Date: Sunday, September 27th 2015
Participants (from 7 countries):
Morocco: Jawad | USA: Rick, Rebecca | Iran: Ami | Tunisia: Marwa | Vietnam: Kelly | Japan: Masato| Sudan: Seif
Although we have published this topic title in our schedule, we just talked about friendship in general. Here we are posting a summary of what was discussed.
Despite the fact that friendship is considered to be a good thing, we don't always understand the impact our friends can have on our happiness and quality of life. A healthy relationship with other people can mitigate stress, provide consolation and contentment, avoid loneliness and isolation, and even fortify our health, These are some of the positive influences a friend can have on our life.
Close friends don’t fall off trees. Many of us strive to improve our relationships or even building new relationships of trust and we are willing to spend some time and effort on it, however, we do not always know how to go about it. But whatever our age or circumstances are, it is never too late to make new friendships or resume old ones.
For this reason, participants have come up with some tips to help us in this endeavor:
- Have self-confidence and take care of your reputation.
- Do not be judgmental.
- Respect their ideas, their likes and be tolerant with the things you don’t like.
- Beware of misunderstandings, for these can impact negatively the relationship with people.
- Be humble in the way you approach people.
- Try not to pass fast judgements: unless you know people deeply, do not judge them quickly. First impressions are not always accurate.
- Be natural, be yourself, be original. Do not try to be someone you are not.
- If you have something to say, say it. Do not hide it, if that person is willing to make an honest friendship, s/he will accept the way you are, whether s/he agrees or not with your opinions.
- Try to be tactful, sensitive to other's feelings, and avoid hurting people’s feelings.
- Spend some time with people and get acquainted with their interests.
- Try to find a common ground of interests in helping others.
- Be open to different communities.
- Socialize with them, get together often.
- Keep yourself loyal to your friends.
- Empathize with your friends, "wear their shoes". There is no such thing as a perfect person.
- Understand them and accept the way they are.
- If you can use humor and be humble, it'll be easier to make friends.
There was an interesting exchange of opinions:
Some people think that a true friend is the one who is with you not only in happy moments, but also in sad moments. There is a term: “Fair weather friend”. A fair weather friend is a metaphor that relates the fair weather (sunny days, sunshine, everything is fine) and stormy weather with moments in someone’s life. So a fair weather friend is the one who stays with you when everything is sunshine-like and happy but as soon as the storm comes, they are gone. Meaning that they “are not true friends”, they don’t stay with you during the hard times. So if someone is a fair weather friend it means that as soon as the time gets difficult, they are no longer your friend.
Maybe their reason is “convenience”. Maybe it is “convenient” for them to be your friend, either because you have money, better social position, better job or influencing connections. These people use friendship as a tool. A friend who helps you in times of need is a friend indeed.
The contrast with this view was that people tend to use this phrase or view in their favor. Every now and then there are people who approach you with this statement requiring you to help them and if you don’t do it, you are a bad person or a bad friend.
Suppose that a friend come over and tell you that he is destitute and drops the statement: “A friend who helps in times of need is a true friend”, then that is not being good towards you because it is like a requirement and conditional. If a friend is a true friend, then there won’t be any conditions or requirements. If you are a good friend, you yourself will notice if a friend is in need and the will to help will come honestly from yourself.
- How women from certain parts of the world deal with male friends.
- How you deal with people who dislike either your ways or your habits.
- Factors that we give utmost importance when assessing a person.
To listen to this discussion, click in the links below:
For people who did not join the live discussion, feel free to contribute the ideas in the comment blanks below.