Monday, July 26, 2010

What is the Measure of a Good Friend?

This is a very gray topic, but I thought I would throw this out there to people tonight.

We all have differentiating ideas on what a good friend constitues. Is it someone willing to bail you out of a rough spot? Buy you a beer now and then? Listen to you vent? I could go on forever here so instead I'll simply give my opinion on the topic and let you all fight over it if you so desire.

To me one thing I look for in a good friend, male or female, is someone who likes to hang out with you one-on-one. Anyone can spend time with a "friend" around others. It forces us to divide out attention and you tend to have a less personal experience. Sometimes one wants to just spend time with one other person. Whether we have stuff on our mind we want to get out and want to confide in that someone, or else we simply want a "low-key" experience. This can go for guy/girl friendships as well. Nothing sexual is meant, you just enjoy spending time with that other person.

Spending time one-on-one tells the other person that this friend of mine actually cares enough that they want a personal experience with you, and wants/cares to hear your thoughts that you normally wouldn't express with others (or mulitple people) around. A deeper friendship with a good one-on-one base allows one to freely express fears and concerns, hopes and dreams in a completely sincere form of non-judgemental confidence. A one-on-one experience is a higher-quality experience, and we usually learn a whole lot about each other and grow as friends each time. Spending time with someone else tells them that you're friendship is valueable to the person in question. Anyone can spend time with friends in a big group, we all do it and it takes little effort. It's the "easy" kind of friendship. The measure of someone willing to devote their time and attention to just one person is far more of a committment. One would think it the other way around, because there are more people present. I would disagree, as the conversational depth in that environment is usually somewhat shallow. Drinks are often present, which further dilutes (sometimes it richens) conversationsal quality and sincerity. It's hard to get into a long debate, as there are so many other people to interact with.

To neatly sum up my piece, I will go with a true wish of mine. I wish I had more chances to spend time one-on-one with my friends, old and new. Long-time friends become distanced and new friends lack the depth those long-time friendships from college have had.

So there you have it. Do with it what you will, I'm tired and it's late.


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