Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friends... who? where? when?

It’s exam time again, so as has been my habit I have come up with another useless, thoughtless post.

Are friends really what we think friends are? With the possible exception of a parent-offspring relationship, isn’t it always the case in any relationship when we ask (usually subconsciously), “What’s in it for me?” If we analyze carefully, our closest friends are generally those with whom we have some business (not necessarily monetary) and from whom we can gain something. While I was scathingly sceptical when DD said this a couple of weeks ago, I am beginning to see his point. His opinion was, “You call a person your friend when you have some purpose or business with him/her. There are no friends, just collaborators.” I do not at all agree with what he said but the question still arose in my mind, “How many of all those whom I consider as friends are actually going to stand by me when the need comes? What purpose am I serving them? Only time will tell.” Meanwhile, I shall remain the same, dumb, unexploitative person.

In a way, friendship is a crude form of a savings account. You help out a person so that one day he/she would also help you out when you need it. In fact, in most cases, he/she is obliged to do so unless it is one of those sly foxes who forget you once the job is done.

It is not like it is a bad thing. To have some amount of selfishness, is in my opinion, not wrong at all. When opportunity comes knocking, there are no friends or foes, just competitors. So think about it. Are you a friend or a collaborator?

I would like to end with the thought that the term ‘true friend’ is misplaced. What is a true friend supposed to mean? All those qualities which we expect from a ‘true friend’ should be there in a friend itself, otherwise he/she is not a friend at all.


Agent Zero said...

I disagree. As someone who has lived a nomadic life, I can tell you that having good friends is vitally important wherever you go.

To me a true friend is someone I can trust unconditionally that he will do his best to help me when I turn to him, just like I know I will do the same. I don't equate trust with selfishness. And I have never cultivated friends on the basis of what they could do for me, those are just associates at best.

Smart Primate said...

The irony of the whole situation is I completely agree with you... lol

And its no different for me. I don't think about what he/she is going to do for me. I do not have expectations.
Here, I stand corrected about the savings account part of it. Such savings accounts are for people who are not really friends but whom you have helped out or who have helped in the course of life.

Lastly, the "true friend" part is what I was trying to drive home.
A True Friend = A Friend.
Others are not friends, just acquaintances.

Devdeep said...

Hi! To everyone.
I guess this post originated from one of my statements. So, its best I clear the point.
Instead of thinking what would friends do for you, think what would you do for people you are friends to. The answer is : "You are a friend to someone if you have to fight hard to say no to stand by him." The same goes to people you call friends. If they too show this tendency, you will be mad to leave them.

PS. Stop thinking so much about my useless comments. I often talk shit which need not be bothered about much. Also I am relationship-phobic. So move over it.

Smart Primate said...

Hmmm... So I am guessing here you are not a man of your words.

Sukhi said...

Well, some points are very true...

1)Most of the time, whom we call friend, we should actually call mates (branch mate, etc). But, we ourselves have removed the distinction b/n mate and friend.

2) Even if you have some really good friends, you will be more close to one or two...and u call them ur best friends..

3) You develop a relation only if you are in constant touch with someone. When you are working with some, you spend a long time together...its then that you start to know the person. How else will you get to know somebody. We surely dont start chatting with all and sundry (at least I dont).

The business just provides opportunity to know a person... friendship develops later..when you start trusting the person.. until then, its just a mutual relation..what i prefer to call ..branchmate/ class mate..etc

Rajeev said...

personally, i am not a great fan of personal bonding( except family, of course). what i mean is, i know people easily, get them to like me easily and even i like them easily. that's where it ends. no-one has ever become indispensable, so no-one was given a chance to be dependable. and as a result, i do not carry friends forward, meaning i am not in touch with any one of my classmates from my 4 schools and 4 previous towns (except some girls, for reasons you all know).

I am not saying that we do not need friends ( that's why i like to get people to like me); i just don't get attached to people i know or have known or have been with even for years. I am not putting any views in relation to whether we need friends or not; i am just presenting myself as a case-study for your research on inter personal bonding.