What are the friendship benefits?
When we look among the different human relationships, the relationship that would best bring two individuals together, beyond the constraints of time and space, and without any material interest, we would find nothing better than friendship.
Ask the problem:
This relationship, which seems prima facie on board charged with positive connotations, is not without raising the debate on the merits of its values, and those who dispute it are part of this very humanity where it flourishes. What then, between the values sung by friends, and the objections of those who reject them?
Announce the plan:
To define the question of friendship, we will give ourselves to an inventory, where we will define first of all, friendship, then we will invoke the advantages of this relationship, then we will review the disadvantages that can underpin such a relationship, and finally, we will take stock of the situation.
History of the friendship:
Friendship has always existed. Man being a sociable being, he always needed to have company. This company is available in several kinds. It can be the bond of marriage, that of fraternity, that of mutual aid, or that of domination to name a few. But among all these relationships between men, the one that remains elusive is that of friendship. Why would it be elusive? To answer this question, it can be argued that it is because friendship differs from all the links already cited in that it is not based on clear and defined principles as in other relationships between men.
Attempts to define friendship clearly date back to the time when man tried to explain all the phenomena and mysteries of the universe, including the nature of man himself. If we are interested in ancient Greece, Aristotle distinguished three kinds of friendship: friendship which unites around pleasure and which characterizes young people; that which is centered on interest, that which is peculiar to old people, and finally friendship, the aim of which is virtue. For him, the latter is genuine friendship. Friendship is an essential condition for virtue.
In the same sense of this friendship of virtue, we can cite, some four centuries later, the example of the apostles of Jesus, or even six centuries after Jesus, the exemplary friendship of the Companions of Prophet Mohamed, the Sahaba, and headed by his faithful close friend, Abu Bakr Essedik.
We will content ourselves, in this reminder, with these famous eloquent examples of this friendship of virtue, which seems to be the most sought after.
However, the friendship that connects people finds its expression in the three categories already mentioned, and takes on different manifestations with all the beneficial contributions with which it is charged and despite all the negative aspects that it can engender.
I- The advantages of friendship
a- Between young people
From the childhood period, a relationship between the little ones already begins to emerge, which will later become friendship. Indeed, the need for someone to play with gives birth to a child that complicity which is characteristic of friendship. It can be argued that between brothers there is an outline of this kind of relationship, but the difference in age which necessarily results between the brothers, makes the elder feel a kind of moral authority in front of his younger brother. The presence of parents, the sole and even socio-cultural referent carrying the same educational values, constitutes an obstacle to the development of this natural and spontaneous affinity which attracts a child to another child from a family environment. Indeed, the sense of responsibility of the elder towards his cadet, on the one hand, added to the desire for difference, independence, and self-assertion of the cadet in front of his elder, on the other, confines their relationship in the stage of fraternity, the most harmonious that is, in the best of cases, without switching to friendship. We cannot be categorical about this, because there are cases where the brothers become friends, but in this state of affairs, they consequently lose their status as brothers.
In reality, it is on the school bench that the first bonds of friendship begin to be forged. We are indeed witnessing this phenomenon of attraction of children, towards each other, according to their characters, their temperaments, their tastes, their concerns, their phobias, and sometimes also their physical similarities. The same socio-cultural background should not be dismissed in these considerations.
These friendships are formed at all school levels, guaranteeing children a kind of security, which strengthens their self-confidence, and allows them to face the crowd, to be able to evolve and progress there. Indeed, a friend is an essential support for a child, or a young person who is looking for and finding a place in the world, facing others whether they are the same age or adults, but also facing to his own. This confidence stems from the solidarity that arises between friends, from the fact that they instinctively accept themselves in their resemblances and in their differences, without judging themselves, without feeling obliged to refer to a third person, who can define nature of their reports. Their mutual agreement guarantees their social balance and promotes their interaction with the group.
Friendship with the other sex gives rise to a balance in the personality of the child, who is enriched by the specifics of the opposite sex. This acts as a factor that promotes early awareness of different social roles.
These childhood friendships also constitute a solid link to the past and a kind of framework for the individual history of people. Many of them experience durability that extends into adulthood. How many people are proud to present a friend, with this rewarding qualifier of “childhood friend”, as being synonymous with “true friend”.
b- Between men
Friendship between adults is essential in a person’s balance with society. Whether it is the continuity of what was able to weave in youth as it is often the case, or fruit of the meetings of adulthood, in the different environments where people meet, namely work, different clubs, cafes, trips, neighborhood, places of worship, parties and various other occasional circumstances, friendship remains this value that cements relationships between individuals, beyond personal interests. It provides moral support, and promotes personal development, far from the concerns of everyday life. It is a response to this emotional need that the individual seeks, as a catalyst for other social relationships that link him to his own. Indeed, the individual feels helpless in front of the various fluctuating manifestations of the affection of parents, brothers and children, the love of the spouse, the social respect of colleagues, neighbors and relatives. Friendship, which is devoid of any obligation, if it is not itself, provides this counterweight which allows the individual to take account of things. Thanks to her, he can escape this feeling of social and moral obligation in which the failure or the success of other social relationships are enclosed.
A friend, is there first of all to welcome with open arms, without any constraint, in a tranquility of the soul which favors the outpouring of the self and ready for confidences. An ear that listens and a heart that understands, without prejudice, without ulterior motives, without interest, without barriers, without limits, constitute a moral support of exhaustible wealth where man comes to recharge his batteries each time he escapes to the whirlwinds of life.
It should be noted, however, that even though there has been so much talk about friendship without interest, no one can help without restraint or apprehension than a friend. Indeed, experience has shown that using friends to borrow money, or the car, or even to stay, or spend a stay, or just eat, is a thousand times better than asking a member of the family. The absolute trust and unconditional respect that characterizes friendship between adults encourage and facilitate mutual aid and solidarity, which are often mistakenly considered as signs of inferiority between family members.
c- Between women
If friendship between women is something that goes without saying, it is because they have always suffered from confinement within the house, from isolation, from loneliness in a universe governed by men.
If we raised this difficulty of the brothers to be friends, it is not the same for the sisters. Indeed, girls easily form relationships of complicity and mutual aid in the face of adult adversity, and when we talk about sorority, it is precisely to qualify this link different from fraternity, and which characterizes the relationship between girls. They are sisters certainly as boys are brothers, but in addition they are friends, and share everything that brings friends together.
Women need friendship more than men. Their friendship is a kind of feminine solidarity towards both women and men. Their relationships are very strong, even if they are marked with a kind of inconsistency, in terms of sustainability. In fact, unlike a man, a woman experiences periods when friendship passes in the background, and does not reappear until these periods have passed. For example, before marriage, the girl needs a friend; she’s her main confidant, and her support when she has marriage plans. The choice of the future husband being often subject of discussion and decision of the parents, especially in the conservative societies, the friend constitutes the first support of the future bride. But after marriage, the woman focuses on her new life and stops needing friends. Many friendships have finally faded after the marriage of one of the two friends. This is also the case when she has children, and when they are of marriage age. But after each of these periods, she feels the need for friendship.
II- The disadvantages of friendship
Friendship is a complex relationship that induces interactions between the individuals who live it. If it has positive sides, it also has disadvantages.
a- Between young people
The personality of young people is fragile as it is still being forged. The influence they experience in their relationships with their friends is sometimes harmful. The complicity which is established between friends instinctively leads them to appreciate each other, to find echoes of their tendencies, and to act accordingly.
It is not for nothing that Aristotle specified the friendship of youth of that of pleasures. In fact, young people when they come together seek above all to have fun. Lack of serious education leads them to often dangerous or immoral activities. Abandoned to their fantasies, they can become delinquents, and commit wrongdoing. Indeed, The cigarette is the first of the dangerous games which children engage in. Drugs, alcoholism, petty theft, and voyourism will follow. Violence will find the fertile ground to germinate, and ultimately society will be distraught in front of young criminals, certainly minors, but whose crimes have nothing to envy those of the big criminals.
We can also cite, the bad tendencies that a young person can undergo, quite simply because his friend is a victim. Homosexuality, shyness, closeness, atheism or fundamentalism are all phenomena that contaminate through the influence of friends.
Finally, it can be stressed that the relation to the other sex can become problematic. Either there is an excessive interest in the other, hence an imbalance in the personality, or there is rejection and therefore confinement and often sexual perversions.
b- Between men
Friendship between men can be problematic, especially for married men. Indeed, a married man who continues to see friends frequently, is not without taking on the time he must devote to his own. The cafes that are always full every night and at weekends, especially those in the neighborhood, are the daily meeting places for so many married men, who neglect their children and their wives.
The children are left to fend for themselves, or in the care of the mother who no longer knows where to turn, between household and children, she ends up letting go, and resents her husband who leaves her alone facing so many The time that children spend watching TV or on the street has a negative impact on their education and their children’s academic performance suffers.
On the other hand, these men waste money unnecessarily, return home tired and smelling of cigarettes. Besides, their dependence on smoke by inhalation is fatal even if they do not smoke. In addition, their relationship with their own becomes artificial, and boring compared to the friendly atmosphere they leave behind in cafes. Their marriages ultimately fail, and in many cases they are doomed to divorce.
Finally, let’s mention that young people who have a friendship with negative influence, and who continue to maintain it in adulthood, become drunkards who frequent bars, or thugs who terrorize society.
c- Between women
We are now going to risk stepping into the thorny terrain of feminine nature, without risking too much, to try to unravel a little bit the complexity of relationships between women, in their negative aspects.
Friendship between women can be destructive, in the event that they band together to harm others. Relationships between women often revolve around social problems. The feeling of hatred and the spirit of revenge that animate an injured woman find echoes in her friends. These amplify him and incite him to act accordingly. Women’s solidarity in these circumstances is foolproof.
It should also be added that the relationship between women, how strong it is, is so fragile. In some cases, the success of one provokes jealousy of others, which poisons the relationship and condemns it to failure, and sometimes the negative reactions that result from it are fraught with consequences.
Let us also mention the case of the influence of a girl of light customs, and who involves her friend in her immoral acts. Seeking in her an accomplice and a support, she corrupts her, without sometimes being aware of it, as the need for confidences is imperative and her power infallible.
Friendship against all odds Friendship is one of the strongest relationships that can bring men together. Its strength lies in its selfless and unconditional nature. We do not choose to be friends, we are by force of necessity, by instinct, in response to an imperative need to be in communion with others.
For young people, friendship is essential. Relations between brothers cannot be enough if the family is large, which is increasingly rare. Indeed, one cannot choose a brother or a sister. They are there and it is the relationship with the parents that determines the nature of the relationships between brothers, between sisters, and between brother and sisters. While friendship offers the child the opportunity to develop far from the brothers’ ancestors and to prove that his difference is an advantage.
Of course, there are risks of children contracting their friends’ faults, or of seeing their faults worsen, but the role of parents, educators, elders and society in general is to supervise , to accompany and monitor the relationships of children and young people.
Concerning adults, friendship is also essential in their relationships with others. They just need to know how to balance family and friends. There is no need to see a friend every day. A reasonable investment in daily tasks and family relationships prevents adults from falling into a relationship that takes up all their free time, keeps them away from their own and deprives them of opportunities to have other beneficial hobbies. Thus, a meeting once a week, or even a month, is more than enough to reconnect with friends, and meet this temperate need to see the other. This is all the more true since friendship is a lasting state, far from time and space. Just because you don’t see yourself doesn’t mean you stop being friends.
For women, despite the issues raised, friendship is vital. It is thanks to her that they face adversity. What we have raised for men is also valid for women with regard to the right balance to be sought. However, it can be added that women’s relationships live to the rhythm of their moods. They dedicate themselves without restraint to nurturing their friendships, but often they experience periods of quarrels, misunderstandings, separations, but which end in reconciliations, when when men separate, it is generally the final rupture.
Finally, modern life offers the advantage of being able to live friendship thanks to net technology. Admittedly, there too there are measures to be taken not to abuse, but the fact of being able to continue to contact friends, or to make new friendships without moving in the first case, and without sometimes meeting in the second case , is a wonderful way to satisfy this human need whose need is no longer in doubt.
Friendship has more advantages than disadvantages. It is essential to man in all periods of his life. If it can really be broken down into these three manifestations, according to Aristotle’s vision, the fact remains that the ideal is to strike the right balance between these three declensions, because all three are vital. When a man is in a state of joy and festivity, he feels the need to share his happiness with friends. And when he needs help, or wants to do business, or needs money, there is nothing better than a friend to answer him. Finally, virtue, with its positive values, in the form of advice, proposals, appreciation of merits, emanates better than from the heart and mind of a friend.
Reminder of the problem
Friendship, as we have seen, is essential to the lives of men. Its contributions improve the personality of the individual. But Its negative points are not to be overlooked. So we have tried, in this work, to answer this problem of the advantages and disadvantages of friendship.
Friendship between the two sexes is difficult to achieve. Often, when it succeeds, it gives rise to a sort of neutralization of sexual differences. Either the girl behaves like a boy, or the boy becomes feminized. And this friendship is limited to the period before the marriage of one of the two friends.
However, a balanced friendship can arise in the context of work between colleagues. But stay in the workplace. The weight of social values prevents encounters elsewhere. It is indeed inconceivable that one of the two spouses should go to have coffee with a colleague-friend of the opposite sex.
Is a virtual friendship between the two sexes when it is balanced and respectful, not the right solution to take advantage of the difference and the richness of the opposite sex?