Count ’em on One Hand

The inbox contained a jewel this week. Let’s discuss this question:

Does the number of real life friends a person has define them?

The short form: No. Why not? Another excellent question.

Gavel | Andrew F. Scott: P6033675

Judge Not Lest…

Friendship requires another to judge you and deem you worthwhile as a friend. While this seems innocuous, your exposure to people with proficient character judgment may preclude the assumption you will encounter many people able to accurately judge your value as a friend. Not everyone knows a good friend when they see one.


Friendship also requires the person who judges you be worthwhile enough to be a person with whom you reciprocate judgment. While you may be a good friend to one, one may not fit your criteria for a good friend.

Numbers Lie

The number of friends people perceive you have is not important:

  • as a gauge of your value
  • as an indicator of your ability to socialize
  • as an indicator of your ability to be a good friend

Ships Passing in the Night

The Gawking Onlooker

If an outsider judges you for the number of people he assumes are your friends, he is not friend material. He is seeking popularity, which, incidentally, has nothing whatsoever to do with friendship. You can be very well-liked, but have no true friends.

Count ’em on One Hand

In a lifetime, those who can count more than three real friends are truly fortunate. Real friends last a lifetime. Acquaintances and colleagues are merely ships which pass in the night: Useful in the moment, but, over time, outlive such usefulness.

If you disagree, please say why.
If you agree, please tell me what a “real friend” means to you.

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© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. I really can count them on one hand, and I am thankful. They are the ones that call other when they need something and do not cause problems with their own self centered behaviors.

    • It is good you have friends who know it is not about them. That is the single hardest thing for a friend to do…not compare you or judge you by the things in their own lives, and more importantly, not find you lacking in the comparison.

  2. Count, thankfully you are allowing me to use my fingers which is required for me to Count.

    One hand still counting, nope haven’t gotten to thumb yet.

    I suspect my family members would be chagrined to find they didn’t make the list….love em but….nope still not at the thumb.

    • I am blessed by my friends. My family plays such a different role in my life, I do not count them as friends. After all, the point is you may choose your friends, as I have you.

  3. Bear

     /  November 27, 2011

    I have three true friends. These are the people who I trust not to judge me, not to laugh at me or to tell me how to live my life. And they know that they have a friend who would walk through the gates of hell for them. Family not so much. …….Bear

    • Real friends do not give unsolicited advice. Instead, they tell you the same thing you told them, so you see it from another perspective. Family, no so much. Red.

  4. James Parsons

     /  November 27, 2011

    To me a friend is someone whom is there when you need a shoulder to cry on. Someone you can call day or night. Someone who will listen, someone who you can trust with your life. Real friends take you for who you are, not what you may have been ,or done. Great piece Red.

  5. I like this piece. And I feel the same…and where I’m at, I don’t really trust anybody so…:/

  6. Yes I agree with you on this one Red, and there has been so many times that I have helped out in the past, notice I didn’t say helped my friends out in the past, as when I have needed something I am more than likely doing the task myself, so how about that for a one-sided friendship? However I guess that this is rather common and so it is always best to rely on number one, as usually the friends disappear in times of need, well not always, just more often than not 🙂

    I hope that you have had
    a wonderful weekend Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Greetings, dear friend, I have. And it is far too common. We can try to blame it on our instant gratification society, but that is a fallacy. This quandary extends to the cave men. Friends are rare enough; True friends are exceptionally rare. As to the tasks, I typically schedule enough hours to do it alone and am surprised and grateful to toast the job complete when extra hands appear on deck.

      Have a wicked night,

  7. awarewriter

     /  November 27, 2011

    Well said Red though I’d use a different term than judgment. True friendship lives on a different plane. I’d say true friends see your true self as you really are without judging, just as you see theirs without judging.

    Of course, the first step is making friends with your inner self. I’m still working on that one.


    • That should be simple, McD…he happens to be a very nice curmudgeon guy.

      I chose “judge” because “qualify” just did not do it justice. In fact, we judge others character against our own beliefs, opinions, concepts, perceptions, etc. everyday. We do not pass judgment, but we use it to gauge receptivity, compatibility and the ability and likelihood for reciprocity. Or should I have chosen “qualify”?

      • awarewriter

         /  November 27, 2011

        I understand what you’re saying Red. Words can be slippery. How about I slide intuit into the mix and say ‘judging’ others is something our intuition does. I suppose this is another instance when words suck.

        A little humor? Our dragons recognize other dragons and know which dragons are true friends.


  8. James Parsons

     /  November 27, 2011

    Real friends don’t hold anything against us past or present. They listen, and if something does happen they usually talk it out and rebound.

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