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.
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.
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
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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