It’s more than similarity
Friendship is a special kind of love that can sometimes rival familial love in certain situations. Friends just “get” us, and when we’re with them, so much doesn’t need explaining. We can freely be who we are. The relationship just flows because we’re already on the same wavelength. Author, C.S. Lewis said that friendship was born the moment someone said to another person, “What? You, too? Thought I was the only one!”
Similarity has a lot to do with establishing friendships, but a study from the University of Pennsylvania says that other factors come into play, as well. Researchers said that we also consciously choose our friends, especially best friends, based on the same criteria that make two nations international allies. We choose people who we feel will stand behind and defend us when necessary. In turn, we defend them with the same ferocious loyalty. We want to know if we can trust them with our secrets and whether they’re reliable enough to be there for us in a pinch. We like to freely trade back and forth, and always put the alliance before personal differences. Think of your friends, especially your best friend, and see how many questions you can answer yes to for them.
Whether it’s $20 or $200, will they loan you money in a tight situation because they know you’ll pay them back in a timely manner?
You just arrived at the airport and discover you left a bag with a very important business project inside on your doorstep back home. If you call and ask, will they go to your house, retrieve the bag, and bring it to you immediately?
Behind Enemy Lines
If you asked, would they meet up with an old partner of yours to see if the person is still interested in you? Would they pose as a customer at your work to get some needed information that wasn’t available to you? Would they make phone calls or pick you up in certain situations that weren’t working out like an internet date?
Mutual Defense Agreement
Will they defend you when others speak ill of you, especially when it’s unpopular or means taking a risk? Will they give you their unwavering support because they see an attack on you as an attack on you both?
Will they travel to see you, thousands of miles if necessary? Do they understand the importance of spending time together to keep your bond strong, and so make regular efforts to be with you?
Are you comfortable sharing your most personal feelings, desires, and fears with them? Are you certain they can keep your confidence? Have they shared the same with you?
Can they keep disagreements between the two of you or do they recruit others to gang up on you? Do they value your friendship so much that they put resolution before being right or winning?
Real best friends have an ongoing import/export system. Do they share freely and openly with you? They let you have a couple bites of their sandwich. You buy them a coffee after a show. They let you borrow their sweatpants, etc. etc.
Can you be brutally honest with each other but in a respectful way? Can you be straightforward without them taking offense because they know you only want what’s best for them? Can you really say she does look fat in those jeans? Can he really say the woman you’re dating is using you?
Most Favored Status
Does the person just “get” you? They know what makes you tick. They know how to press your buttons and how much they can get away with while never jeopardizing the friendship in the process. When something great happens in their life, you’re the first person they want to tell and vice versa. They celebrate your good fortune like it was their own.
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