110. Seven Defining Characteristics of Deep Friendship

1) A friend knows. Knows me.  Knows changes. Knows time. And cares. And I know that he knows and cares.

2) Friends grow old in the right way. For the right purpose. Like something you drink that warms you for a long time after. That’s worth ageing.

3) There are exceptions, but the rule is probably that it is dangerous to confuse colleagues and friends. So invest some time in your friendships, not just your career. It will serve you well when your career tanks. Which it will on occasion. But friendship – if it is true – will not.

4) … And that’s what a friend’s letter feels like, no matter how it is written: It has more than one dimension in it, and each and every one of them feels like a special surprise party that your friend had arranged just for you.

5) The desire, ability and will to communicate regularly – is the cornerstone any friendship. However, you decide how much communication means to you and how, vis-a-vis other factors. But it’s always at the centre. Without it the other factors don’t matter.

6) Remembering moments of pure friendship is necessary to swim that extra mile in the grey drone of everyday life. That effect on your morale is another way of testing the depth of a friendship. What if other things to sustain you more and the memory of this and that friendship does not – just make you smile – during a rainy day? Then perhaps you need to focus more on friendship. Because just the memory of it can be enough to make you feel whole all over again.

7) The best support for a friend in a difficult time is your own presence. That goes the other way around. Sometimes, after years, the best part of a friendship is just being together. After even more years it doesn’t matter if the times are good and bad, just being together.

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The advice in this post is a composite of the first 10 post excerpts or so in the category “Friendship” from Dec 2016-March 2017

Here you can also find direct links to the posts themselves and read them as part of a narrative about the ups and downs of friendships in my life, over time.

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