Friends, Family, Dating, Marriage

The principles of friendship should also apply to families and marriage, but people usually behave better with friends than they do with their family or with their husband or wife. But the reason is simple, friends will leave you if they don't like you -- Your family can't kick you out of the house unless you're over 18. Another reason is that you don't have to live with your friends. The closer you are to someone, the more problems they see, and the harder it is to hide. When you're dating someone, you brush your teeth and comb your hair, but that's not something you think of doing around your family or your husband first thing in the morning.

"loyal friends are the true treasures that make one rich." The Magic Gourd by Baba Wague Diakite.

Principles of Friendship

Advice from "The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness"

My best friend and I have no interests in common. I'd never thought of that until now. So, it's not shared interests that keep a relationship together, but shared values. That also may be one of the most important ingredients of a marriage.

Last words of Charles Adams Grandfather - If you've had health and companionship, there's no reason to complain. An old english professor, Felicia Campbell told me that Charles Adams, who suffered a lot, never let it get him down. "I think part of his secret was the way he savored all of life's little pleasures from a beatiful scent to a bite of food or glass of wine."

What People Don't Like

When you were 4 you started to complain about not having any friends at nursery school, but as we were driving yesterday (1/16/07) to buy waffles for you, and to Party City for Valentines Day decorations, you showed some bad habits (common among 4 year olds) that make it difficult to find friends.

How Friends Behave

People will like you more if you: Friends are people that like the same things you do, that you enjoy being with, who have similar values, who you find easy to talk to.

Winning and Losing Games

Here's another problem you need to work on -- when you lose a game you get angry. That's common among four year olds, but people don't want to play with someone that behaves that way; that's why I don't enjoy playing "Candyland" with you. Remember it's just a game, and there's no reason to get upset when you lose. What have you lost? You haven't lost money. Losing a game doesn't mean you are dumb. People won't think you are a bad person if you loose. In fact, since people enjoy winning, they'll like you better if they win.

Remember, the only reason to play a game is to have fun and spend time with your friends, or make new friends.

Be a good winner and a graceful loser. If you win, say "Wow! I was lucky to win" If you lose, say "I enjoyed the game. You are a good player. Can you give me some pointers on how to play better?"

Playing Games

This usually happens with boyfriends and girlfriends, during dating, and after marriage.

"Does s/he really like me?" That's a question you'll often ask yourself when someone is playing a game with you. Sometimes the person will do things that make you think they are a friend, and other times they will tell your secrets to others.

Types of People

There are five types of people you'll meet:

The Wrong Friends

You'll easily know whether you've made good friends or bad friends. Good friends help each other and do good things for everyone, not just those that are the "in" group. Good friends don't try to outdo each other, or think they are better than anyone else. Good friends won't pressure you to do something you don't want to do. You'll want to be with them because of how they make you feel. Good friends will encourage you to do your best. They won't encourage you to break the law, drink, take drugs, or be mean to others.

Playing Games

Some people may pretend to be your friends, but when you really need them they won't help you. Some "friends" will take the secrets you've shared with them and tell someone else, either for revenge against you because they don't really like you, or because they think telling your secrets to others will get the other people to be their friends. But a person's reputation follows them, so you don't have to punish them. Let it go.

My Story

One of the most difficult things for me to learn was not to talk so much. When we were teenagers in High School, my best friend asked me, "Keith, do you ever shut up?" I've never forgotten that, but I still talk a lot.

But the most difficult lesson for me to learn was *WHEN* to keep my mouth shut. If I have an opinion, I believe the world ought to know it. But often expressing your feelings makes things worse. This is especially important in dating and marriage.

The second most difficult lesson was keeping my mouth shut when I knew I shouldn't say anything. Even when I know that saying something will make things worse, it's really difficult for me not to say it.

The third difficult thing is wanting to have things my way. Since I think I am smart, rational, and reasonable, my way is therefore the best way for everyone. Everyone is better off if they do things my way. And you already I know, I still feel it's true, even though deep down inside, I know I can't always be right.

How do you make friends? First, learn how to get along with others. You'll always be able to make friends, but what's the difference between a friend and a good friend? Answer: the best friends are those that make you feel good about yourself, who don't say negative things about you or anyone else, and don't try and talk you into things you don't want to do.

When I was growing up, I don't think I had a problem making friends. I had one or two close friends in Elementary school. In high school I had several others, but in college only one or two. Graduate school I had several. But now that I'm working, I have none. I just can' make friends at work. I don't know why it' so difficult. I think it' the work environment. These people are weird.

I'm not sure how much of my difficulty or uninterested in making friends was due to personality or just because I got used to it, Although it didn't seem to be a problem, I had a best friend, Mark Kramer, in elementary and high school. We bicycled everywhere together, but after he got ihs drivers license, we didn't see each other very much, I had a group of good friendds in highschool who liked my computer -- I was the first one to have one -- built it myself. But my first love was hiking and backpacking and I had no one to do it with.

I was not good in a crowd and never dated. My first date was with a girl that asked me out. My second was a girl in college who I sat next to in class -- she liked to hike.

Why am I telling you this? Because I wish I had interacted with people more to learn how to better fit in. And I wished I had dated more so that I would have understood how dating work. I treated women I met as best friends in college they were my best friends, but by not being interested in them as more than best friends, I wasted my time and theirs. Later when I wanted to find someone to marry, women kept turning me down, I wasn't doing something right, and I still don't know what that was.

None of the friends I made in high school liked to hike or bicycle. Join clubs and find friends who do the things you like to do. But my best friend didn't like either of those things but he was there when I needed him most -- he called me everyday while I was in the hospital far away from anyone.

Version 1 - September 3, 2005