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Comment on a meme...

There's a meme going around about how you should post a certain sentence in your LJ if you meet a certain criterion.  That criterion has to do with 'friendship' and specifically, 'close' friendship.  That leads me to a different question: How do you define 'friend', and how do you define 'close friend'? By observing those around me, I've concluded that what I have aren't 'friends' much less 'close friends'; they're 'acquaintances' with whom I have relationships (which may be more or less extensive) - but rarely do those relationships run beyond one or two common interests. And I have my suspicions as to why I'm that way - but that's another post for another time.  Suffice it for now to say that my emotional mechanisms are broken, probably irreparably, and leave it at that.

So, what in your view constitutes friendship, and/or close friendship?

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I don't think friendship is a state as much as a process, which is related to how much you share (and keep sharing) outside of your common interests. Also, how much you can turn to each other for help plays a part.

Two quotes come to mind. They're jokes, but still sound apt to me.

"Friends help you move. True friends help you move bodies."

"Friends bail you out of jail. Real friends are there with you and go: Whee! That was fun!"

My father taught me what I know about friendship, and taught me that your friends are actually more important than family, because you *choose* your friends. He taught me that you don't have to like anyone in your family. You should try to love them, but you don't have to spend time with them if you don't like them, especially if they are toxic people.

For me there are levels of friendship.

An acquaintance is someone that I haven't connected with, but that I know... perhaps someone I don't like, or don't care for, but associate with regularly for one reason or another.

A friend is someone I've connected with strongly, whether I see them often or talk to them much. Beyond that there are close friends - and 'best' friends.

Close friends are people I do have ongoing rather intense relationships with (chatting, talking more deeply, sharing thoughts, interests or perhaps confidences). A close friend can absolutely be someone I've never met in the physical sense.

Best friend is a category that isn't just occupied by one person, but by a few people. Best friends are the ones that I know will and have dropped everything for me (and that, of course, I'd do the same for). These are the friends that I'm typically involved with physically (I do *not* mean sex, I mean physical in the sense that I see them regularly, that we go out of our way to do things in the same place at the same time... although this doesn't necessarily mean that I have to have met the person physically, it just typically implies that.

The phrase "one of my best friends" doesn't imply 'best friend', it implies one of my best close friends. If that makes sense... gee, it's convoluted, isn't it?

Sounds like my set up.....

Similarly to what Tesselene says above.

The world ranges from strangers through very close friends. In a pyramydal fashion. there higher you go, the fewer there are.

Forming close friendships is VERY difficult.