Discussion: Ideas of friendship

Novelist  Marcel Proust’s idea that friendship is only the successful by being  polite and respectful and that true friendship cannot be achieved, while  Aristotle strongly suggest that a deep friendship is the only way to  truly learn about one’s self, are like two different sides of a coin.   Both are opposing ideal and both have merit.  Aristotle wrote of a  hierarchy of friendship that includes three distinct levels, the first  two could be prone to failure if mutual interest binding them together  no longer exist amongst one of the members.  However, the third tier,  being a friendship of the soul, is one that he believed will be more  likely to last.  The reason for this is because the members of said  friendship share a deep, almost spiritual connection with each other.   While I find this to very apparent in relationships, such as married  couples who are extremely close and happy, I have also seen friendship  that are just a deep and strong with people who carry on in a similar  fashion to what Proust describes as being a successful friendship.  The  reason for this, I believe, is that there are friends who you can have a  deep relationship without being “soul mates.”  I have several good,  really good friends that I would, at a drop of the hat, be there for  them.  I enjoy their company and have shared many things with them, to  the point where my life would not be as fulfilling without them in it.   However, I do not always agree with them, or I hide things from them.   It is not that I do not trust them, it is that I do not share things  with them because, although we are close, we are not so close as to be  able to tell them everything.  With that being said, there have been  times when I have lied to them, whether to save them from the harsh  reality of a situation only to so that they would know that I am there  for them.  Or because it was not the appropriate time to discuss my  opinion on the matter, and I know that they have done the same for me.  With that being said sometimes it is important and or healthy in a close  friendship to be a little dishonest, if for no other reason than to  show empathy.  However, that can also be slippery slope, because  somethings are not better left unsaid, as the saying goes. Sometimes  being a little too dishonest can backfire, and the friendship will end  up falling apart.


Vernon, M. (2010). The Meaning of Friendship. MacMillan.

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