A Friendly Question

Is it possible to be everyone’s friend without sacrificing yourself in the bargain?

Discuss.

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14 Responses

  1. No! You cannot be everything to everybody or else you become nothing. We all have our own principles, beliefs, likes and dislikes. That will not jive with everybody. The best one can do is try not to develop enemies. But there will be people who don’t like us for who we are or for what we stand for.

  2. No … for the reasons above … plus you are unique , how can you divide yourself into believeing something you don’t. Everyone is different they can be users who hang on knowing what ever they wish you will try to make it happen , even if this compromises your own intergrety(sp). One becomes “walked upon ” as a door mat. Your head must be in a swirl just to figure out all the time how to please … I wish I was better with words , I do know how it feels trying to make everyone your friend / happy … One expends too much energy in the end and burns out and may even begin to resent the very people you compromised for . You do lose yourself and it takes alot to find yourself again. Be strong even if it hurts you or someone else . Better to know then go crazy trying to be it all …
    I hope some of this makes sense . Find yourself and your beliefs and live by them as best you can . Be true to you and you will be true to those around you and the effort is like a feather that floats in the wind , rather then a cement block dragging you under water ….. It’s hard …………

  3. I think you can be kind and fair to everyone, but everyone can not be your friend. A friend is someone you can count on, not just an aquaintance.

    That word gets trown around too easily. “This is my friend Joe” “A friend of mine said” etc. In the past you could say things like “An aquaintance of mine…” but now everyone would just laugh at you.

    Can you be friendly to everyone, we can try but not everyone will allow you to be. Afterall, even Ghandi had enemies.

  4. Oops
    Anonymous is Callis
    Sorry

  5. You and I had a discussion last week (though you weren’t entirely clear on the reasons for my being upset), about this very topic.

    And, based on the talk we had and the conclusions reached, I say: no. It’s impossible to be friends with all without sacrificing yourself.

  6. I suppose it all depends on what your definition of sacrifice is, and whether or not you are really “losing” part of yourself when you are “friends with everyone”. The biggest trick would be maintaining a level of friendship that doesn’t tilt you off balance into hypocrisy.

    -jules

  7. The definition of a friend should be someone you could count on, but more often than not this isn’t the case. Who knows what the true definition of a “friend” is, or at least how people percieve friendship to be now.

    I think maybe you could be a friend to everyone without losing yourself – but this doesn’t guarantee that they will be friends back.

    I don’t think a friend is someone who will sacrifice their own individuality, someone who will be there to say “yes” all the time. You can be a friend to everyone simply by being a kind, honest person (if that’s what the definition of a friend is – someone who is supportive and there when you need them), which doesn’t necessarily have to come at a cost to your own individual self.

  8. a) I think you can be “a friend” to someone, but this does not imply that *they* will consider you to be one of their friends. By this I mean that you can only treat them as you yourself believe one of your friends should be treated. Since their reactions, thoughts and opinions in response to this are out of your control, the meaning of the question becomes “can you treat everyone as a friend without sacrificing yourself in doing so?”

    b) Let’s look at the first part of the statement: it’s not obvious to me that you can “treat everyone as a friend” and even be consistent in doing so. Sometimes people’s interests diverge, and it’s conceivable that this may happen in such a way that you are forced to violate the treat-as-friend condition for one or more of them … I’m not suggesting any particular counterexample at this time, since none jumps to mind, but only wondering if your added question about self-sacrifice may be beside the point (and, maybe, even a bit self-centered? I’m only saying, is all: no point in agonizing about sacrificing yourself if it’s not possible to be a friend to everyone anyway).

    c) So let’s assume that you *can* “treat everyone as a friend”. Can you do this without sacrificing yourself? I would say, certainly you can: I wouldn’t want to treat any of my friends in a way that involves sacrificing myself. I don’t think that’s a condition of friendship. Certainly I do not treat my friends in such a way, nor expect them to treat me in a way so as to require them to sacrifice themselves. So, assuming that it’s possible to treat everyone as a friend in the first place, I don’t see why sacrificing yourself would have anything to do with it.

    Think of it this way: if you agree with what I’m saying about sacrifice not being requisite for friendship, then include yourself in the “everyone” (as you should do, anyway). Then it’s either *not* possible to “treat everyone (including yourself, now) as a friend” *at all*, in which case see part b, or else it is possible to do so without sacrificing yourself in the process.

    d) I think a much more important question is, would you want to?

    There are some people that I don’t want to treat as if they were my friend. I think this is a good thing, personally. If friendship is your most important principle, then I can see that you might want to do this. But in this case, friendship for you is a part of “doing what’s right”. Otherwise, you need to consider your personal priorities … and remember that these will change and evolve over the course of your life. What was right for you to do today may not be right for you to do in the future.

    So, if there is a concrete case to which this “pondering” applies, then the important question is, “can you treat everyone involved, *including yourself*, as a friend, and still be consistent with your most important principles?” If you can do so, then you’re set. But if not, you have to weigh your priorities to figure out what is the right course of action.

    I admit to being curious how this differs from the conclusions reached in your conversation with Klely.

  9. Unequivocally, no.

  10. A friend accepts who you are, and therefore there is no need for you to give up some part of you. People often try to be pleasers in which case they lose some of themselves in doing so. We can compromise without giving up on our ideals. Some people are never going to mesh, no matter how hard they try.

    Being friendly and a friend are two very different things. When someone asks you How you are doing, a friendly person will want to hear “Good”, however a friend will actually sit and listen to your real feelings.

  11. I think it’s a good thing to be nice to everyone, but I don’t want to be everyone’s friend. And I don’t need everyone to be my friend. not to be harsh, but there’s my two sentences.

  12. You have suddenly found a path to wisdom.

  13. I suspect you know the answer. What I wonder is, where did this question come from, that suddenly disturbs your calm?

  14. That’s a really good question.
    Friendships come in all shapes and contexts…
    I suppose it’s all about how far you’re willing to go to maintain your friendships.

    Never forget, they are a two way street. If you can really call someone your friend, would they require any sort of personal sacrifice on your part?

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