What ist real friendship?

19/11/2020

Real friendships have always been of great importance to people, but nowadays they are becoming rarer, although they are more urgently needed than ever. Why is this, and what is the point of true friendship? In our world today, the meanings of traditional friendship and true friendship are moving apart. While many friendships are an exchange of benefits where affection is tied to usefulness, true friendship is rare.
The work of Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics" contributes much to clarification. According to Aristotles, the meaning of friendship is the fellowship between two or more people who share a common ground of the same disposition and who feel goodwill towards the other person. Friendship is a virtue.

What types of friendship are there?

There is the traditional, "accidental" friendship. The meaning of the word "accidental" is unimportant, secondary. It describes the kind of friendship that is based on mutual benefit. Here, the focus is not on the person, but on the benefit one receives from the relationship. A friendship that does not correspond to true friendship. Here too there are differences. The >acceptance< on which the friendship is based. One appreciates the comfortable atmosphere of the other person, or other needs are pleasantly met. But woe betide if the beautiful atmosphere falls away.
Who does not know this? Everything is only good as long as the mood is good, everyone is in good spirits and/or personal needs are met. As soon as a dark cloud appears, it doesn't take long for the friend to say goodbye under a pretext.
And then there are the friendships where the only thing that matters is expediency. They are based on reciprocity, and instead of the actual person, the focus is on one's own advantage.
Do you know that? Don't you also have friendships based on the fact that they are useful to you in certain aspects? Is it that this person again knows about other people who are interesting for you? Or because they have a great holiday home somewhere? Or you have advantages that you would not have without this person at your side? Take a piece of paper and write down the different names of your friends, together with the characteristics they have, such as position in society, possessions, contacts, characteristics from which you benefit, etc. And then imagine each individual person as if he or she did not benefit from all of this? Whom would you want to continue to be friends with?
Don't worry, it doesn't make you a bad person if you have these kinds of friendships. This kind of friendship is very common. We all have them in our circle. To recognize this, and to admit it to yourself, requires honesty towards yourself. It is a matter of you being aware of it. That you recognise for yourself who your true friends are, because it also works the other way round. Who benefits from being friends with you, and are they really true friends? Who can you call in the middle of the night when you feel bad and need someone at your side?

As long as someone does good to a friend and expects something in return, it is not true friendship. In a perfect friendship there is no question of quid pro quo. It is the human being that is at the centre and giving comes from the heart and is not counted.
So a friendship can develop from mutual benefit, pleasure or genuine affection. Friendships based on benefit and pleasure end when the foundation is exhausted. Only a friendship based on genuine interest in man himself can be firm and stable, and therefore only this is true friendship.
It arises when there is trust, respect, willingness, selflessness, understanding, gratitude and forgiveness. Another characteristic of a friendship is that the friend behaves towards the friend as he behaves towards himself.

What do you think about it?
Look around in your circle of friends. What in particular are your friendships based on?
Write your opinion about it.
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