Friends are someone who love you despite your imperfections.
Last month, I was a guest on WKYC Channel 3’s morning show, Good Company. The topic: How Important Are Friendships in Our Lives? What is the Difference Between Men’s Friendships and Women’s Friendships?
Regardless of what season of life you are in, friends are important. Sometimes our friends can feel more like family than our own family, for whatever reason.
A true friend is someone who loves you in spite of your faults and can validate your feelings without judgment and without giving unsolicited advice.
In general, women can sometimes have deeper emotional friendships with other women than men can have with other men. Often, when women get together, not that much time is spent in small talk before they get right to the heart of a matter, sharing positive and negative feelings.
In general, men often have “activity friends,” friends they get together with to focus on a sport or some type of activity. Their conversations can be more about life on the surface rather than deep feelings. Having said this, there are men who have special friendships with other men with whom they can bear their souls. In my experience, it’s just not the norm.
Every friendship can experience one or more of the following levels of communication:
- Surface Communication – this is very transactional, talking about when, what, where – the logistics of life.
- Sub-surface Communication – this is when friends share their thoughts, ideas, and opinions with one another. However, it is mostly intellectual rather than emotional.
- Deep Communication – on this level, positive and negative feelings are shared from the heart.
- Ocean Floor Communication – this is where the treasure is in a relationship because the person who is listening to his or her friend share a feeling is able to validate that feeling without judgment or advice.
Not all friendships operate on the same levels, and that’s okay. We can’t be besties with everyone, but I believe humans are not designed to be isolated. We are connective beings, so friendships are paramount to having a full, balanced life.