By cherrya on Jun 11, 2018 at 1:14 AM
  1. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

    Jun 6, 2013
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    What is the turning point of a strong friendship? How can it be achieved?

    Discussion in 'Articles' started by cherrya, Jun 11, 2018.

    To strengthen the bond between two characters whose friendship is one of the most important part of the book, I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

    You don't think about this when you meet a new person. You become friends because you have things in common (interests, personality...) before you actually truly know them. When you really get to know them, there will be some things that you'll like and some you won't. If you decide to stay, it'll mean that you've decided that they are worth remaining into your life after all. Why? Because they'll make you laugh, because they understand you, ultimately; they give you something in return.

    What does it take to become close friends with someone, apart from time? Some people, I've known for years, most of whom I barely talk to by now. We are just too different, and I believe we always have been. What they offered to me was temporary. We don't share the same values, and I probably wouldn't enjoy seeing them all the time.

    Those I kept: I like the way they think, or I love the energy they bring which seems to collide perfectly well with mine. With some of them it's all about our conversations and how they bring something different to the things I observe, be it in my day to day life or my deeper thoughts. They do so each in their own unique way; they are all different. Still, some friendships are a bit more physical. Simply put; I just love spending time with them. They make me laugh, and even though we don't agree on all important things and may very rarely have long and intellectual conversations about the world for that very reason, it may never matter to us at the end of the line. Chances are, we will be too busy enjoying ourselves to think about such things. I believe that in such relationships, despite the fact that we may not be similar in our way of thinking, all similarity and connection found may mainly if not fully reside in the mechanical functioning of our brain. It is a rare thing to find someone with whom it is possible to be understood and communicate without the need of words. Most likely, what you are trying to express, they will be feeling it, too. Perhaps not in the same exact way, but surely close enough.

    I've been thinking about two characters I've read about lately whose friendship has moved me beyond words. In the end I believe it was those both types of friendships - intellectual and physical - in one. It started as an intellectual friendship, and as the two grew into one-another, turned into a physical one as well without their noticing. The result was that they were rarely apart, reason being that they understood each other like they rarely, if ever, had with others, but also that together they brought an energy to every moment that passed that, surely, made everything better. It is a simple word but a large one: better in the sense that everything became more tolerable; easier and more enjoyable; filled with possibilities which, as time together must have proven, had ways of becoming stories that they might ultimately never forget, and share with others even after years will have passed.

    To add to it, I believe it has also to do with what they brought in each other in terms of character. The way that they influenced each other was commendable, and if one of the two may not have noticed, it was shown many times that the other had. This led him, I believe, to become even more dependant on his friend than he may have been in the past, even when their appreciation of each other was already high. It is an interesting thing to observe. This side of him that has matured, he owes it to his friend. It is something that he regards highly of him. This influence, which is in part owed to the great kindness of his friend, sometimes feels, in the book, as though he is aware of it the way we are aware of warm covers on cold nights, or like a coat in a snow storm. Every time it showed, he seemed to be reminded of his friend and the way that he looks up to him for it.

    I began writing this in hopes of discovering something new and different about strong friendships that I might have missed before, something almost mythical, like an old romance novel, but perhaps it can also be said that in every ordinary thing may reside something magical and rare. It could be that we are only too used to it to notice, or are not paying enough attention. In the end, it is true that strong friendships can only be built with time; to realize that we love the person in question and the things they bring to us, but also time to reflect what they mean to us and how far we are willing to go to keep them. I realize now that I may have been looking for a magical answer to bypass this element of time to create a bond between my two main characters, so powerful, that it would be strong right away like a platonic love at first sight. But there is nothing boring about time, if done correctly. We do not form such strong connections with every stranger we meet, it simply cannot be forced. Why do we find such delight in platonic romances such as Sherlock and Watson, Harry and Ron, Marty and Doc (each different in their own way, but relatable in their strength and sacrifices)? It could be for the very same reason that the romance genre has been dominating the movie industry for decades. It enviable because it is rare. We all have, or at least for the greater part of us, formed a romantic connection with someone, and there is not a person on earth that has never had a friend, but the connection that we find in movies, powerful as what made the Titanic such a historical sensation in its industry, same as Good Will Hunting, Forrest Gump or the Dead Poet society, are rare things indeed. We may never live to experience these ourselves, but it is quite nice to feel it through some other's eyes, for an hour and a half or more.

    This may look like complete gibberish. I don't truly expect anyone to read it, but it has helped putting a lot of things into perspective. Also english isn't my first language.....
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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Discussion in 'Articles' started by cherrya, Jun 11, 2018.

    1. jannert
      I have one 'best' friend and a couple others who would fill that slot if she didn't exist.

      With my best friend and myself, the bond was more or less instantaneous. I have no idea why that happened, because in many ways we are very different from one another, and certainly don't share all our interests or perspectives. But I guess we just kind of fell into step and stayed there, if that makes sense. I found her incredibly interesting, and she found me to be the same.

      I had just turned 18 at the time, and she followed suit 6 months later. We are both about to turn 69, and we are still best friends. Nothing has changed, really.

      We became college roommates, and we lived in the same town and/or area as much as we could after graduation. When life circumstances (jobs) put several hundred miles between us, we still spent as many weekends at each other's homes as we could. Of course she now lives on the other side of the Atlantic, but we still talk on the phone frequently, and when we did finally get together again after a long LONG time (my only visit 'home' since I moved to Scotland) it was as if nothing had changed.

      There has never been a single sticky or unpleasant moment between us. Even when we disagree on something (which is often enough) we always laugh about it. And mean it. I would wring the neck of anybody who treated her badly, and I know she would do the same for me. We provide a sounding board for each other's ideas, and a safe place to run when the outside world becomes knobbly. She has given me the confidence to stand up for myself, and oddly enough, I've done the same for her. We've talked about that many times. We can talk about absolutely ANYTHING. There are no taboos. And absolutely no danger either, if we reveal something intimate to each other. It will never be warped and used against us. Total trust.

      We have never considered having a more-than-platonic relationship though—although some outsiders did assume there might be one. We are both heterosexual, through and through, and both have made happy marriages (to guys with the same first name, but that was pure coincidence.) But I would describe our mutual attraction as 'chemistry' all the same. She made a strong impression on me before we ever spoke or got to know one another, and I was aware of her presence the very first time I saw her. She says the same happened to her. What was funny was how wrong our first impressions of each other were! I thought she was stuck up. She thought I was incredibly intellectual. :) Ha ha! Nope. Not at all. But the key was the 'noticing.' Once noticed like that, never forgotten.

      I do think there is a certain amount of chemistry that takes friendship to another level.

      I have many many many friends, from long ago and far away as well as close up and recent. However, with practically NO exceptions, my strongest friendships are the ones that produced that instant 'click.' That's chemistry, I reckon. You can't force it OR ignore it. It transcends the normal things people assume make a friendship. Mutual interests. Mutual outlooks. Mutual backgrounds or careers. These things can certainly make friends happen, but not that special kind of friendship.

      The trick to recognising special friendship, I believe, is the TEST of time. You can make the friend quickly, but do they last? Thirty years later, do you still feel the same about that person? Have they kept their place in your life? Perfectly good friendships wax and wane, or get disrupted by other life events. That doesn't mean you aren't still friends, but it does affect the relationship. It's the ones that remain as strong as ever, no matter what, that really are special.
      Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
    2. cherrya
      Thank you so much for your input! I'm still thinking about all of this, and it's a bit complicated since I'm my only reference.

      From what I gather, I might have been right about positive mutual influence playing a big role in close friendships, but I might have been forgetting something about the element of time. It think you're right in believing that it also serves as a test! It seems I also forgot about chemistry... Of course that has to play a role as well. You have to be driven to someone to want to get to know them, even in a platonic way. What makes you stay, though, I still believe it resides on what that friendship brings you.

      I'm glad to hear about you and your friend! I have one a bit like that, but we're still quite young. Who know what will happen to us? I hope we still get along the way you and your best friend do!
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    3. JLT
      I can't speak for everybody, but for me, friendships deepened for me when I needed to put my friend in a position of trust, or they needed to put me in that position. Then it became a friendship not of words but of deeds. The trust could be anything from loaning money or (being loaned money) to literally putting our lives in each other's hands.
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    4. ShalaylaW
      I think that was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read on this website..
      It's hard to even imagine that English isn't your first language, you speak with such heart and curiosity.
      Honestly friendship has been an enigma for me in my life until recently, so it's quite coincidental that I came across something like this :) But betrayal is definitely something I've encountered often, so I suppose I know the other side of the coin better.
      I've found that people are unpredictable in every sense, no matter what you do for them or how great the connection may feel in your heart, it will never be enough for the majority of the population. And that's fine.
      The enormity of finding special people in your life is what makes it enchanting in the first place. We're not meant to hold every person we come across close to us. Time does not make a friendship, and I whole heartedly agree with the Test of time being the key to any strong friendship. Sometimes the energy of two people are just meant to be, even if they're different. Being open to new things, to change, and most importantly being open to the bad things happening in life as well as the good is a main factor as to whether or not you can call someone a true friend.
      I realized sometime ago that even if you get along with someone, there are blocks with people you meet. There are things you just KNOW that you cannot tell them, or certain aspects of yourself you can't bring to light. It's a restrictive sort of feeling, as if you've bumped into an invisible wall. But when you truly meet someone special, all those walls seem like nothing compared to the future you could have with one another.
      It's especially helpful to know what a good friend is NOT. Deceiving, secretive, two faced, fake, ect.... Just look for the opposite of such things and you're on the right track.

      When it comes to writing I think an important aspect of making sure a friendship is strong is putting it through a few rough trials, because what true friend would walk away from you at your worst or desert you to save themselves? Also making sure there are betrayals, there are people who the characters don't get along with. If they're all one big happy family, there's nothing to compare it to.

      I hope you can find a part of the answer to your question within all of that :)
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    5. J.T. Woody
      J.T. Woody
      I've only had one person in my life who I consider my "best friend". we met in 2nd grade....and we hated each other. to the point of physical violence. punching, kicking, rolling on the ground. scrapes and bruises. we plain just didnt like each other.

      I don't know how we became friends. I think at one point, she kicked me for no reason and her mom caught wind of it and made her apologize. Then suddenly we were best friends. no violence. She moved away, though, and we lost touch. but i still consider her my very best friend.
      Another close friend of mine I met in HS. I had dealt with his friend in the past and it ended badly, then he requested me on social media. He and another friend started sending me these crazy and offensive messages so I deleted them and blocked them without a word. A few weeks later he contacted me out of the blue and apologized for his actions and really did want to be my friend. We've been friends ever since chit-chatting every so often to keep each other updated on our lives. He's my closest guy-friend.

      I dont have the best track record with friends. I think the reason why my childhood friendship lasted so long was because we both had a mutual respect for one another (earned through our constant fighting and none of us backing down). Same with the guy friend. I wouldn't tolerate him treating me like that, and he understood and respected me. And I respected him for his apology and the fact that he meant it. As of now, I have 6 close friends, and a couple of acquaintances. I go by quality not quantity. and also, I've become more introverted as I get older, so making friends isnt all that easy.

      I've had one-sided friendships before where the other person did not have much respect for me and would play the victim when I asserted myself or let me down when I need them for a change (ex: my grandfather whom I was close with passed away and I wasnt answering my phone calls or text messages. The next day I replied to a "friends" message and told her what happened... she says "bury him already then. you didn't answer my texts last night, I need some advice") . I don't know how those friendships started... we just were suddenly "friends." and all three of those friendships ended very badly.

      I am a firm believer that opposites make the best of friends because things could get boring if your friend is the same as you. I like their different opinions and the way they do things that are different from my own ways. I like how they can always bring in a different perspective on things. My 3 college friends are all very different from me, but we all bring different things to the table (we've kept a group chat going since we've graduated)
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    6. Irina Samarskaya
      Irina Samarskaya
      The most common turning point in a friendship that I know of is conflict; whether it be externally caused or between the two people, conflict is usually the test of a friendship.

      As a rule: a friendship is true if both are willing to help the other in the conflict as well as be frank with criticism about the other.

      Like if Anna was being preyed upon by a sexual predator but was deluded into thinking he loved her and would not call the police on him, her friend Celine ought to call the police immediately and present the evidence before Anna is eventually preyed upon.

      The friendship is made or broken by Anna's reaction (within a month or less): if she rejects Celine and pursues another bad boy (that from the outside is likely to be dangerous) then that friendship is broken. If she thanks Celine and comes to her senses, that friendship may be a true one. If she rejects Celine initially but then figures things out within a couple weeks and then both apologizes to and thanks Celine, then the two of them may have a true friendship.

      Ultimately the best test of friendship is whether your friend is willing to pull you back--against your will if need be--when you are walking merrily off a cliff. If she ignores you, enables you--with cowardly reasons like "I'm sure she is happy/will figure it out/he might not be so bad/etc."--then you do not have a friend but merely someone who shares common hobbies (or weaknesses).

      True friends speak the truth and shame the Devil. False friends either ignore or enable.
    7. Alan Aspie
      Alan Aspie
      1. Nope.

      2. Nope.

      3. Rarely.

      4. Yes.

      5. Trust.

      6. Sounds like story, not anything from real life. Because...

      7. First thing is that strong friendships are not based on identities, needs, anything sexual...

      8. They are not romances but friendships and associations.

      9. It does not sound complete.

      To your question... "What is the turning point of a strong friendship"?

      Your have your self, your inner essence, the true you, The You that is something deep, important and true.

      And it is very private. You don't show it to just anyone. So you cloth it.

      You put different kind of identities on it. You show your identities, not The You to other people.

      Identities are your mask, your make up, your clothing, your facade. Your self, your essence is what those identities protect and cover.

      And then... In some cultures, among some people there is so much trust that you don't need identities among friends. You can be just... you! No covers, no make up, no roles to play. Just the real, true you - and real true them. All the flaws, weaknesses, failings... And it does not bother you or them.

      Then you are in the ground of deep and strong friendships.

      And then you get other problem. You don't any more care much about shallow identity based, change based, need based "friendships". You see the shallowness and it's meaninglessness.

      And you don't much care what kind of impression you make because you want to meet real people behind impressions and masks.

      And.. As time goes by... You are not afraid of real people any more.
      Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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    8. cherrya
      Hello, for some reason your comment bothered me even though it should not. We're all free to share our own opinions so I'll just take this as a way to explore the topic further. Feel free to ignore this if you like, it's fine. I'm literally procrastinating an assignment so this is mainly a way to escape my obligations. Here I go (english isn't my first language so bear with me on this) :

      First of all this wasn't an argumentative article (is that what you call it?) in the sense that I don't believe everything I say to be the ultimate truth. This was only a tool to help me think, so there is no need to take it so seriously! Keep in mind that these were not arguments, but thoughts! That being said haha! I'll start with your sixth point, since the previous ones are quite subjective, to me.

      6. I don't think this would apply to this specific case as the two characters I'm talking about hadn't grown up together. They met when they were 16 and spent less than a year together, so I don't believe there should be a matter of reverse sexual imprint in this particular situation (which I was not familiar with so I think it's very interesting, thank you for bringing that up!), especially since one of them ended up falling in love with the other.

      7. By physical, I don't mean sexual at all. Not one bit, in fact! I've explained earlier (though a bit badly, I'll admit), that physical friendships, to me at least and not to anybody else that I know of, that physical friendships are more a response to one's being. By that, I mean in cases where the intellectual connection might be overpowered by the nature of one's implicit being. What I didn't explain is that to me, it would be like dancing, like chemistry between two partners, when two bodies fit perfectly with each other without necessarily being in love or anything of the sort. When two people being together, might respond as well as, let's say, a pas de deux. You don't really know why, because you might share two different backgrounds and ideas, beliefs, etc., but somehow, you two still manage to be somewhat similar very simply in your way of being, perhaps in the way that you express yourself or process information. I don't know! Perhaps I could use here the example of John Lennon and Paul McCartney? In the way that they often disagreed with each-other and had very different personalities. Regardless of all that, they were still very close friends, and managed to write magnificent music together --so easily, and fluidly so (as they said themselves in many interviews, they would suggest one thing, one would suggest another, and it would all pair together well). Anyway, it is a bit shaky, I'm not exactly in the process of writing a thesis on it. It was just a means of further exploring what sort of friendship two people might find themselves into based on my own personal history and knowledge.

      8. Of course, by platonic romances, I meant platonic romances, as in something that is not at all based on physical attraction, but on the way that two individuals might feel for the other. Would you not say that you love your friends? Your true, closest of friends? Do you not feel happy when they succeed, and feel strongly for them when they go through though times? This is not to say that every friendship is a romance, to say, but the point of my this is after all based on figuring out powerful friendships, and I do believe that there is a link between the two. This was my way of showing that. From the way I see it, a strong relationship with a very close friend is extremely similar to a romantic relationship; the biggest difference residing in the fact that it is in the end platonic. There is a sort of courting involved, is there not? Dates, of sorts. Calls, texts, moments of deep honesty in which you finally reveal your truer self, one that only few close souls ever get to see. You do not have to agree with me, of course.

      9. It was never intended to be, at first. This isn't a paper written with an introduction, a body and a conclusion. This is a piece of my thoughts, released to help me, and hopefully others, think on close friendships during their creative process :)

      From what I gathered from the rest of your comment, you mean to say that the turning point is when you're comfortable to be the real you. I do agree with that, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts! But my question is mainly : how do you get to that point? How do achieve that with someone? Can it be with anyone, or a specific type of people? What would determines it? Would it be your past, or your more intrinsic being? Is it like a mountain that you climb, path by path, until you finally make it to the top? Or is it like an electric shock, or static : all in a instant and by surprise?

      I hope this does not come out as rude. If so this wasn't my intention at all. I actually learned a lot from this, and thank you again for sharing your thoughts!
    9. cherrya
      Thank you so much!

      I'm sorry you had to go through those things. If I'm being honest, I think I find the topic so difficult because I haven't really been in the greatest of friendships before, and maybe that's also why I like those stories so much. I think it's so interesting how some people can give so much of themselves to someone who, to me, will always somehow end up disappointing you in some way. Like I said, I haven't always met the right people! But I think that the most important thing might be, not necessarily trust --I don't think we should ever trust anyone blindly, but acknowledging that it might in fact happen, and choose the people that might be the less likely to do so? I don't know... It's like you said : "a true friend would not deceive you", but sometimes they still do, don't they? And we stay, when we decide that it is okay to forgive them. Maybe because we know that they wouldn't do it without a good reason? That they regret it and do genuinely care about us (otherwise why let them stay?). I'm rambling.

      I can't believe I hadn't thought about comparing it, but I think it's brilliant. It is actually important to me to show that this is not a regular friendship and that the bond is rare and strong, so I think this would indeed be the best way to show that.

      Haa, I still have a lot to learn. Thank you for your thought and your help! (And sorry for my rambling, I am in a deep procrastinating session......!)
      Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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    10. Alan Aspie
      Alan Aspie
      1. That happens often if something reaches some truth you know but can't catch.

      2. I did not take it seriously - or more seriously than anything else.

      My way of thinking is like it is. It does not have anything to do with your writing. I think everything in the same way.

      3. No I would not. I love my kids. I love my wife.

      I would say that I love someone if I was ready to die or to kill for him/her (if there were no better options and they needed it). I wouldn't do that to my friends. I wouldn't even waste 15 years in prison for any of them.

      4. I find it different.

      5. No.

      6. Comfort is one option. There are many more.

      7. You stop watching identities and start to watch people - the real individual stripped out of his/her identities.

      8. There is absolutely nothing I could even imagine as rude. I find your comments very polite, careful and respectful.

      9. You are welcome.

      I meant to help. If it helped I succeeded to do what I wanted.

      I appreciate that you did think about my writing. Thinking is rare.
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    11. kklondikke
      For me, I know I have a good friendship with someone when we can unapologetically be ourselves around each other. Those times when I accidentally spat my gum into a friend's hand (don't ask), when we listen to each other ramble about the thing one of us likes for hours, when we share an embarrassing secret we can both laugh about. To me friendship is that kind of stuff.
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    12. Legolas
      Sometimes bonds are strengthened through shared experiences. A good friend will bond you out of jail, your best friend will be sitting next to you in jail laughing about it with you.

      I lost my best friend a few years ago, and there has been no replacement for her. the ability to share even the smallest or biggest of things, made our relationship happen. I have never felt more alone.
    13. Darius Marley
      Darius Marley
      If we're talking about a character, then is that character worthy of lifelong friendship? To me, the secret to developing such a deep connection and giving readers that kind of feeling, comes from demonstrating intrinsic worthiness. Otherwise, the relationship could easily be dismissed as a case of mere convenience, and perhaps even a lack of better options.
    14. Katibel
      I may not have much to contribute to this topic, but here goes anyway:

      I have never had a best friend. I have never had a friendship that has lasted. Yet, I know the experiences shared here by others, and I remember every single occasion I had that feeling for someone else. The exact circumstances were what I've boiled down to being vulnerable. I have had that "immediate" click with a person before--actually, on several occasions. The singular underlying thread connecting them was that the other person was open, vulnerable, empathic, and real. I sensed no anxiety from them, and that, in turn, helped me let down my guard. (I'm hypervigilant; sensitive to the appearance of fear in others, as this often spelled bad things for me long ago.) Internally, I'm a very hyperactive, carefree, happy-go-lucky sort who really appreciates life. Then I have a sea of frightening experiences and walls, walls, walls. Therefore, outwardly, I'm clamped up and extremely, painfully reserved. But every single time I have ever stopped being reserved and opened my heart up, then received back what I was was like fireworks. Magic. It felt unreal. I felt light-headed and overjoyed to the point of nausea. Tragically, none of those relationships were ever allowed to bloom. But I remember them always.

      I'm left believing there is hope for me yet. ;)

      As far as how this may apply to the post, I truly believe one has to consider the values and histories of each individual character. A part of being vulnerable with another person is respecting and trusting them. When you respect someone you're acknowledging that they have value (an innately positive thing which can arise out of shared interests). When you trust a person you're believing they're predictable in some way. That is often why trust must be built--because we all enter a relationship with some preconceived notion (negative or positive) of how that person may react to us, or how we'd like them to.

      Once respect and trust are secured, what I have found, and what some research floating about out there somewhere (sorry, can't recall) has demonstrated, is the following of compassion, forgiveness, and mercy. Together, these form what we call "the benefit of the doubt." You feel secure with your friend, who you believe brings value to your life; therefore, you are willing to doubt or forgive a bad mark against them. In fact, in that situation, we often forgive things we shouldn't. Nonetheless, by forgiving what we shouldn't we preserve the relationship, and sometimes strengthen it (if trust and respect is reciprocated, at least).

      "Chemistry" is what I would call the above. I don't mesh well with anxious personality types, being anxious myself, but adore the sprightly, relaxed nature that many extroverts share.

      In my primary series, the protagonist is a reflection of me. Her "best friend" is a reflection of the majority of people I've encountered throughout my life. Initially, this was supposed to help my protagonist loosen up. However, true to life, the further I developed my characters and the more interactions they had, the more I've realized they are fundamentally opposed people. They step on each other's toes too much to have that close, gushy relationship I had originally planned. But this has changed the plot in wonderful ways. Their relationship is what lead me to discover my distrust of people, and how that keeps me behind a wall. As long as I remain sedate behind that wall I will never cultivate trust or experience genuine bonding.

      Consequently, my character has learned these things. Now I have but to apply this knowledge consistently. As does she.

      That's the hardest part of all.
    15. Fallow
      Perhaps an unwelcome comment, but I think about this sort of thing often:

      The worst way to try to understand something is to try and fashion it into words. Language is powerful and limiting, so what you're likely to end up with is a lot of ideas you agree with that may have very little to do with the actual non-verbal emotions and connections you experience having a friend.
    16. cherrya
      I mean I have friends irl lol
    17. oranga erick
      oranga erick
      A very nice and juicy article. non-processed, blended from fresh forest fruits. And the most healthy thing one would take for better health. While I was reading this beguiling article, I got fascinated, and I kept wishing it was mine. Unfortunately, copyright will catch up with me. Bravo! Let me commend you for the exemplary work. Though I notice some iota of mistakes in the article. There is an overuse of (-ly) adverb in the article. For the sake of publishing, try to reduce that as much as possible.
    18. OOgie
      You can say that at least one person has read it.
      Thank you.
      Helped me come up with a fortifying idea in a script of my creation.
    19. Que
      Thank you for posting this. I'm very late responding but compelled to let you know that your thoughts and feelings have been well received. Your focus seems to be the turning point, and for me it has been the simple fact that friendship requires reciprocity because people give what they want to receive.

      One very memorable turning point involved me and another soldier when we were stationed in France. A chain of events caused him to slap me along side my head. I slapped him back, hard enough to knock him to his knees. By this time, our room in the barracks was full of other soldiers hoping to see a good fight. He got up, yelling how much he hated me and all white guys. I said I didn't hate him, just felt sorry for him that his hatred was focused on some generic category rather than on me personally. A few days later, he came up to me and apologized. Rumor was that his friends had rearranged his mindset. He and I became really good friends. Got to know each other as persons. Turning points are one of those things that matter.
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    20. Xoic
      It's amazing how so many friendships start with a fight. The thing is, if you fight with somebody, it's a very close sharing, very intimate in a way. You struggle with no pretensions, say exactly what you really think of each other. This is a condition most of us rarely experience. If you end up getting along, it often is the start of a strong friendship.
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    21. Tom Tarrant
      Tom Tarrant
      I am an extremely lucky individual. I have been blessed with the friends I have met throughout my life. I still talk to most of my high school friends. My home life was not the best. Single mother raising 3 kids on her own making less than 17k a year. Many nights were spent in the dark doing homework by candle light. I can remember eating nothing but bologna sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner one summer. I refuse to even have the stuff in my house now. When I turned 16 my mom decided to move into an aunt and uncle's house to save money. My uncle was an alcoholic. I remember sitting on a bench at the apartment complex discussing this with my closest friend at the time (I still talk to him every week) and telling him I did not want to move in with them. His family would feed me after school everyday and on the weekends. At the time I did not know they picked up on the fact that my mom could just not afford to take care of me the way they could take care of their kids. Long story short I moved in with them the last few years of high school. Fast forward to my early 20's. My friends twin sister brought a guy to a house party we and all of our friends were attending. He was a mountain of a man. 6' 8" 400 lbs. Gang Banger ( or at least he dressed like one). For whatever reason I never met him but it seemed plenty of my other friends had and they kept their distance tip toeing around him. Trying their best to impress him or avoid him. While I was poor my friends were upper middle class. I always considered them rich as hell. I was sitting at a table playing a drinking game. Tracy ( my friends sister) sat next to me and then Bill (the guy) sat next to her and joined in on the game. I had been drunk and was 10' tall and bullet proof as all drunk people see themselves. When Tracy introduced me to Bill he reached out with his hand to shake and as I grasped his hand into mine I uttered the words that nobody should utter to this man. "If you hurt her I won't hesitate to end you." I was very protective over her. She was a bigger girl and throughout her life had been hurt by plenty of guys (she is happily married to a very wonderful man now). What struck me was his response, "I guess if that happens I will just have to kill you right back." After that we chatted a bit but never argued or insulted each other. That was the height of conflict between us. Later on he informed me he noticed everybody was wide eyed at our initial interaction but I was too drunk to notice.
      About 6 months later my girlfriend and I were moving into a rent house next to a guy named Lynn. Lynn and I became friends and one day coming home from work Lynn and Bill were sitting outside. I hear Lynn call my name and as I turned to say hi I recognized Bill (the party was the only time Nicole and Bill went on a date together). Bill immediately said," That's the guy I have to kill if he kills me first." Lynn had no clue what was going on. I died laughing and after that Bill and I spent everyday together until his death. We had our fights as friends do but I will never forget how much we enjoyed each others company. I quickly learned Bill was an amazing person. He went to hospitals to talk to children who were suffering from whatever brought them there. Bill almost died several times in his youth. He would protect those that could not protect themselves but would never go after anybody for attacking him unless absolutely necessary. He once told me he really appreciated me the night of the party. It turns out he was always looked at as a violent guy someone to be feared and in the moment I threatened him he said he just felt normal and that made him the most comfortable he ever had been when first meeting someone.
      I made one of the greatest friends I had and will ever have simply by treating him like he was just a normal person.
      I think that friendships are made because we allow them to be made. When we allow someone the opportunity to just be themselves it inherently forms a bond that is reciprocated in them allowing us to be ourselves. I miss that man with all my heart.
      Lifeline likes this.

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