Written By: Sarah Ansari
Trying to think up of a topic to write about these days is turning out to be a challenge. Probably because human life is quite unpredictable so you never know when a curve ball might be coming your way. But then again my never-ending thought led me to come up with yet another topic to write about.
Over the years the term ‘friend’ has changed quite frequently. According to Wikipedia (and now I’m going to copy/paste) friendship means “…a relationship knowledge, esteem, affection, and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis. Friends will welcome each other company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism. Their tastes will usually be similar and may converge, and they will share enjoyable activities. They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as the exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship. A friend is someone who may often demonstrate reciprocating and reflective behaviors. Yet for some, the practical execution of friendship is little more than the trust that someone will not harm them.” which involves mutual (For those who want to read up more about this, – Click Here) In simple terminology, friendship is a simple yet complex relationship between two people or a group of people. This relationship usually means that everyone shares some interests, enjoys similar activities and will be there for each other through thick and thin. And of course, since it’s a relationship, there has to be that element of trust and loyalty.
Now we break it down a bit. In these advanced and modern times, there boundaries between friends have totally meshed. Back in our parents’ or even grandparents’ time, there were strict rules and the elders would make sure that these rules were enforced and those who broke them would be seriously reprimanded. The rules included that girls can only be friends with girls and boys can be friends with only boys. However, there were some who didn’t give a hoot about the rules and would go around them and have friends of both the genders. Fast forward to the present era, and we don’t have any rules regarding who we become friends with. For all we care, they can be from either of the sexes, belong to any ethnicity, be from any political party, etc. (You get my point, right?).
Let’s break down a little more. Guys and gals both have a different way of making friends and what they get out of that friendship. According to John Gray, the author of one of the most popular book on the differences between men and women called Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (I would recommend you all read this book. It is quite easy to comprehend), writes “He feels better by solving problems while she feels better by talking about problems.” For gals (since I’m one of them, I can talk from my perspective), we usually make friends with almost everyone and anyone quite easily. All we have to do is find some similar topic or feeling to connect on and BAM! We’re their best friends. However, if there’s no connect then we don’t abandon them; we just try again with another strategy. Then for us friendship means that we’ll provide the other person or group with all that we have; emotional, moral, psychological, at times financial support. We’d be there for them through the good times and the bad. We’ll cry with them; laugh with them; share our deep dark secrets with them; rely on them; vent with them; gossip (our favorite pass-time activity, even though some deny it outright); and the list is quite long. We gals are more of the emotional creatures and have the tendency to show our nurturing, empathic side more than guys. To get a guy’s perspective on this topic, I had to delve into a conversation with a close friend of mine. According to him, women are more emotionally dependent when it comes to friendship whereas men are “more realistic.” Meaning guys group together with friends to solve matters, problems and issues whereas women tend to talk out their issues not looking for solutions but just want to be heard. According to John Gray, “… [Men] are solution oriented… He would never burden another [guy] with his problem unless his friend’s assistance was necessary to solve the problem.”
To conclude this article, I would say that regardless of you being friends with a male or a female, we should try and treasure our friendships because they are imperative for our personal growth and also needed for support. But do keep in mind the differences because male friends might be just offering you a solution when you only want to be heard. Do remind them and of course ladies, don’t nag your guy friends into sharing what’s on their mind; they’ll talk about it eventually when they’re ready.