Friendship and emotions are two heavy topics that are often interwoven, even if some of us don't want them to be. To begin understanding either, we need a starting point. And that starting point for me was a series of questions.
What is a friend?
What makes a good friend?
How do I know someone is my friend?
What is friendship?
How do emotions play into friendship?
What does it mean to lose a friend?
Well this might seem like a questions and a topic one would have with their children or hear as a child, its a good topic to refresh upon and dive into as an adult. As an adult, we have responsibilities and emotions that make friendships much more complex than the ones that children might have. We also have to deal with people who might exploit us by pretending to be our friends (some children deal with this too, I was one such child). So, it helps to renew what we think we know about friendship and truly get into the finer details of relationships.
Let us start by answering two of these questions that are closely linked;
What is a friend and what is friendship?
The dictionary defines a friend as:
"a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations."
It also defines friendship as:
"the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends."
"a state of mutual trust and support between allied nations."
Why would I include this second definition of friendship when it seems to only relate to nations? Because the wording of it can be related to people as well. Within a friendship, there should be mutual trust and support. Without that, there are no grounds for the friendship to stand upon. It falls apart at its seams. If either party cannot trust or support the other, than there is no friendship, only the illusion of one.
Apart of being friends involves emotions and conducts that are expected of them. Namely, these are trust, support, and affection (a feeling of liking someone). Well a friendship can be founded without affection (an example of this would be forming a pact with someone who also survived a plane crash with you), it cannot be formed without trust and support. More often than not, affection grows from the trust and support you place into another and they place into you. After all, you are far more likely to like someone who is helping you survive than dislike them.
So now that we established that a friend is someone who supports you, trusts you, and you do the same in return, we can move on to the next questions;
What makes a good friend?
How do I know someone is my friend?
How do emotions play into friendship?
These three tie into each other nicely. Let us begin by answering; What makes a good friend?
Well different people like different things in other people and have personality preferences, there is an underlining rule that everyone should look for in a friend. That is, a good friend supports you and trusts you. They might not always agree with you, they might pull you back from something, but they really do care for you. One of you could be a feminist and the other an anti-feminist, you could still be friends because of how much you care about each other as a person. You support each other emotionally and trust that the other will do the same in turn. Creed, race, sex, ect... does not get in the way of a true friendship. Though some people do only want friends with the same Creed and what not as them, they can still find those friends who share their values.
Now lets move onto how emotions play into this. As I said before, a friend will emotionally support you. They might not have all the answers, but they will at least hear you out and try to comfort you. They listen to you and do their best to understand your emotions. They don't dismiss them like they are nothing but trash. They truly care about you. They might not always show it, like when they tease you or scold you for doing something stupid, but they show it when it matters, like if someone is harassing you or you are having a baby.
Different people show that they care in different ways. Be opened to this, but also be aware of people who pretend to be your friend in order to take advantage of you or to abuse you.Which leads me to the finale of these three questions; How do I know someone is my friend?
Someone who is your friend wont put you down or make you feel bad. They wont make you feel trapped in the friendship. They will not isolate you from others nor will they ask you where you are, who you are with, and what not ALL THE TIME. A true friend will not try to control you or control the way that you feel. If they are making you uncomfortable, then it is better to leave before things get worse. If they say something that you are unsure of what they mean by it, then ask both them and others. ASK QUESTIONS. I cannot stress this enough. The right questions, as simple as they may seem, can teach you a lot about someone.
I will use myself as an example in the answers to these questions and use some made up answers for comparison. I will use the format, mine vs other example. I would like to state that they may not exhibit all of the traits listed with each thing, but each can still help you better understand them.
Note: Be sure to ask them why these things are their favorite.
What is your favorite color?
Purple vs Red
Someone who likes purple is "sensitive and compassionate, understanding and supportive, thinking of others before yourself" and they can also be a "gentle and free spirit[ed]" person.
Someone who likes red is "extroverted and optimistic, courageous and confident" and they can also be "strong survival instincts" and "crave attention."
Read more here:
What is your favorite animal?
Wolf vs Tiger
Someone who likes wolves "values their close friends, but also likes being alone."
Someone who likes Tigers "comes off as intimidating."
Read more at:
Or you can ask this question in a series of questions like this site does:
What is you favorite flower?
Orchids vs Roses
Someone who likes orchids is "sophisticated and mysterious" They are "never the loudest or most glamorous person in the room."
Someone who likes roses is " almost always think[ing] with [their] heart."
Read more at:
So now you want to put it all together and be on alert for certain answers. There is a reason why I chose the example answers that I did. Red is a color that draws in people who are attracted to power and control, same with large predatory animals like Tigers and Lions. Roses are linked to people with strong passions. Well these things aren't true of all people who like red, tigers, and roses, these can be things to look out for in a person. However, these should not be your only points you use to judge them. A week to a month can give you a good idea of who someone is. I do not consider a person my friend until after a year of us interacting, establishing boundaries, and getting to know each other. But this is in part do to my anxiety disorder. I worry about all the things and research all the things as a result.
And, the reason being, is that red is linked to power, the tiger is also linked to power, and the rose is linked to romance, charm, and death. If it was Lion instead of tiger, it would be linked to pride and power. So, what CAN, but NOT always, do these things mean?
1) the person is a power junkie (red/tiger)
2) they are an egotist (lion)
3) they are a superficial charmer (rose)
These are three of the five traits of a serial killer. The other two being that they are manipulative and they are good at blending into society. But that's what getting to know them is all about. It allows you to see if they are manipulative or not.
This DOES NOT MEAN that everyone who likes Red, tigers/lions, and roses are a serial killer. Someone who likes these things can be a strong leader who leads with pride and also happens to be a helpless romantic. All this does is give you a glimpse into who they MIGHT be. Consider both the positive and negative and give everyone a chance. Negative personality traits normally show up after a month or two of interaction with someone. So, you should be able to tell in that amount if that person is a good friend or not. Again, asking why it is their favorite is important. Culture can define what something means and thus a tiger to one group might mean something else to an other.
However, asking questions is important cause it opens up a road into what the other person is like. You may find traits that you adore in them. For example, I know that I get along better with people who like green and blue. I also know that I tend not to get along with people who like red or pink. This is an experience thing of mine. From asking these questions with everyone that I meet, I have learned the traits that they tend to share in common.
My best friend loves the color green. She is nurturing and very supportive, she loves nature. She is attracted to stability. Since nature is green, that is why her favorite color is green. The other side of green can be that they like money, since American money is green. She does not like money, but she is Canadian and their money is rainbow colored, so green was never linked to it. Someone who likes green for money could like it out of stability or greed.
Blue people tend to be more loyal than others. Like, fiercely "I will out you through a wall if you hurt them" type loyal. They can be loud and opinionated, or quite and soft spoken. However, they will turn into a roaring lion if you hurt their friends.
My friend who likes orange is the most bizarre and strange man I have met. He is an utter mystery to me. That being said, I have never met another who liked orange and don't have anyone to compare him to. Yet, that somehow makes him even more unique and mysterious. Like a jigsaw puzzle with no answer.
Back onto topic cause I rant. A LOT. I will now get onto the final question. What does it mean to lose a friend?
To put it simply, it means that the contract between you two has been broken. You both, with or with out knowing, agreed to trust and support one an other. When you lose a friend, it means that there was a loss of support that lead to a lack of trust, or vise-versa. The contract between you two was breached and thus had to be terminated. Sometimes, a breach can be mended, because it was caused by a misunderstanding. Other times, it cannot be, because it was caused on purpose or their true nature was exposed. Sometimes it was your fault, or theirs, or both, or some other third party.
It can hurt to lose a friend. It can hurt to be betrayed. However, if they no longer want to be your friend, or you can no longer be theirs, it is for the better to let it end. Don't drag out something that can eat a hole into your heart, or theirs. That's what I did, and now I feel like half of my heart is gone.
It felt like it was lit on fire, burned, melting the wax it was made of, and then drowned out in its own wax. I should of terminated the friendship between myself and my now ex-friend the day the fight happened. But I didn't. I waited a month, giving him a chance to clear things up, make things better, but he didn't. I sat in silence for his reply, but he never responded to what I sent him. Instead, he changed topics after a month of silence.
Silence speaks louder than words. Silence is a form of action that can let you know how little someone cares about you.
And what a note to end this on. I hope that this helps all of you who read this. And, please, don't get paranoid about people who like the color red, tigers, and roses, it was just an example. They can be ultra friendly, helpless romantics who's only crime is being a little hot-headed.
So, with all that in mind, Blessed Be and merry part until we meet again. )O(