The Main Values of Friendship

Good friendship last long if both have some common values to keep their relationship in good harmony. This was apparent through my own experience as a teenager with my best friend.

In my high school days, I have only one close friend, I consider him my best friend forever. We have all in common, from food we eat, games we played, music we sing, etc. Generally, our classmate teased us as twins, although we’ve different physical differences, he was handsome and I was not so attractive. In other words, we act as one in all aspects of what we do.

We only parted ways when we graduated from high school. I continued my college studies and he went to the city to find a job. After a couple of years, I became a teacher and he became a farmer.

6 Common Values for Friendship.

1. Loyalty. We’re both loyal to each other, we see to it not hurt each one of us. We cherished our relationship so much that we were always extra careful not hurt one another. Before we decided to make decisions, we always consult each other the pros and cons of the outcome for our decisions.

2. Trust. We always cultivate a 100% trust level for both of us. Whatever, is the results of what we’ve made, we simply accept each ones opinion wholeheartedly.

3. Honesty. This is the most important value our good friendship lasts for a long time. We’ve always stick to what we believe is right and doesn’t blame one another. We always maintain truthfulness and frankness in our dealing with each other.

4. Respect. No matter what our differences sometimes dominates over our relationship, we always abide to what is more acceptable for both of us. We respect one another in order not to offend each of us.

5. Concern. The feeling of one is the feeling of the other. When I’m not feeling well, he would always be at my side to comfort me. When I’m lonely, depressed and isolated, he’s always there to provide inspiration and guidance what to do. The same is true when he’s experienced the same.

6. Support. To make our relationship more binding, we always support each others in terms of our assignments, projects, and often we helped our classmates who needs our help. Every school related activities we participated in, we always tend to join our efforts to finish the work to create an acceptable result from our teacher.

A good friendship carries these main values based on my own experience with my friend. Following them, made us strong and no external obstacles stained our closeness until he was called to the other side of the world by our creature.

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Valentine February 11, 2019 0 Comments

How Long Does It Take To Form a Friendship?

It is common for people to wonder: how long does it take to form a friendship? We want to understand the dynamics of friendships so we can build them successfully, enhance our social lives and know when to cut our losses.

The Ingredients of Friendship

In order to answer the question above, we first need to understand what makes a friendship. From a psychological perspective, a friendship is not defined by rules or norms, it is defined by emotions.

In other words, you can call a person friend when there are certain positive emotions between you. Among these emotions, some of the most important are comfort and trust. Let’s take a look at how these two emotions develop between two people.

Comfort is an emotion that results from the fact two people know each other and they discover commonalities. Generally, when we’ve just met a new person and they’re almost a stranger, we lack comfort and we feel somewhat apprehensive.

This is because we barely know anything about that person and they barely know anything about us. As we get to know each other, as we discover simple commonalities between us, we start to feel more at ease.

Trust is an element that emerges when we know we can count on a person to be authentic and to help us in need. Trust is formed when two people have integrity, meaning that they align their thoughts with their words and their words with their deeds.

It is also formed when two people show the willingness and ability to support each other. When one person has a problem and the other provides some thoughtful advice, when one person needs a helping hand and the other offers it, trust surfaces.

Back To the Question and the Answer

Now, with a good understanding of the emotional makeup of a friendship, it’s a lot easier to figure out how long it takes to form a friendship.

As a rule, we could say that it takes for a friendship to form the amount of time required for a decent amount of comfort and trust to develop between two people. This doesn’t say a lot, as there is plenty of variation from on case to another, but it does allow us to set some general guidelines.

In general, comfort can be built relatively easy. If two people are open and talkative, they can get to know each other in just a couple of hours of conversation and develop a sense of rapport. These hours of conversation typically happen in just a week or two.

Trust requires a bit more time to develop. The first level of trust appears when two individuals are willing to be authentic and put themselves out there as they are. Provided they’re relatively comfortable in their own skin, this can happen quite quickly.

The second level of trust requires more time, as the friendship needs to be tested. You often only discover that somebody is your true friend when you request of them something important a couple of times, and this can happen over a couple of months.

Overall, it takes a month or two for true trust to develop, and that’s the amount of time it also takes a friendship to form as well. So there you have it: most of the time, it takes one or two months to form a friendship.

Keep in mind though that this interval can vary quite a lot depending on the persons and the social dynamics. If two persons are really sociable, have good conversation skills, share meaningful commonalities and they interact often, a true friendship can emerge in just a couple of weeks.

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Valentine February 11, 2019 0 Comments

Top 10 Friendship Killers – Avoid Them Like The Plague

Do you have “friendships” that are killing you? I mean, do you have the kinds of friends that you come away from feeling like you have to downplay your achievements or talents?

Do you have friends that are overly possessive? Backstabbing? Or, are you one of those kinds of friends? In this article, I reveal the top 10 behaviors that are killing your friendships — and what you can do to be a better friend and have healthier friendships.

Friendship Killer #1 – Jealousy

I don’t know how it works with guys, but women are notoriously catty. Trust me. I grew up with a very jealous and competitive mother who could not stand for me to shine. In fact, she’s going to be 75 years old in June, and she still hates for me to be a confident, self-assured woman because she feels so threatened.

I also grew up with 4 catty sisters whose only goal in life was to tear me (and each other) down. So I know a thing or 2 about jealousy.

How to Spot Jealousy in a Friend

You know your friend is jealous when she behaves passive aggressively by constantly making comments (put downs) about your boyfriend, your clothes, your lifestyle, etc. and you find yourself having to downplay your achievements and talents just so she won’t get mad or start being competitive.

Jealousy destroys relationships because you can never be happy for the other person. And the very essence of friendship is support for one another.

Advice: If you’re the jealous type, ask yourself why you feel so less than. Build your self-esteem by doing esteemable things for yourself and others.

If your friend is the jealous one, have a serious conversation with her. Tell her you want to be supportive, but that you can’t and won’t be in a friendship that’s rife with jealousy.

By the way, I don’t talk to my mother anymore – and I’ll only deal with one of my sisters. Yeah. It was that bad.

Friendship Killer #2 – Selfishness (Narcissism)

With selfish friends, it’s always about them. Everything has to be on their terms. If you don’t go along with their program, they try to make you feel guilty, put you down, etc.

Advice: You may just be dealing with someone who is unaware that they’re selfish. If that’s the case, you need to gently tell your friend how her behavior affects you.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist, you may want to end the friendship, as it will always be one-sided.

Friendship Killer #3 – The Manipulator

The manipulative friend can never be direct. They know your weaknesses, so they hint around when they want you to do something, knowing that you will fall for their manipulation – hook, line and sinker.

Advice: Tell your friend nicely that you would appreciate it if she would be more direct with you.

Friendship Killer #4 – Possessiveness

I had a friend who always put down any other friend I wanted to hang out with because she couldn’t stand for me to be with anyone else. When I wanted to include others in activities, she vehemently opposed.

Advice: Smothering someone –telling them they can’t have other friends — is a sign of fear of abandonment. If it’s you who’s behaving possessively, ask yourself why you’re so terrified of losing your friend. If it’s your friend who is possessive, ask her the same thing – gently of course.

Then seek therapy.

Friendship Killer #5 – The Critic

With the critic, you can never win. Sometimes you can almost win, but inevitably the critic will find something wrong with you or what you did, what you’re wearing, etc.

Being around someone who is overly critical is devastating to your psyche and your self-worth.

Advice: Let go of the friendship. People who are overly critical will always raise the bar just out of your reach. It’s a no-win situation. Cut your losses.

Friendship Killer #6 – The Exploder

The exploder always keeps you off balance. It’s their way of controlling you. Being friends with an exploder is like walking through a minefield. You never know what’s going to set them off. Walking on eggshells in a relationship is not healthy and inhibits the growth of both parties.

Advice: Tell your friend to seek anger management, or you’re gone.

Friendship Killer #7 – Covetedness

Everyone gets a twinge of jealousy sometimes. But when it’s a constant in your friendship — that’s bad. Coveting goes hand in hand with jealousy. But it’s a closer cousin to envy.

Your envious friend always wants what you have. The mentality is “there’s not enough to go around, so I want what’s yours.”

Advice: Tell your friend you sense her envy and that it’s uncomfortable. Tell her if she acts on her covetedness, you will associate with her less.

Friendship Killer #8 – Disloyalty

God I hate disloyal people. Disloyal friends are the backstabbers. Gossips. They’re the ones you share a confidence with and then you hear about it on the 6:00 O’clock news. They’re the ones who laugh at you when you fall down – instead of helping you up.

Here’s the deal. I don’t think people should be loyal to a fault. But you should be loyal until your friend no longer deserves your loyalty.

Advice: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Friendship Killer # 9 – Liars

Liars annoy the heck out of me. You can’t trust them. Ever. And you can’t have a friendship without trust.

Advice: Confront your friend about their lies. Tell them that you cannot trust them if they’re lying to you all the time and that trust is an important, and necessary part of the friendship.

Friendship Killer #10 – Being Too “Busy”

Relationships are not one sided. Everyone is busy. But friendships take time and effort. You’ve got to decide whether you really want the friendship because it takes an investment.

So if your friend is always saying she’s “busy”, it just means she doesn’t want to be friends anymore.

Advice: I’d see how often she tells me she’s too busy to hang out before I pull the plug on the friendship.

Conclusion

Friendships are an important part of life. So you want to make sure you’re not getting drained by the very people who are supposed to be uplifting to you. This advice goes for any type of relationship.

So, start paying close attention to your circle of friends and see if any of them fit into one or more of the “friendship killer” categories. Then do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

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Valentine February 10, 2019 0 Comments

The Phases of Friendship

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

–George Washington (first President of the United States)

There are two phases in a friendship or relationship. There’s the interest phase where something about a person has peaked your interest. Then there’s the bonding phase.

The interest phase is typified by some commonality. Things are light and fun. You revel in common experiences or share a common interest. It kind of reminds you of the honeymoon phase of a marriage. You enjoy how you feel when with the other person. Whatever your warm and fuzzy is, this is the phase. “He understood me.” “She believes my dream.”

The bonding phase is the more telling phase. It is the revealer. In some respect, the person allows you to see who they really are. Differences, disappointments and conflicts are the tools of the bonding phase. The man who understood you when you talked about someone else is now remote and doesn’t want to talk when it comes to a problem you have with him. The woman who once believed in your dream now complains that she never sees you.

Though most would agree that the bonding phase is essential, it is the most difficult to navigate. Why is it so hard? Perhaps there is a part of us retained from childhood that prefers fantasy to reality, day dreaming to working, romancing to loving. Sure children live to play but have you ever watched kids together. Sure they laugh, giggle and play but it’s all intermittent with bumps, bruises and disagreements. The same child who limps into the house crying because his friend pushed him down hurries back outside to resume play once his boo-boo has been kissed and bandaged.

For me, college was where true bonding happened. It wasn’t something that any of us did consciously. We simply shared our lives together for those four years. We shared food, challenges, disagreements, betrayals yet when all was said and done, we were still holding on to one another. Maybe it was because we needed a family unit since we were all hundreds of miles from home. I don’t know. All I know is that I still have those friends to this day. My college roommate is still someone whom I can go for months without talking to, then with one conversation the bond is renewed. And though it’s been marriages, children and a lifetime of experiences in-between, there is that knowing, that trusting, that safe place that my heart rests in.

It takes time to bond. No matter how nostalgic you feel during the interest phase, one cannot skip past this. You might feel that you’ve found a special friend within moments of sharing common experiences and similar values. You might enjoy one another’s company and be, as Forest Gump says, “like peas and carrots.” Regardless, once the newness wears off, there is a weighty disagreement, and/or familiarity sets in, it becomes more telling if your “friendship” will remain at interest or can sustain true bonding.

As life is putting your friendship to the test, there are some gimmies. A gimmy is a concession for simply being human. The first time you and your friend have an intense disagreement, no one is going to feel good about the other one. You must take that into consideration. No one likes to hear criticism or that they have offended someone. Even the most loving or evolved soul feels that tightness in his stomach when someone points out a fault.

All things considered however, Maya Angelou say’s it best, “if a person tells you who they are, believe them.” If she tells you she loves her job, believe her. If he tells you he’s not interested in settling down, believe him. Now, in the interest phase, you hear but you don’t hear. You see but you don’t see. A person can tell you something about themselves and it goes through one ear and out the other. I’ve been hurt many times because I didn’t believe what someone told me or showed me about himself.

So how do you know if your friendship is interest-based or has potential for a deeper bond? Here’s my list:

o This friendship motivates me to be the best me I can be.

o My friend and I seek to resolve conflict, not avoid conflict.

o We are both equally invested in the friendship.

o My friend has my back (looks out for my best interest).

o The friendship promotes equality. It doesn’t assume a parental, rescuer or enabler role.

o Despite the emergence of my faults, frailties and weaknesses, my friend still regards me as valuable and worthy of respect and dignity.

o My friend and I can be vulnerable and not feel violated or devalued afterwards.

o I’m welcome in my friend’s world.

As I mature, I realize that every friendship isn’t destined to be a deep and abiding bond. However, if you choose wisely and approach each relationship as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, you’ll find the treasure in every phase.

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Valentine February 3, 2019 0 Comments

The Russian Mentality – Friendship and What it Means to Russians

When I was studying in college in the United States I noticed that besides the language, American students differed from Russian in one thing: they didn’t let each other copy papers and they didn’t do each other’s assignments. My Russian mentality couldn’t grasp why.

When I was at school in Russia it was “natural” for students to whisper test answers to each other and pass the cheat sheets along. I could not imagine my friend not helping me with my physics tests. He was good at it, I was terrible and since we were friends it was not even discussed that he should help me. I, on the other hand, was better in languages, so I wrote a number of compositions and checked quite a few papers for him.

I didn’t even think it was dishonest and I didn’t feel bad doing what we did. I knew that if after graduation he would need to write a cover letter or even a love letter to his girlfriend, I will be always there to help him. The same way I knew he would help me with math or physics.

I didn’t have any friends (the way I define friend) at the U.S. school, but I noticed that people who claimed to be the best buddies didn’t copy each others papers and didn’t do each other’s homework.

Back then I didn’t really know American culture well, so I couldn’t understand why friends don’t help friends. Now that I understand more (or at least I like to think so), it makes sense to me. In American culture you have to rely on your own abilities and strength, so if you don’t learn how to write a paper properly, your classmate friends are not going to do it for you later in life. They may for money or for some exchanged favor, but they are not going to do your work for you just because you are their friend. Even if they are really good at what needs to be done.

Russian friendships are intense. It takes months or even years for Russians to become friends, but when they do, they become like a family. A friend is not the same as a drinking or a dinner buddy you meet once a month and discuss a new brand of chips with. A friend is someone who will lend you money when you need it; listen to your problems and let you pour out your soul. A friend is someone who will do anything for you, but who also expects you to be there for them no matter what.

Russians rarely go to psychologists or psychiatrists, because they have friends to talk to and to help them solve their problems.

If you are stuck at the airport or need a ride, and your friend has a car, he or she will be happy to help you out and I really mean “happy” when I say it. When we went to Russia for the first time, we needed a ride from the airport to the city where I used to live. I didn’t want to bother anyone and I got Americanized a bit, so we just hired someone to take us home. When my Russian friends, a married couple whom I haven’t seen in person for more than 2 years, found out about it, they got really offended. “Why didn’t you call us?” the guy said. “You don’t trust us or something?” No, they wouldn’t have accepted any money and I doubt they would even let us pay for gas. They were (and are) just true friends.

In comparison, once my husband was away for a business trip and I needed some help with my parking light (I wrecked it by accident in our backyard). I called him; he called his friend of 10 years (his best friend by the way) and asked him to come over and take a look. The friend (who was 5 minutes away) came with some red tape and put it on my light bulb (which was not damaged by the way). It took him less than 3 minutes. I (“jokingly”) told him that I don’t have any cash, so I can’t pay him right away. He said: “No worries, when your hubby gets home he can pay me back by taking me out for dinner”. And to my surprise, that’s what happened, so the 20 cents which probably was the cost of the piece of tape and 3 minutes of time cost us 20 bucks.

Again, I am not saying the Russian way is better than the American or vice versa, but things are certainly different and it may be difficult for people from both cultures to make friends and maintain friendships. Finding a balance takes time and effort, but I believe that it is possible. Don’t push your Russian wife to make friends, because it is not as easy for her as it may seem and don’t be jealous or suspicious if she calls her friends often and tells you how much she misses them. Time will help her with both.

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Valentine February 1, 2019 0 Comments