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Friends, companions, comrades; these are people in our lives we may constantly overlook but the International Day of Friendship or International Friendship day, 30th July does not. The celebration of this day has been restricted this year due to the ongoing pandemic but this does not stop us from appreciating the members of our respective circles in whatever way we can.

If we’re lucky enough to have friends, it is also likely that we haven’t taken the time to think about how these friendships are formed. There are many underlying factors that influence our decisions concerning who we naturally or intentionally drift towards in search of companionship. These factors are also frequently the cause of certain squabbles.

We choose what helps us;

People who ‘give’ us something(s) that we want and/or need are one of the first people we choose as friends. This could range from money and opportunities to emotional support and a good time; as long as we feel an association is going to be useful, we are likely to pursue it further. A friendship based on this can experience issues in the event that people are seen as nothing more than resources.

We choose what we can help;

Whether it is due to a people-pleasing nature or just a compassionate tendency toward the helpless, a lot of people make friends with those in need. This is a wonderful thing which can turn toxic when we begin to think that we must be ‘needed’ to be loved.

We choose what we want to be;

People who inspire us to be better people can be very attractive. Traits such as patience, kindness or self-control can make certain people stand out, especially if we do not possess those traits. However, this could lead to resentment if we are insecure enough to view our friendship as a reinforcement of a negative self-image.

We choose what we are;

People, especially adolescents struggle with fitting into society and accepting who they are. Finding someone similar to us can allow us feel more comfortable in our own skin. Shared flaws, interests and struggles have a way of connecting individuals to one another. However, people are always evolving; a friendship based on this could come across issues when some of these interests are no longer shared. It eventually seems as though one person has outgrown the other, or that both have outgrown the friendship.

We choose what we are not;

Sometimes we find ourselves in a close bond with someone we have barely anything in common with, this is the genesis of the saying “opposites attract”. Being around people who share all of our feelings, thoughts and opinions can not only be boring, but can be a sign of self-absorption. It is very important for us to form friendships with people that broaden our horizons, and the subconscious friendship-forming part of us knows that. Friendships like these face stumbling blocks in situations when one friend tries to either subtly or forcibly change the other.

In conclusion, two comraderies can have similar problems but when we face these problems, it is vital to take a step back and evaluate the friendship’s foundation and (foundational issues) before taking action. 

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