who are your friends?…

I remember asking this question of my nephew when he was in Primary 1, “Who are your friends, XXX?”, and his very philosophical reply, “I have neither friend nor foe.” 🙂

That struck a chord.  Besides being a very smart reply especially for a then 6-year old (awwwww), it actually has some truth in it.  It is likely that all he had then were acquantainces. 

I am also not one of those who makes a “best friend” at hello.  Neither then nor now.  I will interact with warmth (as much as I can psych, especially with new people) but it takes a lot more than a warm handshake or air kisses, to make someone more than an acquaintance. 

I think there is nothing wrong with having different levels of acquaintances and friendships.  It’s normal.  We can’t have all best friends.  The spectrum ranges from “those you hee he ha ha” with (singlish for “cho hee” .. hokkien for “main wayang” … hmmm (this explanation is getting nowhere) … malay for playact? (you get the drift); those you are comfortable enough to hang with and those you trust with your life.

The office is where you might find more of the first category (well technically, these will be filed under acquaintances) as politics, presence of white horses, spy networks give rise to the necessity of this type of hair raising, spirit-wrenching, life-sucking encounters.  One caveat though, if out of this labryinth of terror networks, you are able to form any friendships at all, you probably can count on them being your friends for life.

As for friends, here’s a list of criteria (for me, at least) that will qualify someone as a friend (not in any order of merit, in any combi or on its own): 

  • Someone with whom there is give and there is take
  • Someone you wouldn’t mind spending an inordinate amount of time chilling with, flitting from non topic to non topic
  • Someone on the same wavelength and mindset as you and with whom you have had shared experiences
  • Someone with whom you can agree to disagree with, peaceably
  • Someone you’ve gone through thick and thin with
  • Someone you’ll turn to in times of trouble
  • Someone you trust with your deepest, darkest secrets
  • Someone who doesn’t judge you but will love you enough to be honest with you and knock some sense into you when required (at risk of friendship cos the truth always hurts and the first reaction is mostly to retaliate and/or dismiss)
  • Someone you trust with your life
  • Someone you’re willing to make sacrifices for
  • Someone who will celebrate with you
  • Someone who will cry with you (this rules out most guys, if you are a girl, stay with your girlfriends on this)
  • Someone who will be there when life’s journey ends
  • The only One whose life ended for me, in the spiritual sense

For me, fortunately, my family and extended family members are also my friends.  So I am doubly blessed and richer for this as I know for some, that might not be true.

What’s your experience?  Who do you count as friends?  Leave your comments and add to the list, if you will. 


Your friend, (I hope)


11 thoughts on “who are your friends?…”

  1. i never remembered that nephew of yours saying that. well i guess i wouldn’t have, considering my age -strokes imaginary beard-.

    well, i think you can be friends with people who don’t have the same interests as you. unlikely but it probably can work. basically it boils down to chemistry. split the atom of a molecule and the reactions aren’t the same.

    1. hahaha beewhypea! that’s right… when that nephew was six, that nephew’s sister would have been a more minor three. 😀 go ask that nephew’s mother about it. 🙂

      agree… can be friends who don’t have the same interests as you… definitely! cheers!

  2. absolutely, BJMC. we can’t be all things to all people. we meet different needs in different people’s lives. and sometimes only for a season.

    but i wouldn’t start off with everyone as friends in the beginning though. i think some grow to be friends (of varying degree, as you said) and some remain acquaintances. and that’s absolutely fine by me.

    people who like you probably might be on the same wavelength but need not be like you. nightmare scenario alright for any permutation of persons to be replicated into mini mes!. different personalities make for more interesting interactions.

    those who don’t care whether you live or die? and worse harm you. those are your slitherers. 😀

  3. The closest friends are those whose delight is…:

    1. in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1)
    2. in food – both quality and quantity!
    3. in totally veg-out type conversation and laughs


    1. virgin “commenter”….yay! i like! 🙂

      the only thing i need to say for now is my BMI requires that i don’t think “quantity” (the spirit is willing but the flesh is hanging ….sigh…) but with you all the way on quality! yuuummmms… seng! hahaha!


  4. Maybe it is better to treat everyone as friends to begin with…until they show us that they have other things in mind. My cikgu would say “ada udang di sebalik batu’ , a slithering ulterior motive. I always think its better to surround yourself with people who like you. Maybe not so much with people who are like you..that would be too much for anyone 🙂

    Some people do not care whether you live or die and that is ok too as they have every right to feel that…as long as they do not do anything horrible to you or to the people you love dearly.

    I do not really expect everyone to be my friend. Some people as just people you meet as you say in the blog.

    As to whether I am a friend…hmmm..I think I am to varying degrees. I think that is all that we can ask of anyone.

  5. wah….2 Cents, self-reflection….deep. perceptive add ons too.

    i guess for me qualifying to ask “who my friends are” presupposes that i have to be a friend first. for everything written in there, it must start with me first. it comes from a basic belief of “doing unto others what you want them to do unto you”.

    better yet, doing unto others not expecting that it be done for you. you are right about motives. expectations (whether spoken or unspoken) do get in the way of friendships, sometimes.

    sacrifice is divine more than it is naturally the purview of man. but it’s beautiful when it happens.

    about whether we know who our real friends are and who are superficial “friends”? i think we know. the latter? they normally appear in fair weather and when they want something. they are never there just because.

  6. For me, the question at hand is more of “Am I a friend ?” rather than “Who is my friend?”
    We may consider many people as “friends” but is is often challeging, if not near impossible to discern between “real friends” and “superficial friends”. We know within our own hearts whether we are a friend….and when someone is there for us without any other motive apart from being there for us, we then know that they are real friends.
    The list is already quite comprehensive but if I had to add any more, it would be:
    – someone who is there for you and looking out for you, whether you know it or not
    – someone who would go out of the way for you, be it a simple errand or something more elaborate (sacrifice)

  7. cool…. i like “not hurting your feelings” in calling “spade”. and no 3 even better if the sharer luuuuurves dessert. u can always share mine. i need to be on a diet. 🙂 …. hahaha…

    oh…. i like people who read my blog but better yet, leave comments …. they are my friends 😀

  8. – people who read your blog and give you advice about your cat with cancer, even though they don’t know who you are 🙂
    – people who tell tell you that something is a “spade ” [from the much overused cliche – call a spade a spade] without hurting your feelings (and you know it…because you know it was a spade in the first place)
    – someone who will share something with you, especially dessert, when you know they don’t really like dessert in the first place 🙂

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