Bros have your back . . . most of the time
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 00:09
When you look in Webster’s Dictionary the definition of a friend is “one attached to another by affection or esteem.” Not many people really fit that definition.
I have several “friends” on Facebook and even more on Twitter, but when I truly examine most of these people, they don’t comply with that definition. I often hear people call someone their “best friend” and then say it to someone else the next day. Sometimes experiences bring people together. When people do not have shared experiences and yet address each other with such meaningful titles, the friendship could be questioned.
People are not made to live in isolation; companionship is a necessity. We do have a choice on who we spend our time with and that choice is an important one to make.
For me, I put people my in life into these three categories: The No, The Bro and The Brother.
The No is a person you do not want in your life. They tend to be overly self-centered and only want to be around you when it benefits them. You may say hello when you see them, but what you really mean is you are counting the seconds until the interaction is over. They may be good for some times when you want to do something fun or could act as filler for a list of invitations to a party, but you should never rely on them.
The Bro is the person who you do consider a friend, although they may not fit into Webster’s definition. They are reliable to a certain extent, but they are not the person you trust the most. You may ask them for help, but the reciprocity is expected. This is a person you can talk to about certain subjects, but there is plenty they will never know about you.
The Brother is probably the closest to the definition of a friend you can get. You do favors for them without expecting anything in return. You tell them almost everything about your life. They are the closest thing to family you will have in your life. You will rely on these select few in times of peril.
One of the better benefits of a Brother is the impact he or she has on romantic relationships. A big cause of stress in a romantic relationship is co-dependence from at least one party. It usually stems from feelings of loneliness and isolation, which in turn create an even larger dependence on the romantic partner. A person’s desire for companionship will not be met by one person, but with a few true friends this takes much of the burden off of the romantic relationship. When you become fed up with your romantic partner, as will inevitably happen in any long-term relationship, your friends can help. At the very least, talking to one of them instead of lashing out in compulsion will give you a second to rethink your stance and re-evaluate from a different perspective so that, with a clear head you can react responsibly.
You only get a few true friends in your life, only a few Brothers. They are the most valuable people you can have in your life and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Once you lose one, no matter how the loss occurs, you realize how important they are.
We all have a desire to be liked by many people and we are. But we don’t realize that just a few are enough so we continue to try to get more friends while neglecting the ones we already have and the ones that may count the most.
Self-centeredness is a human trait that no one can avoid all the time. At our core, we all look out for ourselves. This can create an absent-mindedness that can cause a friction in a relationship. One thing that we tend to forget is that we are part of a two-way relationship with our friends. It’s easy to accept all the benefits, but any real relationship requires work from both sides. We must help to build up a relationship with a friend in order to get it to the level we would like to have it at, and once it reaches that point you cannot ignore it. You must maintain it to make sure it stays healthy.
Without true friends, life becomes more difficult than one person can handle. That’s why we need the people in our lives that are willing to help relieve those burdens just as you would for them. You will have to scroll a long way down your Facebook “friends list” to find someone who will fit into the definition of friend, but once you find them, you will cherish them.
Saúl Berríos-Thomas is a junior political science major and can be reached at email@example.com.