Understanding friendships

Understanding friendships

Understand why some friends stay for years, while others fade away after a few months, or weeks. 

If you understand the nature of the friendship you have with a person, you can better predict where it’s heading, and better understand why this friend behaves the way they do.

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  • Associate:  The relationship revolves around that specific thing, and you barely ever talk about anything else.
  • Useful Contact: With this type of friend, you exchange useful information, job opportunities, industry news, you introduce each other to people, exchange tips on good deals, etc. But, you don’t discuss personal matters with each other.
  • Favor Friend: This the type of friendship you could have with a nice colleague or neighbor. You help each other with the simple stuff.
  • Fun Friend: This is the type of friend that makes you take yourself less seriously. The friendship doesn’t require a lot of investment from you; it’s just about relaxing, having a drink, partying, laughing, etc. 
  • This is like having two simple friendships in one; you socialize with this person, and you help each other as well. 

    This one you can ask for lifts to the airport, and call during emergencies like car accidents. You don’t rely on your helpmate for emotional support.

    Comforter

    You socialize, help each other, and provide emotional support for each other. 

    This kind of friend is generally present in case of the loss of a family member, a breakup, loss of a job, or similar. You trust each other enough to talk about fears, frustrations, and insecurities; you look to lift each other’s spirit.

    With this kind of friend, you can support each other emotionally, and you also enjoy each other’s company when you meet. He or she doesn’t necessarily live near you. 

    With this friend, you can confide in each other about anything, and not just when something bad happens. You talk about your goals, your secret opinions, but also your general life challenges.

    With a soulmate, you enjoy each other’s company, you help each other, you provide emotional support, you confide in each other, and you share a similar outlook on life.

    You’re committed to being each other’s friends, even without realizing it. Moving away or not meeting for a year won’t change this friendship that much.

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    • Ensure that your rekindled relationship with your former friend has some solid foundation before opening up the private areas of your life, like introducing your spouse. If you go too fast, you may be disappointed if the other person is not as keen on holding friendship as per your expectations.
    • Even with the best intentions and impeccable plans, things are not always predictable and as per one’s anticipation. The old pal may have some unresolved feelings or they may not be having the time to nurture a friendship anymore, and it is best to prepare for any such outcome in advance, rather than trying to save your face later.

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    IDEAS

    Keep creating shared experiences

    When you see a friend regularly, you develop a collection of shared memories. You will also have an intimate understanding of what they're up to generally. If you're separated long-term, those experiences will shrink.

    It's important to create something you share with the other individual, not just exchanging information about past experiences. The more opportunities you give yourself to connect, the more organically you'll get to know your friend's new life.

    Some ways to assess the nature of a friendship’s power dynamic: does one person cut in and interrupt the other person while they’re talking far more than the other way around? Is one person’s opinion or preference just kind of understood to carry more weight than the other’s? Is one person allowed to be more of a dick to the other than vice versa?

    A near 50/50 friendship is ideal, but anything out to 65/35 is fine and can often be attributed to two different styles of personality.

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