November 2017
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my minimum requirements for friendly acquaintances and actual friends / my ideal friend's qualities


minimum requirements for a friendly acquaintance:

Someone who is curious about me and/or who I am curious about, who does not attack people. I'm very permissive with acquaintances as I like to maintain a web of people I know, and I like to have the chance to find out if someone can be a decent friend. I will be acquaintances with people who are super problematic, who I would never trust, who I wouldn't want to spend much time with, and who I would not recommend others to befriend. There is always the chance that they grow into a person who can be a decent friend.



minimum requirements for an actual friend:

NEVER:
--- hurts you purposely or knowingly (only by accident and with growth after)
--- uses your vulnerabilities against you, even if they are furious or deeply wounded
--- defends oppression
--- talks about you behind your back
--- mocks you or calls you names or belittles you
--- shuts you up or treats you dismissively
--- tries to manipulate or otherwise violate consent
--- puts their convenience as more important than your need
--- tries to deliberately deceive* you for their gain in ANY way
--- assumes rights to things that belong to others
--- considers themself more important/evolved/inspired than others
--- flakes on an agreement without explanation or apology (both are not needed but at least one is)
--- chooses to benefit from their friend's loss (such as keeping the change if you buy something with their money)
--- uses 'rape' as slang after having been explained that it is harmful

ALWAYS:
--- treats you with respect
--- does their best to never use slurs
--- tries to tell the truth*
--- will discuss it with you if you upset them; does their best to listen and forgive mistakes
--- tries to give you help IFF they have the resources and you ask them for help
--- is fully respectful of any belief that does not cause harm to others, and is able to accept anything as true for someone else

*these two are both necessary because sometimes people fail to tell the truth even though they don't mean to.

these things are connected to my draws and dealbreakers: my reasons to fight for a relationship and my reasons to end one.




[my ideal friend]
My ideal friend:
--- is all the decent friend stuff
--- never ever uses slurs, and if ever there is a slip up, feels remorse personally and not just because they hurt me
--- is working on shunning/dismantling ranking systems like sexism, racism, heterosexism, lookism, elitism, etc.
--- has carefully explored themselves with regards to sexuality, gender, and sex, to figure out what is right for them (this includes people who happen to be cisgender, cissexual, and/or hetero, as long as they sincerely questioned those defaults)
--- looks for opportunities to grow and mature, especially with regards to increasing compassion and unlearning prejudice.
--- expresses feelings with depth and clarity; tries to figure out the most complete answer to give to a question, not the minimum acceptable answer
--- is respectful of all life and refrains from causing unnecessary destruction, at the expense of convenience (for instance, carefully walking around a line of ants)
--- really understands themselves and has good strategies for dealing with their difficulties. For instance, I would prefer a friend who knows they will run out of energy if they come to my house and chooses not to, instead of a friend who pushes themselves beyond their limits and does the thing I seem to want
--- doesn't consider anything to be above suspicion (not church nor science nor celebrity nor spouse etc) and doesn't sacrifice truth on the altar of their idol
--- is willing to end (or hiatus) relationships that are damaging them (this is because I find it stressful/hurtful/triggering to be once-removed from damage, and after a certain point I can't take it and will end/hiatus my relationship with them)
--- is willing & able to put time & effort into the relationship (sometimes I can't be close with people because they are too busy or something, and this is okay but it is not ideal)
--- doesn't get angry or upset when I can't measure up in some way, especially when I can't be there for them or do the wrong thing when trying to be there
--- appreciates my efforts even when I fail
--- negotiates expectations clearly and on a continual basis
--- is good at accepting when they are wrong or mistaken, and in incorporating new information into their world view
--- treats animals and small children with the same respect as adult humans
--- actively creates a more nourished and nourishing self and world
--- is curious about everything
--- is creative in some way or another (including work as an art form)
--- shares thoughts/feelings/motives voluntarily and truthfully, with a goal of being fully known
--- is cuddly and/or verbally effusive with affection
--- prefers to give away things that other people could get more use out of rather than keep it 'just in case'
--- is deeply curious about me in particular
--- feels a spiritual connection with (and love for) plants and microbes
--- values wonder in themselves and others: never is dismissive or blase when it would crush someone's wonder
--- is especially in awe of old and large trees, and loves and venerates them very much.
--- is able to laugh at annoyances at least half of the time
--- forgives easily when given true remorse and effort to change (NOT THE SAME as trusting easily)
--- loves music and isn't snobby about it: doesn't consider any music to be 'bad' or worthless
--- prefers consuming media with critical analysis and consideration of meaning
--- loves art and values my art
--- doesn't ask me to hide parts of myself
--- values eye contact with me
--- dresses in bright colors (color has a huge effect on my happiness)
--- works on their attractions so that they are not reflections of social stigma
--- responds to me expressing that they have hurt me by empathizing THEN explaining and then problem-solving
--- thinks I contribute good to the world and would have a worthwhile life even if I never made enough money to live on
--- is willing and desirous to read, watch, and listen to media that is deeply important to me (it's okay if not able)
--- feels energy and likes to exchange/work with it on purpose
--- is willing to risk my upset for the sake of openness and honesty
--- challenges me to grow, by asking me questions and respectfully suggesting ways I can improve
--- lives close to me - within a 15 minute drive (this is ideal but has almost never been the case for me)
--- likes giving foot rubs ;-)

^ This is not a list of requirements! it takes only a few of these to make me want to be close to someone, and I don't expect that anyone will have them all. The slurs one is the most important. It actively hurts me for people to do that, so there is only so much I can take before I have to avoid the person.

Also, all of this is true of me except for the last two ;-) I don't mind giving food rubs, but I don't actively like it either.

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Comments
bebe_de_lune ══╣╠══
I was going to say that is a large bill to fill and or a lot of expectations of a human being (especially a being which has a psyche almost solely driven by the human ego), until I got to the last part after the list anyway. I am definitely not a lot of those things in your list. I don't feel it necessary to even go through it though and go, "I am that", "that fits", "and that" etc. Sorry!
belenen ══╣╠══
That's why it was titled 'ideal'. Only the part outside of the cut is necessary.
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
It's difficult for me to enumerate my precise requirements for friendship, but I feel that the requirements ought not to be based much at all on how someone treats me but rather on how they treat people in general. The main parts of it that I think would relate directly to me in particular would be that I am the one who is trusting my friend to treat people in the ways I think are appropriate and I have some sort of open line of communication with my friend for discussing how we treat people.
call_me_katya ══╣╠══
I am slightly horrified at the thought that someone would walk THROUGH the line of ants. People do that?! I mean, I understand children would but...

I love the 'value of wonder' point. This is so important, and tied to religious beliefs/spirituality, etc. You are so right that it all should be nurtured and not dismossed!
aubkabob ══╣Hipster Capn - famira╠══
Your "NEVER" list hits so many things on the head for some people with whom I recently decided to sever almost all ties. I'm cordial when I interact with them, but I have vowed to myself that my time is precious and should be filled with positive and enriching things. Common interests doesn't give a pass for disrespect.
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
This had me pondering a lot on my current acquaintanceships/friendships. I feel like I've been meandering through and entertaining who ever is around. Blah.

On a more positive note, I love that you aren't afraid to define your ideal friend so specifically... clearly...
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.