What is a friendship?
– FRIENDSHIP –
Friends play an important part in our lives, and although we may take the fact of friendship for granted, we often don’t clearly understand how we make friends. While we get on well with a number of people, we are usually friends with only a very few – for example, the average among students is about 6 per person. Moreover, a great many relationships come under the term ‘friendship’.
In all cases, two peopie like one another and enjoy being together. However, the degree of closeness between them and the reasons for their mutual interest vary greatly. In other words, there are many reasons for why two people share the same interest in each other. At the very beginning, much depends on how people meet and on positive first impressions. As we get to know peopie, we take into consideration things like age, physical attractiveness, economic and social status and intelligence.
Although these factors may not seem very important, it is difficult to be friends when there is a big age difference or when the backgrounds are different. As we get closer, we become interested in actual behaviour, facial expression and tone of voice. Friends will stand closer together and will spend more time looking at each other than people who just know each other.
Smiles and soft voices also express friendliness. It is because they may send out the wrong signals that shy people often have difficulty in making friends. To illustrate, their nervousness may be mistaken for unfriendliness. People who do not look at the eyes of those they are speaking to are not trusted.
However, those people may simply lack confidence. Some relationships become stronger with argument and discussion, but usually intimate friends have similar ideas and beliefs and share the same attitudes and interests. Although some people become close friends immediately, it usually takes time to reach this point.
The more intimate people become, the more they rely on one another. People want to do friends favours and hate to disappoint them. There are no friendship ceremonies but the support and understanding that results from shared experiences and feelings seems to create a powerful relationship which can overcome differences in background and age.
A. Find the meanings of the words.
1. ‘mutual interest’ (line 9): the interest which
2. ‘intimate’ (line 27):
B. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).
1. The reasons behind friendship are clearly understood.
2. Many relationships can be classified as friendship.
3. Two people who like each other and being together always become very close friends.
4. People who just know each other look at each other more than good friends do.
5. People who are not self-confident may not be able to look at a person’s eyes.
6. Argument and discussion help some relationships to get better.
1. What determines whether we want to be friends with someone before we know him?
2. Why are actual behaviour, facial expression and tone of voice important in friendship?
3. Which two differences between people are likely to prevent friendship?
4. Write four characteristics of an intimate friendship.
5. What two things seem to create a powerful relationship?