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July 18th, 2011


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07:33 am - Friendship: a positive definition?
Okay, so I'm tired of seeing friendship defined (if it's talked about at all) as "less than romance" or something similar. I'm probably going to write up a post about how I see friendship, but I thought I would start by asking for your thoughts or definitions.

What, to you, is a defining characteristic of friendship? I'm not looking for what it isn't; I'm looking for what it is. And it can be something that more often gets mentioned in the context of romance, because every time love is present in a relationship there are going to be similarities.

I'll start us off with something I really appreciate about some of my friends.

A friend accepts you even when she doesn't quite understand you.
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Comments:


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From:feliciakw
Date:July 18th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
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One of my favorite poems on the topic, given to me on a plaque many, many years ago by a school friend.

A Friend's Prayer

O, Lord,
Let me be a companion in joy and a comforter in sorrow.
Help me find the courage to say what needs saying and the wisdom to know what doesn't.
Let me care always--and always find ways to show how much I care.
Let me be the kind of person who can always be trusted, confided in, counted on.
In every true sense of the word,
Let Me Be A Friend.


Sadly, I fall short of this so very much of the time, but it's one of my favorite descriptions of friendship.

Interestingly, I posted this in my LJ many years ago, prompted to do so by a post you made in 2006. My post can be found here.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 18th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
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We all fall short of this one, I think. But I love that you and I have always thought about friendship is such similar ways. No wonder we found each other in TS fandom. :-D
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From:dejla
Date:July 18th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
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A friend listens even if they don't agree with you.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 18th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
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Oh, very good one.
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From:ladymercury_10
Date:July 18th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
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I think a friend give you permission to be who you really are.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 18th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
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I love this, yes.
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From:jhall1
Date:July 18th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
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The first word to come to my mind as a defining characteristic of friendship is "loyalty".
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 18th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
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Which is why I was so unnerved at university, when people seemed to drop friends every time they had new classes!
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From:kerravonsen
Date:July 18th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
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We need a word for "person who is closer than an acquaintance, but not as close as a (good) friend".
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 19th, 2011 05:45 am (UTC)
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Yeah. And maybe to figure out some new term for "best friend" while we're at it (but that one could be just me grousing *g*).
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From:jhall1
Date:July 19th, 2011 09:39 am (UTC)
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Not the least of the virtues of the Harry Potter books is their showing young people that a boy and a girl could be best friends without sex coming into it. (Mind you, the snog between Harry and Hermione conjured up by Ron's jealous imagination in the first "Deathly Hallows" movie is just about the most erotic thing I've ever seen on screen!)
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 20th, 2011 05:43 am (UTC)
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Ah, indeed. That's why I loved the added scene in the first Deathly Hallows film... because it was a perfect wordless encapsulation of the Harry & Hermione friendship.
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From:kerravonsen
Date:July 18th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
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A friend is someone who just thinking about them makes you smile.

And yes, that is something that more often gets mentioned in the context of romance but it's still true.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 18th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yes! And someone whose voice you are always glad to hear when you pick up the phone.
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From:snickfic
Date:July 19th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
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A friend is someone who helps you when you ask for help, and also when you can't.

I think friendship is undervalued in our society (and definitely fandom in particular). Now that I'm an adult, my friendship are the defining relationships of my life.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 19th, 2011 06:00 am (UTC)
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Oh, nice one. Yes.

I think friendship is undervalued in our society (and definitely fandom in particular). Now that I'm an adult, my friendship are the defining relationships of my life.

So. Sadly. True.

I mean, I've come to realize that some people just take it so much for granted that they just don't bother talking about it, but.... Especially in a culture where we are single longer and longer, close non-romantic relationships are just so, so important and precious.
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From:scionofgrace
Date:July 20th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
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C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves:

"Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship, naked personalities."

Friendship is that world where you have all confidence to share anything with another person, and they do the same.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 20th, 2011 05:47 am (UTC)
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Ffff, yes! I completely forgot about that quote. That's it exactly.

And that's one reason I adore my fiance so much; we've got both eros and philia, which really contributes to the fact that we want to (can't stand not to) spend our entire lives together.

Naked personalities, oh, yes. Definitely.

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