I trust this blog post finds you all in great spirits.
There is a song titled, “Love in Any Language” by Sandy Patti, that has always stuck with me since performing it in a choir show back in my elementary days. This song inspired me to view friend/friendship in much the same way, not just in how the word friend is written and pronounced but how it shows up for individuals in different cultures. I wanted to know what friendship meant for them (question 1), what made a good friendship (question 2), whether the quality or quantity of friends mattered (question 3), and if they subscribed to the different levels of friends (i.e, best friends, close friends, etc, question 4).
BRAIN JOURNEY: Go on an adventure and figure which 6 languages were used for the word friend as seen in title/heading. Hint: I used all 6 letters in the word friend to choose the language.
Once again, I had the honor and pleasure of asking my warrior women to provide their viewpoint on this subject. Their responses have been paraphrased and summarized, along with minimal quotes, so as to not compromise their unique answers. Although, each of my woman friends had their own unique viewpoint, the majority of them had five friend/friendship characteristics (honesty, trust, humor, understanding, and compassion) that came out from questions one, two, and three, that they felt was vital for a healthy and positive friendship. NOTE: The “I”/me in these responses are all from the women, not the writer of this blog.
QUESTION 1: What does friendship or a friend mean to you?
“Friendships has layers, like circles and circles around us and many fall within those layers and circles.” A friend is someone who you can connect to on a genuine level that can be a vessel and catalyst for building trust, honesty, and understanding. Friendship can also serve to be a reflection (mirroring effect) of who we are thus allowing us to understand more about who we and our friends are. As a result, this mirroring relationship lends itself to an empathetic connection with our friend. Friends that can make you feel good and comfortable may also open doors to a relationship filled with creativity and humor. A friendship that bases itself on being mature and open-minded may be beneficial when it comes to sharing those good and the bad moments.
QUESTION 2: What makes a good friend?
A good friend is someone who is caring, understanding, compassionate, honest, raw [raw truth], trusting, and truthful. A friend is also someone who holds a level of integrity. Being an active listener, having a positive outlook, and accepting me for who I am are all additional qualities that I feel makes a good friend. I appreciate a friend who embodies a positive presence and engages in a humorous interaction with me. I feel it’s important for friends to be aware of each other’s needs, intentions, and boundaries. The energy that is experienced from each of these awareness-es may create a space of reciprocal love and caring for one another. Moreover, this helps to create a respectful, safe, and healthy companionship.
QUESTION 3: Is quality or quantity more important when it comes to friends/friendship?
“As I meet people I get a sense of who they are.” Their level of understanding and what we can contribute to each other’s life [is what I look for in a friend]. “I am a people person so I make friends easily.” “Having a couple of friends” [is what I prefer].
QUESTION 4: Do you have levels of friendship?
“I have close friends and best friends – they are all close friends so I don’t subscribe to labels that much; each friend has a special place in my life.” “I don’t subscribe to labels but I am friendly and I make friends easily but I do have close friends and everyone else is acquaintances…I don’t have a best friend forever.” I do believe there are levels of friendship: there are acquaintances (“you know but don’t talk too much to”), friend (there for you, spend time with, have common interests, share thoughts with”), and intimate relationship (“emotional connection, a bestie, a best friend, or intimate partner”).
Breathe Love Laugh Dance (BLLD)
HUM & Ynav Avlis