Wise takes on friendship

Wise takes on friendship

Oscar Wilde

Another Friendship Day is upon us and social media is filled with saccharine quotes about friends and what they do for your soul.

This is also a good time to reflect on what it means when your pals are less-than-loveable; when they are not the near-perfect beings you imagined them to be. If Bertrand Russell, the British mathematician and philosopher, says, ‘Hating enemies is easier and funnier than loving friends’, there must be something to it.

Metrolife turns to literature and history for help on how to navigate the tides of friendship.

Don’t forget to talk

“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation,” says Oscar Wilde, and we can’t stress this enough. It is easy to send a WhatsApp message or tag your friend in a meme on Facebook but make that effort and meet in person once in a while.

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for,” Bob Marley, who famously sang Don’t worry be happy, says.

* Call and make up

Friends are humans and may end up disappointing you but think of all the times they were there for you. If you have had a fallout, call and say sorry. Make up. Here’s Socrates’ advice: “Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.” Don’t be a yes person. Point out flaws and make friends better; they will thank you later.

J K Rowling summed it up beautifully in her ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’: “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Lend an ear

“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love,” Jane Austen says in ‘Northanger Abbey’. Lend your ears and shoulders to friends going through tough times. Be patient and don’t make the conversation about yourself in a similar situation. Let them vent— you may be their last resort in a sea of seeming hopelessness. As Virginia Woolf says, “Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.”

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