Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thank you for being a friend...

NY Times article, "The End of the Best Friend".

I found this to be a totally fascinating read. It offers up the differing views on the term "best friend" and the impact it has on your life.

On one hand you have counselors and "child rearing experts" saying that having one "BFF" is not a good thing, it doesn't allow you to socially grow because you have that one person only that you turn to for everything. Schools fear that having just that one person leads to the feeling of a clique and they fear bullying when the two friends team up against another person. A camp counselor is quoted “If something goes awry, it can be devastating. It also limits a child’s ability to explore other options in the world.”.

On the other hand, you have a group of psychologists that say having that best friend person in your life will help you with a better understanding of intimate relationships through empathy and kindness; not to mention builds self esteem and confidence. You learn to relate and listen to this one person that trusts you to have their best interest at heart.

As I said...this was fascinating to me to read, both sides making sense to me. I grew up an Air Force brat. Because of this I grew used to either moving or having my friends move. And you always make the promise that you are going to stay in touch, you are going to be friends forever no matter how many moves occur. And, let's be honest, you really don't write much after the first few months, if at all. Catherine and Andrea are my two best friends from High School...we kept in touch but it is spotty. We can go months,if not a year, with no contact. Then we'll have months where we are in constant contact. Life moves on, we change. Our friendship is still there but the term "best friend" doesn't mean what I guess most people would consider it to mean.

I sometimes look at people that grew up in the same house, same neighborhood, same school district, and feel jealous of them for having those close bonds with their friends. When they can say "remember in first grade when we..." And they can go all the way up "remember the day we graduated from high school." I miss having those friends, those memories.

But, I also look at the fact that I have a lot of people in my life now and I am happy with that. I have a small group of close friends...the ones that I will go to with everything that goes on in my life. But I have a larger core of acquaintances that are just as important. I think the way I grew up, the constant changing of the friendship scenery, taught me to be more open to the inclusion of someone new in my world. Oh sure, I judge people but I accept their presence pretty easily. (And yes, yes, I am fly paper for the crazy folk, we all know this, but that is a whole other blog post for another day.)

What about you? What are your views? Do you have one best friend or do you have a wider range of friends in your life?

(Article link courtesy of Stepanie Klein's Greek Tragedy Facebook page.)

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Sorry I am just now catching up on blogs.....

It's funny, really. Growing up my mom would comment a lot on how many friends I had and how amazing that was, and all I really wanted was a 'best friend,' someone I could count on to choose me first, to tell everything to, etc.

As I got older, I realized I could pick someone and tell them everything, choose them first, etc........ but that meant picking the non-sports person for sports things, choosing the horrible writer to be my partner on a writing assignment, etc.

Where I stand today is a mix of the two, I suppose. I have a core group of close friends. Some live near, some live far (like you), but each of them represents something in my life that gives me strength or hope or courage or love. I have a friend I go on photography days with. I have a friend I share old memories with. I have a friend I go to concerts with. I have my friend I meet up with in random places for movies. hehe. My point is, we have different people in our lives for different things but to place a greater value on one over another seems silly. As we age, we really just collect people to love more than we really need labels for them.

& that's just my opinion. :o)

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