365 Challenge: Day 131 – Friendly

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Friendlyfavorably disposed; inclined to approve, help, or support 

friend

Have you ever wondered how you choose a friend, or how many different types of friends might be part of your life? I’ve touched on this topic on a small scale in a few posts about being neighborly, social and grateful; however, I thought it might be time to devote an entire post to the concept of friendship. As I become more familiar and connected in the blogging world, you start to think about how you choose the people you want closest to you in your life. There is only so much time in any given day, shouldn’t you maximize your hours by filling them with only the best?

For many years, our closest friends were the people in our family, especially hundreds of years ago when you spent all of your time working with them simply to attain food, water, shelter and warmth. As the world grew, people began connecting more with the neighbors and extended families, determining whomever was closest to them in proximity as their friends. And when the wheel was invented, traveling to neighboring villages occurred, then cars enabled short-trips, trains fostered mid-length journeys, and planes or boats delivered long-distance travel. But it’s technology which has truly enabled us to choose our friends by any means possible. And the definition of friendship has completely changed as a result of such advances with mobile applications, wireless and social integration.

Let’s play a little game, as you know I’m quite fond of them. What if you could start from scratch and choose your friends all over again? Would you do anything differently? Where would you start? How would you make these decisions? For me, I’d probably begin by dividing this task into two focus points: (1) Selecting people I think have similar interests, personalities and goals, and (2) Leaving room for a few you just happen to click with, perhaps for unknown reasons initially, but recognize the potential for a long-term friend. When I think about the concept of friendship, it has a few different meanings:

  • I have friends who I am social with, but wouldn’t see myself confiding in or asking for guidance.
  • I have friends who I could text with all day long on both important and frivolous topics purely as we enjoy the banter and connection.
  • I have friends whom I would take great leaps and bounds for to ensure they were protected or assisted.
  • I have friends who in another universe could actually be even more.

Friendships are unique and distinct, which are not often the same thing. Unique implies there is nothing else the same. Distinct simply means noticeably different than something else. What you get from one person is often not the same as what you’ll get from another person in a friendship. And at times, as we change, our friendships must also change in order to build the best possible support structure in our lives. Sometimes you have friends for life, other people come in and out of your world during different periods. My world of friends grows every day, especially as I’ve become more prolific on social media and blogging. I’m finding that I have so much more in common with people than I had previously experienced. And none of this would have been possible without the great expansion of technology.

{Aside: Technology certain brings many problems, too, but that’s another day’s post!}

In a previous post, I recall mentioning that the word friend is an important word to me. A friend is not someone you occasionally chat with, see from time to time for a drink or know very little about. When I call someone a friend, it is because we have truly taken the time to get to know many details about one another, and I want that person in my life as someone I feel I can truly turn to when I need support. The rest are more acquaintances, which is not a bad word. I sometimes say electronic friends or online buddies. It’s not meant as a negative comment; quite the opposite. If I’m commenting or chatting with someone, I obviously find that communication important enough to continue. I wouldn’t spend time with someone if I felt it was tedious, painful or useless. I’m simply saying there are different levels of contact between people, ranging from strangers to soul mates (if that exists, but again, that’s another post).

Friendships are important to me, as they are to everyone else. When I see the words best friend or bestie, I feel the need to over-analyze. Can you have more than one bestie? I’m playing with semantics, but just like the definition of semantics, I feel the same about the definition of friendship. It’s a privilege. It’s special. And I mean the words I say. I often struggle with choosing what to say in a conversation, partially why I am shy, because I don’t just say something for the sake of saying it. Semantics are important to me for those reasons. My best friend (while growing up) and I hardly ever get to chat anymore; however, when we do, it’s right back to where we were as kids. It never changes. I miss her and all that we had, but I know we are still connected.

So back to my little game: how do we choose our friends in this day and age when an entire world’s multi-billion population is nearly at our fingertips? And can you afford to have multiple intense connections without giving away so much of your energy, love, and time? Today’s post is mostly just a stream-of-conscious list of thoughts and questions, but not something we often find ourselves truly thinking about. And in the grand scheme of things, perhaps it’s not all that important to discover or decide. If you’re having fun with the people in your life, isn’t that all that matters? But it’s still a great question when you think about it… your friendships can be so different and varied, distinct and unique, yet did you choose them, or did they fall into your lap due to proximity and timing?

That’s enough philosophy for me today. My brain can handle only so much, especially when it’s time for me to be working on my novel’s outline. I’m looking forward to everyone’s thoughts and inputs on the varying levels of friendship in our lives.

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Kate @ MeltingPotsAndOtherCalamities. Kate and I met about 3 months ago via someone else’s website where we were both nominated for tags. And since then, we have been tagging each other all the time, learning more and more each day. We both love Harry Potter, The Book Thief and Sherlock. Kate’s giving me ideas on anime and sci-fi, not normal genres for me. And who couldn’t love the name of her site. Bet you want to know what that’s all about???  But truthfully, she has a very fun website with great color schemes, cartoons and branding. And she’s a published author! I won’t reveal anymore as you need to click the link above and go check it out for yourself. A few things she tells us about herself in the About Me section:
    • “Some things about me include that my favorite books tend to be in the mystery, thriller, or sic-fi genres. That typically goes with my T.V shows and movies too, but I do enjoy some things that are different. I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like dogs; actually, I like them a lot! Typically I just like animals. I have two cats, and there may be an occasional post about them too.”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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36 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 131 – Friendly

    roseelaineblog said:
    July 21, 2017 at 6:34 AM

    I strongly believe that people come in and out of our lives for a reason, nothing is coincidental. I recently ended a long friendship because I felt it had become unbalanced, I was forever solving their issues and building them up. Then when the time came that I needed them the most they were not there for me 😔 I am a very private person I prefer virtual friendships which are lighter and less restrictive. I follow less than 50 people on the site so I can read and comment often. Every so often I add and drop some followers with only half a dozen or so who I will never let go because I class them as true friends.

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 21, 2017 at 7:21 AM

      It must have been hard in some respects to end it. But it’s brave and wise to do the right thing. It needs to be a fair relationship. I agree with you on “true” friends. That’s how I approach it, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    Nthato Morakabi said:
    July 21, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    Friendship has always been a tricky thing for me. Where is the line that moves someone from casual acquaintance to friend to best-friend? What needs to happen? It’s so much easier as a child when you see the person every day at school or wherever as opposed to adulthood where you are only able to see that person maybe every few days in a month. Even with that shared bond.
    And online friendships just complicate the matter even further.

    Nonetheless great insights here James. Thanks for sharing with us on this journey.

    Liked by 3 people

      declutteringmylifeweb said:
      July 21, 2017 at 7:12 AM

      I think that occasions bear friendships. Nobody starts as a friend, instead there are milestones in relationships which can block or push forward or eliminate bounds.

      Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 21, 2017 at 7:20 AM

      You make great points. Exactly what was running thru my mind. I appreciate it. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    Roda said:
    July 21, 2017 at 7:04 AM

    I truly believe in fate when it comes to friendships. People enter our lives for a reason. I never question, just trust my intuition. 💚

    Liked by 1 person

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    July 21, 2017 at 7:54 AM

    I notice I tend to group my friends to activities that we share- movie friends, gallery/museum friends, book friends. Then I have my older friends- I still communicate with my three best friends from college every week. I have a bestie that I met when our kids were in pre-k, and she has literally helped me survive raising a child and the NYC public school system. I have two other really good friends from old jobs. These are my core people, but I only look to a few of them for advice and that have my complete trust.

    Liked by 1 person

    melaniemolewriter said:
    July 21, 2017 at 7:55 AM

    An interesting look at friendship. Great thought provoking points raised. It really is a subject that could be discussed for hours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Nel said:
    July 21, 2017 at 8:17 AM

    Woohoo! Scifi and anime!
    The way I classify friendships is a learning experience. I used to be a loner, mostly by choice. The interest in socializing just wasn’t there for a while. Then I met my best friend in a video game and things shifted. I tend to make friends really easily now. Common interests don’t really matter to me because my interests are super broad. Even so, I still have had to end friendships here and there because of reasons but I always learn something because of it and I’m grateful for that. I feel that the more open and honest I am, the more likely I’m able to encourage my friends to be the same way and as long as there’s that open communication line there’s never any doubts about how “true” a friend is to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Patty said:
    July 21, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    I believe you can have more than one best friend, maybe they are on different levels. I have a best friend whom is more like a sister to me. We have been friends since birth. Back in November my father married her mother so now we are step sisters. Ironic I know.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 21, 2017 at 9:19 AM

      That’s pretty cool. You might have a great post in that one to write.

      Liked by 1 person

        Patty said:
        July 21, 2017 at 9:28 AM

        I think I might try that one 😊 Thanks Jay

        Liked by 1 person

    scr4pl80 said:
    July 21, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Definitely degrees of friendship and that people go in and out of our lives, sometimes in and out several times! Nice post, James.

    Liked by 1 person

    E. Michael Helms, writer said:
    July 21, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Well stated, Jay!
    –Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Christy B said:
    July 21, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    I have to check out some of these blogs you recommend, Jay!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM

      Good deal. I try to describe them enough so readers know right away if it might be a good fit

      Like

    BrizzleLass said:
    July 21, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    I don’t really distinguish between on and offline friends, except I can meet up with the offline ones because they are local, although some have switched from one type to the other which is always good esp when it means meeting friends! My four closest friends or besties (I hate that word!) all live in other countries! I couldn’t be without any of them, and talk to all of them almost daily. Only one of them I haven’t met in person. The others I’ve spent lots of time with. But I have lots of other friends all over that I love talking to and we snail mail each other aswell as electronic communication, I think when you can’t actually hang out it’s nice to slow things down and write a real letter, send a care package. I think you out a bit more thought into your friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 21, 2017 at 4:15 PM

      Really cool outlook on how to approach it. I should give that a try! Slowing down to appreciate! Hmmm… what 4 countries?

      Like

        BrizzleLass said:
        July 21, 2017 at 4:16 PM

        Two are USA, One Australia, One Greece. I like to spread the love 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        July 21, 2017 at 4:17 PM

        good deal! but maybe you could try a tad bit closer, oh, the same continent? Greece is in Europe but so close to Asia — opposite sides. LOL

        Like

        BrizzleLass said:
        July 21, 2017 at 4:20 PM

        Haha I know! My friend in Greece is my closest friend from when I lived there, we call each other sisters we were so close. She tries to get me to move back at least once a week. Today was her latest attempt in fact! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    mistysbookspace said:
    July 21, 2017 at 5:40 PM

    I believe people come and go in our lives for a reason. Some are meant to be part of your life for the long term and some are just meant to be part of your life for a short amount of time.

    I have noticed lately that all of my friends that I see on a day to day basis aren’t really part of my life as much as they used to be. Actually they aren’t part of my life much at all. I felt like I was for the longest time trying to always make the friendships work and getting nothing in return that finally I just said if they want to be in my life they can put forth the effort. The people I talk to now that I consider a friend are mostly all online friends.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 21, 2017 at 5:57 PM

      I’m seeing that as a trend lately, the online part. And people in and out make sense. I’ve changed friends a lot over the years.

      Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    July 22, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    Very thought provoking comments. I agree so much with the technology idea. I have reconnected with people who were my best friends in grade school and it has been wonderful catching up with each other. We have even met up a few times for lunch and the connection is still there. Of course my best friends are my sister and a few people I worked with and still see and talk to regularly. These are the ones that I share my secrets, feelings and sorrows with. Thanks for getting me to think about this idea.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 22, 2017 at 9:48 AM

      You’re welcome. So much can come out of thinking about stuff like this. And tech has definitely brought us together too!

      Liked by 1 person

    meltingpotsandothercalamities said:
    July 22, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    Thank you so much for the spotlight and your kind words! It means a lot to me. 😊 I also liked your thoughts on friendship, and I’ll have to look over them again sometime. They were very thought provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

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