Psychological Self-Help

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friendship is not just a matter of doing whatever comes naturally, as
many people would like to believe. It requires many complex but
learnable skills. Thus, finding, making, and keeping a good friend
involves knowledge (working to learn many skills) and effort applying
the skills. 
One friend in life is much, two are many, and three hardly possible.
-Henry Adams
What characterizes a close, meaningful relationship? Friends (1)
spend time together, almost every day. (2) They interact freely, easily,
and honestly. They feel safe enough to "be themselves," sharing their
private feelings and experiences, both their successes and their
failures. (3) To last, both must get more satisfaction than hassle from
the relationship. Both must feel they are getting a fair deal. Both must
strive to make the other happy. (4) There is a code of ethics between
friends based on loyalty and trust. Friends are tolerant of and devoted
to each other; they are fair, emotionally supportive, and willing to help
whenever needed. Innumerable writers have described friendships
(Flanders, 1976), especially among women (Eichenbaum & Orbach,
1988; Pogrebin, 1987; Rubin, 1985). To build a friendship, one needs
time, the freedom to be oneself, consideration for the other person,
and many skills. Let's look at some of the skills. 
Finding and making friends
Where are friends found? Wherever we spend time--near home, in
our classes, at work, in sports or other activities. What kind of people
do we tend to select as friends or as boy/girlfriends? Generally,
persons similar to ourselves, i.e. similar interests, values, and
attitudes; otherwise, we wouldn't enjoy being with them and they
wouldn't provide us emotional support. We don't ordinarily chose
friends to expand our minds. Of course, if we are looking for a
boy/girlfriend, we also consider their appeal to us, both physically and
personality-wise, and try to get as attractive a partner as we can. A
major part of making friends is having the courage and skill to start a
conversation and invite him/her to do something with you. Broder
(1988) offers many suggestions for enjoying the single life. We
shouldn't be too desperate to find a friend. See assertiveness, social
skills, and role-playing in chapter 13. 
Since many people today postpone marriage until their late 20's,
these people have time to develop a network of close friends over a
period of years. Often friends replace family in many singles' lives.
These long-term friends are no longer dropped as soon as we get
married. Besides, we have learned that one person, no matter how
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