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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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