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on friendship

One of the things i've learnt in the past year (mostly because of co-workers), is that you can disagree, argue, yell at each other over a conflict, but still be friends, go hang out and have a beer...  especially if the conflict is relatively minor and was most likely a communication mismatch.

This was actually a big revelation to me. Because in the beginning I would take people's arguments personally, even though it was about work, and cut them off from my "friendship" realm.

But I've realized as I grow older, that it was stupid. A friendship is not worth losing over one single incident of argument, especially if it was over some minor thing, which was most likely a communication issue. You can be friends with someone, and occasionally get into a huge argument. In fact, anyone in a long term relationship will most likely relate.

I've told this to some older people, and they've nodded and said, "you're starting to mature". So when I find myself at the receiving end of someone getting mad at me over a silly argument, and then cutting off friendship ties, I'm a bit surprised. Rather ironical too.


Another thing to note: since I don't really have strong family ties.. the really close friends that I do have, I treasure them and cherish them.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
The worst is when people take non-personal things and choose to make them personal. You can be best friends and have differences of opinions and that doesn't mean you think less of the other person or whatnot. If you can avoid that, then I'd say you are more mature than most people.
Jun. 16th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Yes.. and I'm not very good at diplomacy. In the heat of the moment, I argue passionately about whatever it is we're arguing about. How do I convey afterwards that I did it without intention of harming the actual relationship.. just the logic behind the argument?

It's hard. This.. talking to people thing :) and friendships, and relationships.
Jun. 18th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
Depends on the people
It depends on the people. Some people are genuinenly unaccustomed to the idea of rational debate. Where *opinions* and *arguments* don't automatically map to person.

So, they'll think that if you critizise a particular *argument* of theirs, that you're critisizing *them* as persons. Which isn't the same thing at all really. Opinions even more so.

I agree on the maturity thing. As you grow older you discover that you don't, as an actual fact, need to agree on everything to be friends. Not even to be a happy couple does one need to agree on everything. I even think a healthy level of disagreement is better than always walking in lockstep, you *need* someone to challenge you. Noone is always rigth, and who better to challenge you when you're being wrong than someone that loves you ?

There are tons of things where me and you are totally of a different opinion. Never disturbed me in the least.

Certain basic opinions though, can be important enough to you that it's hard to keep a friendship with someone that really genuinely doesn't share them. The opinion can be more important than the friendship. I have a hard time with people who are *missionary* religious (as in have a strong urge which they're unable and/or unwilling to curb to convince others that their particular pet religion is the only "true" one), people who lacks respect for free speech and people who expects respect for authorities "just because" as opposed to when and if it makes sense and/or the authority in question has earned it.

Jun. 18th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Depends on the people
well said.

I agree sometimes there are fundemental things... but it's amazing how you can still be friends regardless of that.. especially if you had become friends.. before the ideological differences arise. For ex, a lot of liberals in this country have really conservative parents. But people still stay a family, because families shouldn't tear apart based on political believes.

Otoh, if the issue is strong enough, it does tear it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )