another thought on friendship

i appreciate the dialogue i get to have with people about friendship.   i learn a lot.   much of it challenges me to think more deeply about what i believe and what i expect from friendship.

humanly speaking,  we only have so much room in our lives for friends.   there is a saturation point.   there is only so much of ourselves to go around.   we are not bottomless pits  (unless it involves food…).

it’s important to draw a distinction between mutual friendships and lop-sided friendships.

mutual friendship is where we give and receive equally.   it’s where i get just as much from you as you get from me.   we may not receive the same things from each other…but we are definitely in each other’s lives for specific and purposeful reasons.

lop-sided friendships are not bad friendships.   they are just different.   they are those relationships we have where you are giving more to me…or i am giving more to you. these friendships may be for a season.   or they may be for a lifetime.   sometimes we have control over them.   sometimes they are out of our hands.

there will always come a time when you have too many lop-sided friendships than you can handle.

and there will never be a time that you have enough mutual friendships.

agree or disagree?

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3 thoughts on “another thought on friendship

  1. That’s a really interesting question. I think I disagree, because there will be a point where you just don’t have any more time to give, thus preventing it from being a mutual friendship. I also think that there is an emotional and relational saturation point for every person. For some people that’s less than for others. Everybody’s different. But I would definitely say that it is possible to have so many good friendships that they cease to be good.

  2. I agree with you 100% you can get very saturated in a hurry with too many lop-sided friends. Hearing a “friend’s” problem or woes or help them move or get a job every time we get together would make me want to jump off a building. Yes, that type of relationship I would not consider a friendship. You are just being very friendly. I like the definition acquaintance better to describe lop-sided friends.
    This is a weird subject for me for some reason. And I can’t quite put my finger on why.
    Maybe it’s because I have what I believe to be several friends that shout out on this blog. I can’t put them in the lop-sided or acquaintance category, but I also can’t give them the best friend status either(wife). So maybe they are my friends.

  3. hey…make no mistake, we all end up on the “lop-side” of lop-sided friendships. there have been many times in my life that i had nothing to offer and deeply needed to “receive” and not just give. it’s part of life. no one is exempt…except people who think they are above their own humanity…or play god in their own lives.

    moving from acquaintance to lop-sided to mutual friends is the journey of a lifetime. and having friendships with the depth to become mutually lop-sided is what we all need.

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