How well do we know our friends?

How well do we know our friends?

Amanda Thode, Staff Writer

I can name only about three of my friends’ favourite colours. I can name only one’s favourite animal. Can I really call these people my friends even though I don’t actually know anything about them?  Liking someone’s company is a major part of friendship, but if you don’t really know anything about a person, I don’t see how they can be considered a good friend.

If you think about even half of the so called “friendships” you have, how much do you know about them? How many of them know anything about you? Can you name any of their favourite colours? Can they name yours? What about favourite animal? Favourite genre of music even? These things tend to not be talked about as much and are seen by many as simple and not personal, but how can someone’s favourite thing not be personal to them? No two people are identical (except some twins, I guess), therefore everyone’s favourites will be personal to them, and it would be very rare to find someone who thinks exactly like another person.

So seeing people calling casual acquaintances as if they were best friends, seems a bit fake. I understand maybe people don’t want to be alone, but there is a massive difference between being alone and feeling lonely. When someone is alone, they are without company. But that doesn’t mean they are unhappy. Being lonely is the feeling of being utterly alone no matter how many people one is surrounded with. The person who seems to have the most friends could still extremely lonely .  We often make incorrect assumptions based on what we see on the surface.  Conversations with these people never seem to move beyond small talk about one’s day, what they’re up to later, etc. They aren’t real friendships and there isn’t any substance to them.

We are fickle and petty and it can be disheartening. I constantly hear people bashing these so called “friends” behind their backs.   I hear this in class all the time and I find it foolish and aggravating. If someone doesn’t like another person, what is the value in feigning friendship?  Perhaps our insecurities run deeper than we think. In the end, being honest is so much better and fewer people will end up being hurt in the end.

I don’t consider many people I know friends. Yes, saying that is blunt and maybe even sounds insulting to some, but it’s the truth. I guess I would call a lot of people acquaintances, but not really friends. This isn’t saying that I don’t like these people, though. I really enjoy spending time with them and think they are really cool people, but I just don’t know enough about them, nor they about me, to call them my friends.

The idea of friendship and what that word means has changed so much over time. People call people they don’t even speak to in person their friends, when they probably wouldn’t even talk if it weren’t for social media. The idea of contacting people without having to see them in person has changed the idea that we have of friendship, which begs the question:  has the idea of true friendship been lost?

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