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

    cherrya Member

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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
      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
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    2. cherrya
      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
      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
      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 :)
    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...

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westermarck_effect

      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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