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Friendship and what it is all about

Updated on October 24, 2014

A friendship - a diverse word with a deep meaning

Do you really have friends? Loyal, honest and trustworthy friends, who are always there for you? Those who do not mind your distinctive personality, those who are comfortable around you, no matter what you have in common or how much you are different, if you are a guy or a girl, if you are black, asian or white or prefer basketball rather than football. But what exactly are best friends. This is a guide to how to find them, distinguish them and how to lose them. We will have a look at the basics of friendship, the requirements you set up for your best friends and most importantly how to guaranty a long lasting friendship.

Friends by Uray_Zulfikar
Friends by Uray_Zulfikar | Source

Every friendship is different, but there are many factors all friendships have in common. Before searching for a precise definition of what friendship is, it is essential to understand the meaning of the word "friend".

In most friendships there are two or more parties involved. Those parties are called friends. Friends are normally people, with whom you are close, and those people, with whom we feel comfortable around. The basis of friendship requires the ones involved to form deep bonds and thereby it is different from an accquaitanceship and allieship.Friendships can be formed between people, animals (almost all forms of life can form these bonds) and last but not least imaginary beings. Friends can be female or male. Though it must be pointed out, that a friendly relationship is different from a sexual one, which involves even deeper intimacy and unlike the first one sexual attraction as well, last but not least, a certain special friendship. Let's consider the case: You can have close friends, even best friends, with whom you share your deepest secrets, but those friendships are unlike a sexual relationship based on a completely other level: a girlfriend or wife to men or a boyfriend or husband to women is different from close or even best friends, male or female. These two relationships can exist parallely - two relationships of different nature.

Personalities and friendships

As stated above, friendships can be of different natures. Different people have different personalities. Your personality is your socialogical fingerprint, which can change over time, but traits of which do not change during your entire life. There are people, who are able to change their personality temporarily, like actors. Others, though, are able to change their own personality permanently. According to Psychologytoday, there is no conclusive evidence, that Genes form our personalities, though other socio-psychological studies have confirmed the opposite. The Telegraph reports wrote an article on the psychological research conducted by the Edinburgh University. The scientists came to the conclusion, that each personality is formed by many factors. The research conducted outlined, that genes indeed do influence our personality, but there were also other factors involved, e.g. our upbringing and our will as a human being. This thereby confirms, that traits of a person's socio-psychological fingerprint is always represented in our personalities, no matter how much we want to change it.

The resarch conducted leads to only one reasonable conlustion: Despite the general oppinion, the personality coefficient matters. One question still remains unanswered: What is personality? How can we measure or "assort" our psychological identity. Many studies deal with this questions.

Classification systems

The OCEAN personality classification

The most reknown test systems are the OCEAN and the Insight classifications. OCEAN determines your personality according to your behaviour, but does not evaluate your practical skills by putting you on a shelf. The OCEAN classification system differentiates between people who are open and curious, those who are efficient, organized, extraversional and talkative and people who are those who are friendly, compassionate, non suspicious and antoagonistic as well as nervous and emotionally unstable. For each of those criteria there are opposites, who exist parallely to the ones mentioned. As you may have already noticed, the OCEAN system doesn't even scrach the surfaces as an analytical tool. The OCEAN qualification system may also seem controverse because it never considers the possibility, that many people can not be sorted accorcding by the criterias mentioned above, but may belong to two or more groups. According to OCEAN, people with common beliefs are suitable to become friends.

Insight, a deeper and better tool to analyse your personality?

The Insight test is a paid and technologically advanced psychological analysis of your identity, which is mostly conducted by companies all over the world to assess their employees strength and weaknesses. Those who take part in this, online formular based, 60 to 90 minutes long test do not receive their test results immediately after concluding the test. In contrary, the evaluation of the questionary takes about up to 7 days. Many people, who take the test are surprized by the evaluation results. Employees even think, that their employers were monitoring and spying on them from the moment they applied for their current position. The accuracy is just too good to be true. People are sorted by a colour system. Each colour represents a certain trait. All your traits are shown in charts and every of those colours are arranged by the percentage of every trait you have. The Insight test also gives you an indepth analysis consisting of about 10 pages written text about who you are, with whom you feel comfortable with and what your character traits may influence your life. Unlike OCEAN classification system, Insight tells you with people you may be friends with in a more detailed way. People with the same colour as yours (people with common interests and similar personalities) may cause your friendship to end up in conflicts so that, according to the test, those friends are not exactly suitable for you.

International and national friendships, the link between nationality and genetics?

When making friends, we mostly choose people, we are comfortable with. In most cases these people have something in common with us. But is nationality, and maybe genetics involved in this process. It is a difficult question to answer, indeed. But maybe, if you look around and think about it, you might notice that the first part of the question is easy solve. As people, who feel comfortable around each other form a bond of frienship, so do people who have similarities, like a common national background, a common mother tongue maybe even common religious beliefs. But what about genetics? Certainly there must be a link. But think about what, apart from their national identity, a common language, their common beliefs, skin colour and a common fate they might share? Though foreigners tend to build their own closed society, they are still people, like anybody else. Obviously the question of integration is still present and will remain, as immigration is a never ending process, as long as the government allows it to happen. But in contrary to common beliefs, as in the age of globalization friendships between people of different nationalities develop more quickly than ever before. One of the main factors, why these developments were possible, is technology, that connects us and gives us the possibility to build friendships no matter how far away we are from each another.

So what is friendship really like - how to find friends

But, seriously, do you believe those test? Do you really think, that these tests may determine with whom to be friends with? Can you properly describe this feeling when you make friends with somebody. What exactly is friendship? Is it definable? Are friendship between people of different nationalities impossible? The most important traits of a friend are: Loyalty, sincerety and trust.

Friends do not always have to have something in common. They can have different interests, they may be knowledgeable in different topics, have different beliefs, they can be black, white or asian. As long as they feel comfortable around one another, as long as they can exchange their knowledge, learn something about and enjoy the presence of one another, they can form the strongest bonds. Friendships have to be mutually beneficial. If you give more than you receive, it does not matter what, you might be getting exploited. That is, what toxic friends usually try to do, though this practice is not hard to notice. Obviously, this mustn't always be the case, in particular, if you do it out of your own kindness. Be careful though, not to make your friends "addicted" to those "incentives".

Of course every friend has its personal traits, which are unique. It may be difficult to adapt to it. But it does not take long until you learn, what his or her favourite drink, food, music, sport, tv show or film genre is. Acceptance of each other and your distinct or similar personalities is important to each friendship. And last but not least. You do not need to find friends. They come across. Friendships are not modelled constructs, but natural bonds.

The main important feature of a friendship is the comfortability factor. Only as long as you feel comfortable around each other friendships may exist. That is why you should always watch out for your behavIour and how it may hurt the friendship you have formed. Even the slightest mistakes you make could drive away your friend, especially, if your friend is not sincerely telling you, what exactly you might have done wrong. This can happen because he or she tries to be polite and does not want to hurt you. But as long as your friend does not tell you directly which mistakes you might have made, which hints you might have ignored or even not noticed, it could be very difficult for you to recognize what to change.

Impropreate behaviour, ignoring direct and indirect hints as well as lies and insincerity, no matter how good educated you are, can ruin a friendship. If you are able to follow these abstract rules set up by this article, you might still have a chance to save your friendship.


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