An honest dialogue about love, life, and everything in-between...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Know Your Role: The Friend

1:59 AM |

...what about your friend?

As part of the know your role series, it's important to explore how to interact in your daily relationships once you've established which role you are currently playing in. Today, after a week or so of questions, comments and concerns, the topic of this entry will be on defining what it means to be "the friend".

While there will come a time when there will be a discussion on whether or not men and women can truly be friends, this is not the post for it. So for the sake of argument, let's say that it is possible for men and women to be friends. What does that mean? It's obvious that men and women need different things out of their relationships, so how do you balance the underlying nature of both to have an equal and fulfilling friendship?

First it must be recognized that women aren't men and men aren't women. This may be a duh moment but really look at that statement. Most women (and I do mean most - not all), regardless of how close they may be to do, do not want to be perceived as one of the boys. And ladies, men never want to be one of the girls. So men, always remember that regardless of how tomboy a woman may be, she's still a woman and should still be treated as such should her behavior warrant it. And ladies, save the cramps and period stories for your girls. Men don't want to hear all of that.

Second, one of the things that should be pointed out is that it is not the best move to enter into a friendship as a consolation prize for not being able to be together sexually or otherwise. Those types of tensions only bring drama into the friendship, more so if the other party doesn't know they are a person of interest. It puts up some severe boundaries and causes random arguments for what appear to be no apparent reason. It taints possible advice and makes normal interactions become laced with innuendos and suspicions. There are instances where this set up could work into being a viable friendship, but only if the two are mature enough not to let the aforementioned things distract from the development of the friendship.

Overall, if you are the friend, be the friend. Understand that men probably already have had some other nagging, demanding women on their end they have had to take care of, so don't be an addition to that list. And men, understand that women probably have had some untrustworthy, undependable, liars they deal with or have dealt with as well, so try not to be another one. You should be as down, trustworthy and loyal to that man or woman as you would be to a friend of the same sex. Support each others goals and dreams, share laughs and shoulders when times get rough, be honest and true with each other, even when the truth may hurt a little. Be available, real and understanding. These gender crossing friendships can be some of the best and most fulfilling in the world. Really take the time to nurture them.

Remember no role is permanent. Just make sure your behavior gets you a promotion and not the pink slip.