing is that I personally have come to feel an affinity with a number of people here who must be placed somewhere in between. I have not met them personally so I cannot in truth say that I love them, but I certainly like them more than mere acquaintances, so certainly I would classify them as friends. It's an interesting subject! :-))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Flo,

So you have found someone as strange as yourself to be friends with? That's a relief :-)))

I like your input about liking people who are different from you, but because of the differences being reluctant to open yourself up to them. again, I compare my own experiences and I find that I have made friends with people who have some different attitudes than I, but fundamentally they are not all that different from me.

This is such a mystery to ponder on! :-))


Cris A profile image

Cris A 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

My two centavos:

Some people, well actually most people, are not into verbalizing their thoughts specially for a wider audience. Otherwise, we would all be movie critics! Haha

So how are you my good friend? I apologize for I've been remiss.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

One of my life-long friends, many of whom all too often now I am outliving, made a little gift for me along the way: a decoupage of a poem on parchment with edges which look aged and writing in beautiful penmanship, laquered onto a lovely walnut plaque. It hangs on my kitchen wall where I can easily see it and be warmed by the reminder.

The poem on it has been attributed to various writers from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to George Eliot. But to me, it will always be attributed to Emma Jean Kennedy. It went:

Friendship

Oh, the comfort --

The inexpressible comfort of feeling

safe with a person,

Having neither to weigh thoughts,

Nor measure words -- but pouring them

All right out -- just as they are --

Chaff and grain together --

Certain that a faithful hand will

Take and sift them --

Keep what is worth keeping --

and with the breath of kindness

Blow the rest away.

I'm not sure it perfectly describes friendship, but there is much truth in it in the elements of trust, authenticity, caring and overlooking the "warts" in one's friends.

Analytically I guess we all seek validation and are drawn to those who both validate us and accept our validation of them. By that I don't mean being a "yes" person or a rubber stamp, but by our overall perception of them and accepting them as they are - especially bothering to find out what they really are without imposing our own interpretation on it.

We may not - cannot - like everyone. Usually we can say what it is about those that we don't like. But we like and accept our friend and may find it more difficult to DEFINE it. Liking, similarly to loving, is a more involuntary response to someone, more than a deliberate matter or choosing for some "end" or conscious advantage. Our friend may offer no measurable advantages at all - such as your father's liar/drunkard/gambler/jailbird lacked - except that he "clicks" and pleases one's heart and soul somehow.

Good hub, DG.

(by the way - this was not the question you asked for my opinion, though I inserted some of this subject into my reply because it was needed to answer what you specifically asked. ;-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Cris! How good to see you again my sweet friend :-)))

I understand that you have been busy and that you have experimented with book cover design, so I understand that your absence is justified. How is my second homeland, The Beautiful Philippines? Are you going to find me a passable shack on a nice quiet beach to retire to? :-)))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Yes Nellieanna, the comfort of being able to say all sorts of nonsense to one's friend without being shot down cruelly is so important. We form our ideas in our head, but we refine them by using our our friends as sounding boards from which to bounce the ideas back to ourselves and to judge and refine those ideas before we finalize them for public consumption.

Our friends can often show us that we are being naive, pompous, idiotic, unfair, unreasonable and so on, without actually hurting our feelings, because hearing them speak is like hearing ourselves :-)))

I really do like that poem :-)


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

De Greek- am writing a hub on this many splendoured thing and will probably post it tommorrow. it won't answer your questions but maybe add to the confusion and yet add another dimension to thought. hope so


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Neelesh,

I shall look forward to it. :-)

In the meantime, I am looking for an inexpensive place to retire to in India or the Philippines, so can you recommend something suitable? :-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Good - I'm pleased you like it!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I feel true friendship begins with Empathy!

Empathy you say, I can imagine the look on your face, the thought instantly slamming to your thoughts.

Empathy dear man is the abiility to feel what another feels and when you can connect to another in this manner a bond is formed that often becomes friendship, regardless of how small, noted, acknowledged it becomes, you never know who will be at your funeral with the biggest most damp hanky of all.

Some are not capable of empathy. 1 in 25 are not capable of feeling this delightful emotion, an emotion that bonds we humans at the deepest level, giving us the ability to love, care for and take others into consideration, often very deeply.

I relate or connect to someone when I feel a sense of empathy for them in the sense that we both feel, I feel something for them about their character, their story, their passion, their pain or personality that strikes a cord in my heart. I empathize with their soft spot as a human being embracing that unique and personal quality about them that sparks human emotion.

As for you and why I feel drawn to continue remainging in your circle, I can identify it, I remember the moment I felt connected to you and I'm willing to bet you... I will leave you with that.

I do find it interesting to witness your new look at life as i know your seeing things in a whole new light.

Blessings and Peace Dear Friend! :) Katie


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Yes, I see your point about empathy. Sounds very reasonable.

You have left me wondering about the moment you connected with me and about the bet you were going to offer. NOT FAIR ! :-))))

And I though that my look on life is as before, but of course we are the last ones to know how we have changed, when we change :-)))

Thank you (I think) for your kind (?) words :-)))


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

come home and stay on Dimitri

and if you intend to settle down longgggggg send me an email with the details and will write to you.

India has all you can want- beaches,mountains,deserts and desserts,Feline Prophet etc etc and some you may not want- like me!!!1.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Neelesh,

If YOU are going to be there, I am not setting foot in the place :-)))

I am seriously looking for a nice hill from which to have a view of the sea from afar and where the cost of living is not prohibitive - if such a thing is possible :-)


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

De Greek, It was over a poetic expression. I meant, not your look on life, your new thoughts regarding friendship as it reflects life now. :) Katie


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

.

Katie, as one who dos not have a poetic bone in his body, I appreciate the thought :-))


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

De Greek a very interesting Hub you've composed about The Mysteries of Friendships here at the Hubs or elsewhere:0)

You were one of my first friends I found here, now going on over nine months and I must say you proved yourself a genuine man and friend of not only exceptional experiences in life but with so many other traits and interests.

You are no mystery to so many of us now as you shared excellent writes with us. From drama, seriousness, laughing out loud humor and articulating your views on various subjects of interest.

I have been remiss of late coming for visits due to my taking some time to collect my thoughts in my dark cave for a spell, emerging better for having gone in search of some lost pieces of my life.

I will leave you with a quote from Henry Adams. "One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many;three are hardly possible." I am fortunate to count 3 on my hand in my lifetime who I would die for and them for me. I am blessed. I thank you for calling me a friend here on the hubs and I am delighted to call you friend as well. Peace my Amigo.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

.

Hi Ken,

Visiting friends on HubPages should not be a stressful process, but done whenever we can manage it, so do not even think that you should hasten to stories, at least mine :-)))

I truly pleased that you have good friends to stand shoulder to shoulder with you. It is a very important thing to have. In any case, always good to see you :-))


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I am blessed to have many friends—and even more acquaintances. They come from all walks of life and live on sundry moral planes. The lot of them together would be hard to sort out into neat categories that would give an overarching reason as to why I care for them so. In the end, there may be only one reason why I want to maintain the relationship, and it would be different for one to another. In your case, I simply admire your writing, especially your wicked sense of humor. This is a rare gift, and one that I appreciate.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Ahhhh... how kind :-)


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 5 years ago

I suppose we are drawn to a person, based on the characteristics we think they possess and which we value. (We may or may not be accurate in our assessment, since what we see or experience about someone is limited)

But, your father was able to befriend a liar, cheat, & drunkard, probably because he saw something else. He saw beyond the attributes that are on the surface. Perhaps people who have many friends are better at seeing more than what is immediately on the surface?

In the case of a divorce, perhaps we like what we think we see, but over time discover that what we thought we saw, wasn't real. OR, perhaps just by living with them day-to-day, we become distracted by the surface behaviors and no longer see the beautiful person (and those characteristics we so love) inside. (that's a rather sad thought)

Uh, I think I'm out of my realm here ;)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

.

No Mulberry, you are in your Kingdom! Everything you have said is so apropos to the subject and so much on target, that I cannot tell you how impressed I am.

Every single point you have touched on is so valid in my own opinion that I can only fully agree with you. Thank you for this wonderful contribution :-)


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines

A very interesting question! And I think that one word, "interesting", is what makes me visit - You always have something interesting to say or to ask.

However, the more important word is really "friendship". Your title says it all - "The Mystery of Friendship". There is really something mysterious about it. I just can't explain why I just feel a certain "kinship" or a kind of "resonance" with somebody. Thinking along the same lines or liking the same things are just part of it. The rest is still a "mystery".

Thanks for asking the question because I also enjoyed reading all the comments!

Rated up and beautiful!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Jill.

It really all comes down to that odd feeling of empathy, that feeling of 'friedship' at the end of the day does it not? :-)

Thanks for passing by. Good to see you again :-)

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