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Ask HN: Do you have much friends in real life? How do you define friendship?
5 points by samh748 2 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 4 comments
To be completely honest I'd have a hard time calling any of the people I know in real life my "friends". It's just never been a useful construct for me.

How do you define friendship? Do you have much friends in real life? What about online?

One day well into my 50's, I realized being a friend is what matters.

It's the only thing I have control of.

My working definition is "what would I do if I was a friend?"

Then I consider doing that.

Being a friend is valuing people as friends.

That means making them feel valued.

It means putting up with their human failings.

The point is putting in the effort.


Part of this is that my 189 Facebook friends are friends.

Those relationships of course are across a spectrum of intimacy and fondness. Some are people who I like to hang out with. Some are people that I never will outside a funeral or high school reunion.

Approximately, they are people above the happy-birthday and sad-your-dog-died thresholds. Though, yes, there are people whose online behaviors are unacceptable and that's why it's only 189 friends.

Good luck.

As I got old it seems to me that "friend" is too binary, and I stopped categorizing people that way since that builds expectations that could lead to frustration. There's even people I used to have fun with but I can't anymore because that would hurt my marriage, for example.

So I don't have friends, but people that I "know", to which I can talk, that might help me or I could help them without expecting anything back.

If I can easily consider my friend's house as a place to sleep a night when I need it as well as I do with my relative's houses while travelling - that is one of crucial signs. Another one is similar hobbies when we are helping each other - this sign might be useful even for online friends you have not seen offline. If one of signs is true - this is my friend; both true - this is my best friend.

/many/ as friends is countable

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