Friendships. FIRST DRAFT – uncompleted.

I’ve been stuck on this for a while but thought I’d post it anyway, knowing that people can read it uncompleted might push me to improve and finish it.

Friendship. This is a vague topic to discuss in psychology, I think you need to understand conformity, social perception and personality etc to have an decent insight about the bonds between one person and another. However, I’m not just going to write about friendship alone, I’m focusing on limitations, drawbacks and preference. Again, I write vaguely. By ‘limitations’ I mean when in a particular persons company you literally feel or become limited in the sense that you feel unable to express thoughts, behaviour and ‘be yourself’. By ‘drawbacks’ I’m almost referring to the former, as they have a close link. Being limited in a ‘friends’ company is a drawback, only drawbacks go further than the feeling that you need to change yourself to satisfy or maintain the happiness of others. And the latter, which also links with the first two topics is characteristics that you prefer.

The three main topics that I’ve chosen to focus on all determine how much you like a person whether you consider them a friend or not is actually irrelevant. A lot of people have at least one friend or acquaintance that they would happily avoid unless they want something. Yet such people can still be considered friends. Why? Once it’s been addressed it seems unnecessary to know them at all. Mostly we continue to socialise with them out of pity, selfishness or possibly fear. Some people haven’t purposely made us feel this reluctance of their company and are perhaps entirely unaware of our lack of enthusiasm towards their friendship and in reality we’d actually rather discontinue to socialise with them. To generalise, some of the answers for this are the id, ego and super-ego. Since learning more about each I’ve become conscious of a lot about how the mind works. The id is basic human instinct, the id wants to survive, wants to be safe and happy, therefore the ids role would enable us to feel fear if a person puts us in danger. The id is selfish and would respond negatively to anything that it doesn’t enjoy. The ego is realistic and guides the id to be more rational, it would know that we need friends and that perhaps they’re not perfect but at least it’s someone to talk to. Most people have such a strong desire for affiliation which seems selfish, but the id would react harshly to people that we don’t have any desire to be friends with. However it’s the super-ego that has the largest role in maintaining friendships that we consider to be limiting , put us in tough situations or merely bore us. Basically, the super-ego would enhance our kindness towards others that don’t deserve it. Going back to why we continue to associate with people who are irritating or too different from ourselves; there are many others reasons, from my own experiences I don’t always enjoy their company and we have little in common but I enjoy the idea of having them as a friend. Some people make us feel limited and others don’t. I think people have to be compatible to fully enjoy their friendship. Having common interests is of high importance, if you have a friend who doesn’t have similar opinions, music/film preference as yourself, it creates passive-aggression towards them, because we like people to agree with us and approve of our thoughts. We need to be understood but we also need to understand. If I watch a film with a friend and we both have opposite opinions of it, I’ll be automatically annoyed at him/her. Because I can’t understand how they have a different opinion to me, it’s almost unacceptable. It’s obvious that the quality of friendships differ depending on how similar they are to us.

People are selfish beings, even when they feel fond, infatuated or are in love, almost every gesture, thought and most behaviour is an attempt at self-gain. When in a relationship people always express there feelings which is mistaken for selflessness and kindness, when in reality, they’re nice because they need that person, for themselves, not for the benefits for the person whom they love. This is the same for friendships. Self-gain.

(Cont. Limitations, drawbacks and preference- elaborate)

There are different types of friendships. Some friends you feel comfortable with and you can tell them almost anything, others you trust to a certain extent yet you feel reluctant to have more personal conversations with, even though they give you no reason to feel this way. I think this is because we’re somehow conscious of how the conversation would make them react and we don’t want conflict or confrontations because despite personal characteristics, keeping many friends for a long period of time conveys ourselves as interesting and decent people.

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