Choosing friends

There are certain things in my life - important decisions, distressing experiences, news that left me confused when I learned about them - which I need to talk about with a friend. That's important; I would find it much harder if that wouldn't be open to me.

In different respects I seek the advice of different persons, however. When unsure whether I should look for a new job, or generally when pondering career moves, I ask other persons than those who I talk to about concerns over my relationships; some people's philosophical advice matters to me; but from others I usually don't expect or ask for an opinion there. (And conversely, I find that my friends tend to discuss some of their interests with me, but not others.)

It seems to be naturally so with friendship (and not only with such aspects of friendship as giving comfort or advice, but also with others: helping each other out, promoting a friend's interest in their absence, making some effort to stay in touch through periods of geographical separation). Perhaps you are unusually lucky to have a single friend who can play all these roles for you - this would be a border case. (And do you think that this friend can see all these reciprocated in what you are able to give? If not, you should count yourself squarely lucky.)

Investing trust in different people in different situations displays some judgment, I think. Imagine someone who talks to the next best person whenever something comes up. Unless all of them are truly universally capable to help, that's bound to produce some frustration. The opposite extreme is not better of course: generally seeking no one's advice except from those who are a hundred per cent qualified for exactly that situation and that sort of help that you need. This will only lead in many situations to leaving no option at all. Take care.
Copyright © 2007-2012 by Leif Frenzel. All rights reserved.