December 2017
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what is your idea of a decent friend and what would your ideal friend be like?

tell me please:
1) what is your baseline for what makes a friend, and
2) what would your ideal close friend be like?

answer specific to you! Not what you think would be good in general, but what would be 1) minimum acceptable and 2) maximum desirable for YOU.


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flirting ══╣╠══
1. The baseline for a friend for me is someone that has a bit in common with me, and also a mutual respect towards each other. Also, someone that I can talk with on a occasional basis as well about whatever comes up based upon how well we know each other and all.
2. I have a ideal close friend, and that ideal close friend is very trustworthy and reliable. Also, communicates well with me on everything. Doesn't hide anything, and is open with me about everything and anything. Also, has a lot more in common with me than just a acquaintance or a good friend. Also, someone that is willing to listen and vice versa.
elven_ranger ══╣╠══
A freiend is someone who ideally but not nseeicarily shares interested, but is someone whom you enjoy hanging around with, and doing things with.
They should be 100% trustworthy, no twoface-ness, or using.
volamonster ══╣╠══
Hmmm good questions! Will you share your responses as well? :)

Because this is supposed to be about our answers for us as individuals and not "What, objectively, is a friend?" I'm going to just assume all of these statements have an implied "this is what this means FOR ME" attached to them.

Also, just because I don't count someone as a friend doesn't mean I dislike them. It just means we aren't connecting on a friendship level. We might connect on another level. We can still learn from each other, or enjoy each other's company when we happen to be around each other, but to me that is not automatically a 'friend.'

1. Baseline / Minimum Acceptable (i.e. not 'an acquaintance' or 'someone I know')
  • Believes it's more important that everyone is provided for, rather than it being important that no one receives anything they didn't 'earn.'
  • Must believe that everyone deserves health care (including wellness care) and that health care should be guaranteed without debt.
  • Must like dogs, big ones in particular. Can't be the kind of person who flinches from dogs and wants them to stay away from them. (Note: Not as relevant if they are long distance friends and never visit me EVER.)
  • Confident. This doesn't mean a person can never experience insecurity ever, but insecurity can't be a thing that frequently affects their relationships. They have to love and respect themselves.
  • Independent. Capable of standing on their own two feet while still maintaining whatever level of community they desire. I do not mean this economically or physically, but emotionally/socially, within reason. Hard to qualify this in a comment.
  • 100% embraces asexuality as a valid and real thing and does not make statements about sex being "necessary" or "a thing humans all need" etc.
  • 100% supportive of non-monogamy. Does not deliberately privilege monogamy or heteronormativity. Does not assume others are "opposite-sex" attracted or monogamous.
  • Can handle being told "no" without problems. Has no problem with people asserting boundaries, and no problems honoring those boundaries.
  • Does not become belligerent and loud when angry at someone. Can temper anger, remaining calm and collected, when discussing something--or if they can't, they stop the conversation and excuse themselves. They can exhibit self-control.

2. Ideal / Maximum Desirable (i.e. dearest friends bordering on family/kin)
  • Everything listed above, of course.
  • Has done a LOT (a lot a lot a lot a LOT) of self-work already, and values doing self-work for the rest of their lives.
  • Rational. I don't mean they are Bayesian rationalists, but that they at least consider all evidence available before coming to conclusions, and GREATLY value updating their views when they encounter new evidence.
  • Honest and open. They volunteer their thoughts and feelings without having to be asked. They muse and ponder and consider because they enjoy it, not because someone asked them to. They do not engage in conscious deception ever, or if they do, they admit to it and vow to be better. IOW, they have great integrity.
  • Values wonder in themselves and others. Experiences wonder, pursues wonder and awe.
  • They have no needs that are contraindicated by someone being on the autism spectrum. Example: if someone needs loved ones to pick up on subtle social cues, body language, etc. then I can't trust them.
  • Does not display a lot of economic privilege. 'A lot' being relative, but basically if they have not known financial struggle and flaunt their wealth (even unknowingly), I can't feel safe or understood around them.
  • Embraces gender diversity.
  • Understands that what they think is just as (if not MORE) relevant to what kind of person they are than what they do. A 'good' person is not just someone who does 'good' things, but THINKS 'good' things.

volamonster ══╣╠══
Additional thing: There are some qualities/behaviors that are contraindicated to my needs, so if a person does these things, they can't even meet my baseline / minimal acceptable ideas about what makes a friend, even if they have the POSITIVES that make an ideal friend. Hopefully I'm making sense. So a friend, for me, can't do/be the following:

  • Uninterested in social justice at ALL (activism not required at all, just not apathy)
  • Placing demands on me in any way; expecting anything from me that I have not EXPLICITLY agreed to (I do not believe in implicit agreements). This can be anything, including but not limited to expectation/demands (without explicit agreement from me) related to time spent together, frequency of contact, emotional support, energy expenditure--ANYTHING.
  • In their current life (as opposed to in the past) ever attempts to convert other people to their spiritual views OR their atheist views. I think this is deeply disrespectful.
  • Uses the word 'rape' to mean anything other than actual rape, ever.
  • Primarily engages with people through activities, i.e. 'going out.' I have very little physical energy and 'going out' is exhausting to me on every level, so friendships with people who always need to be going somewhere (as opposed to just talking at a friend's house) can't meet my needs, and vice versa.
  • Hates everything, is miserable in general. Not because they are going through something (trauma, grief), but because they are miserable, cynical people.
  • Values irony and laughing at everything (in a mocking way) rather than sincerity.

I'll stop there. I might be forgetting something but I think that's verbose enough.
volamonster ══╣╠══
keiwontia ══╣╠══
siduri ══╣╠══
1. Baseline for a friend: "Can I call you to come get me at midnight if I am stranded somewhere?"
2. Ideal friend: equal exchange of energy. I will come get you at midnight if you are stranded somewhere.

That is all.
classical_wolf ══╣Boy-Girl-Person╠══
My biggest thing is open communication with friends. My biggest thing right now is wishing I wasn't (typically) the one to initiate communication. It doesn't make me feel wanted.
kiwi ══╣╠══
1. Baseline for what makes a friend:
-Desire to BE a friend
-A couple of similar interests

2. Ideal close friend:
-Desire to BE a friend
-A couple of similar interests (no matter what they are)
-Mutual respect (which goes along with my first point)
-Someone who accepts me for who I am, flaws and all (and I accept them for who they are, flaws and all)

I'm sure there's more that I'm missing but these are what jumps to mind.
bebe_de_lune ══╣╠══
To me a friend would be not like the one's I've had in the past (all of them) who've called themselves "friend". If they go weeks and months without talking, then come back and feel the need to apologize for their absence, they too realize something isn't right about them doing that. I try to check in on them but usually get ignored and I'd want a friend to do that with me. So to me they are not friends, just "people I know and sometimes talk to". Ideal close friend -- I'd have to feel the spark of closeness in the first place which is a rarity ... the ideal one would be someone who wants to talk to me as much as I want to talk to them. Who has mutual feelings. Plus have as many similar interests as possible and some differences for us to talk about as well. Sadly, I like to see myself in my closest of friends (which is probably all ego but humans to me are ego, so be it).
blimeyzawn1 ══╣╠══
Minimum baseline to consider friendship:
*some shared values; we can have differences, but I'm not befriending a republican. ever.
*as implied by the above, has to be a decent person. it's ok to make some mistakes, but can't be openly racist, sexist, etc.
*must NOT be self-involved. if I hang out with someone who talks about themselves endlessly without ever displaying any interest in me, I will not hang out with them again.
*must be willing to give to the same extent they receive. like, if i have a friendship with someone who asks me for money, calls me crying, etc., that's fine. but they need to be prepared to offer me the same.
*emotionally stable. by this i do not mean "no mental illnesses" or "never has breakdowns." I expect my friends to have feelings, but I need to a) trust that those feelings aren't manipulation ploys; and b) know that those feelings aren't the result of an addiction. i don't do drug addicts and i don't do dangerous people.

I think my minimum requirements for friendship are actually quite similar to my ideal friendship, but since we're talking ideal, i'll add a few:
*self-awareness, specifically in the area of one's own weaknesses. I cannot stand people who are unwilling to be vulnerable and who believe they are good at/right about everything.
*conversely, I also like people who do not define themselves by their weaknesses. if the most interesting thing about you is the list of things that have happened to you, you are not my ideal friend.
*kindness and compassion
*relatively easy to talk to/make plans with; i tend to attract a lot of "popular" people who are really difficult to plan stuff with.
*reliable; if you say you're coming to something, you need to show up.
* a lifestyle somewhat similar to mine. I don't expect that all of my friends work professional jobs, share my educational level, or have pets. but I prefer my friends to have at least one major lifestyle factor in common with me.
blimeyzawn1 ══╣╠══
Ooh, and one other thing. They definitely need a sense of humor. I can't imagine that someone could like me if they didn't have a sense of humor, since much of what I say is self-deprecating or tongue in cheek. Example: I have a cousin who shares my values and approach to life, but we've never gotten along because he just doesn't get sarcasm.
keiwontia ══╣╠══
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
Actually Topaz
1) My baseline:
-Isn't pushy, as in, accepts 'no' or 'yes' and doesn't try to push me to do things or not do things.
-Examines and/or accepts new evidence. As in, evidence-based open-mindedness.
-Is not a Tea Party member or social Republican.
-Can understand/feel cognitive-dissonance (ex: can see simplicity and complexity at the same time about something)
-Can be critical of bad media while not condemning "all media" as bad.
-Have to be able to listen, not just be quiet, but actually actively listen.
-Bring at least ONE positive quality to the friendship. Anything would do. (examples include: kindness, critical thinking, creativity, fun, adventure, care, etc.)

2) My ideal close friend:
-All of the above, PLUS-
-Knows real news/current events from sensationalized media. And understands the importance of news in society.
-Can see the wonder and awe in science and math, while understanding how it has been used for evil in some instances.
-Knows who Sagan, Tyson and Hawking are. Has watched the original COSMOS.
-Creative and appreciates craft and art.
-Values music profusely. And enjoys social justice music (specific areas of folk/rap/rock/punk).
-Loves my pets. Two rats and my small dog.
-Has read Nineteen-Eighty-Four, The Giver, and Fahrenheit 451.
-Loves distopian novels/movies/shows.
-Loves Xena.
-Sees beauty and awesomeness in the outdoors.
-Is not a Republican or Tea Party member or Libertarian.
-Understands gender and sexual diversity.
-Understand social inequality, war inequality, and other important issues.
-Thinks critically/logically. (Like by the scientific method)
-Values truth more than anything else.
-Can be silent and present.
-Acknowledges that every person has a different experience and different knowledge and a different understanding of the world.
-Can understand when I need to be alone/have space, or be depressed/sad. I need to be those things sometimes, and I need someone who is comfortable having faith in friendship even when I need separation or sadness.
-Someone who is mostly independent.
-Someone who is constantly in growth.
-Someone who sees the joy in travel.
-Someone who appreciates cultures and learning about them.
-Someone who would support me going into dangerous places because it's what I want to do for work.

I'm sure there's a zillion things I've missed, but that's what rambled around my brain during the last 15 minutes. I may comment with more things if I think of them.
volamonster ══╣stars╠══
Re: Actually Topaz
OH you sound like such an incredible, wonderful person.
keiwontia ══╣╠══
Re: Actually Topaz
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
Re: Actually Topaz
ladywind ══╣╠══
Re: Actually Topaz
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
Re: Actually Topaz
ladywind ══╣╠══
Re: Actually Topaz
blimeyzawn1 ══╣╠══
Re: Actually Topaz
wolfteaparty ══╣╠══
1. Shows active interest in talking and hanging out. Shows active interest in continuing contact.
At least a few interests and views in common.
Treats others with respect.

2. Along with the above, I like to see a consistent pattern of keeping commitments and non-flakiness (though we can't always be perfect in this regard, but as long as a person is trying to follow through). I don't want a friend who doesn't have time for me--I don't expect them to always be available or for us to always hang out, and I won't demand their time, but I want someone who will make time to see me on a semi-regular basis so they can be a real part of my life. Sadly, almost no one local fits this description right now. I also like to have someone I can laugh a lot and joke around a lot with, and feel like I can confide in and be heard and understood without being judged. I like them to be very kind and understanding. I look for emotional intimacy. Sharing creativity and parallel play is a big plus too.

Red flags I'd want to avoid: high-conflict personalities and active drug addicts.
meri_sielu ══╣raven lovers╠══
1) My baseline for a good friendship is dependability, to know that I can 100% always turn to this person if I am feeling down and know that they will support me when I am feeling down without being too judgemental. That also means I expect them to be upfront and tell me when I have acted or said something out of turn to my face rather than behind my back. I need to 100% need to trust my friends, trust is the basis for everything with me.

2) I have two close friends who are my ideal friends, who share the same values as me but with some differences and are accepting and tolerant of our differences. People who I can share everything with, have fun with, share the rough times with and who are 100% invested in each others lives.
call_me_katya ══╣╠══
If I consider the baseline to be the very least I would accept then it becomes clear that I maybe accept some things I shouldn't but that's okay, because the friends who are closer to my ideal make up for this.

Baseline: If they live near me, I would like them to want to share time with me in real life as well as online, if they can. I would like them to make the effort to arrange things and start conversations, ideally around 50% of the time.
Don't display social underhandedness: for example deliberately keeping friends apart if you think they might get along, keeping one friend at home when you know they would love to be included on an evening out [unless it's a formal event where only specific people can attend]. Openness is awesome. Finding out about an event through FB photos two days after is not awesome.
Don't mock belief systems. If they do, I'll wonder if they will mock mine, or mock other things important to me. Then I just won't confide in them.
Understand that if my health interferes with my ability to hang out, that it is not a reflection on them.
Arguments happen, but NEVER in an argument use "You're overreacting/paranoid/hormonal." Don't cut me off like that and disrespect the point that I am trying to make. Don't invalidate my feelings. Listen and talk.
Don't make insidious snide comments or backhanded compliments. These seem to be a lot more common in friendships than I thought. Knowing a lot about someone means you have the keys to eat up their self-esteem. Please don't.
No patronising or pity especially about The Big One: being single.
Don't interrogate me or put me down because I choose not to drink alcohol or live with a parent. These are my choices. This is me.
belenen ══╣adoring╠══
I think your 'no' requirements are very close to mine, especially the one about not mocking peoples beliefs <3
call_me_katya ══╣╠══
call_me_katya ══╣╠══
As for the ideal friend... All of the above including that spark of fascination that you both have with/about each other.
Inclusive and welcoming.
If there's a problem or issue, considered personalised help and advice rather than generic.
Telling me if there's a problem.
They don't have to like my music or writing [although it would probably help!] but understand that it's important to me.
Have something important to them too, as I've found if a friend doesn't have their own interests it leads to strange things happening in the balance of power, and jealousies arising.
Must. Love. Dancing.
Must be able to express themselves in writing as sometimes deeply personal things need to be written about before they are discussed.
Willing to travel? Yeah! Willing to travel! Understand the things that I want to do on a trip, explain the things that they want to do and - guess what? - compromise!
Be willing to do uncool things like watch a DVD or go for a walk if that's what I need, and admit their own uncool things, not being embarrassed to ask for friend-time or hanging out time if needed.
Occasionally give me a kindly kick if I appear to be stagnating, but also tell me if I take too much on and cross the line into hyperspace.
Shared sense of humour and giggling at absolutely nothing in public, having people wondering what the heck is happening.

I bet I think of more things as soon as I post this.
delicatexflower ══╣╠══

1) the answer is having a mutal respect for each other. the person doesn't have to agree with everything i feel and think nor do they have to support my lifestyle, but respect me enough to not cross the line to change my ways as i will do the same for them.

2) someone understanding, caring, compassionate, able to have empathy, tell me the truth (no sugar coating or "white lies" those are STILL lies) tell me when they think honestly about what they see. i rather be hurt but be told the truth then mislead.
snakesinspace ══╣╠══
I've never really thought about this. My friends and I just clicked. Thinking about it all my friends are strong people who speak honestly, they care and accept differences.
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.