Discussion Topic - Friends

Discussion Topic - Friends

Part 1: Introduction & Interview

1. Do you have many friends? [Why/why not?]
Answer: No, I don’t have many friends mainly because I have to spend a lot of time in order to keep in touch with all of them. However, I wouldn’t really mind spending my time to maintain a good friendship with them if they wouldn’t complain so much about their lives and being negative. Thus I have a small number of very good friends whom I really care about.

2. How often do you see or meet your friends? [Why/why not?]
Answer: I try to meet my friends (and I have only a few of them) at least once a week, which may not seem much, but that seems to be enough for me to keep each other updated about our lives by talking about the issues that are affecting our lives on a daily basis. With the passage of time, we have got busy and can't meet each other every day or even every other day despite the fact that we really enjoy spending time together.

3. Is there anything special about your friends?
Answer: I am not sure what “special” really means in this context, but all of my friends are pretty “special” to me because we all take care of us each other in whichever “capacity” it is possible. But, if you are asking to name any particular “skill” or “quality”, I would say that one of my friends has great “cycling” skill while another one is a “champion” of inter-city “chess” playing tournament.

4. Are your friends mostly your age or different ages? [Why?]
Answer: My friends are mostly of the same age group even though I wouldn’t mind having friends from a different age category as well. However, I choose to stick with friends of my age mainly because it becomes rather easy to relate with each other as we all tend to talk, behave and think pretty much the same way.

5. What you did with your friends last time you met them?
Answer: It rarely happens that all of our friends are managing to meet and get together at the same time and at the same spot because of our busy life schedule, but when it does happen, we try to make the best use of the occasion. So, the last time when we all got together, we went to one of our favourite restaurant in our home town to enjoy a great meal. 

 

Part 3: Details Discussion. 

1. Do you like to spend time with your friends more than you do with your family? [Why?]
Answer: I like to spend more time with my family than with my friends because my family is like a “sanctuary” to me. Of course, this does not suggest that friends are of any less “importance”. 

To be frank, my family is the “first line of defence” for me, whenever I'm in a struggling position in life. They help me to cope with the challenges and providing a “sense of security” to carry on with life. Besides, it is much easier to relate to them and develop a much stronger bond with our family simply because we have known them for all our lives, and as such, it is highly unlikely that they will abandon us (unless of course, you have a “dysfunctional” family with no real family values) and deny the “blood relation”. But, unfortunately, the same can’t be said with regard to “friends” in general. 

But, friends are also important as they make our life more meaningful and enjoyable.

2. How do people in your country meet others and make friends?
Answer: People in my country have a reputation for being very “friendly and social” in general. So, it doesn’t really take much of an effort to meet others and make friends. So, whether we are going to a supermarket to buy our merchandises or just visiting a place of worship every once in a while, we know that we can always count on some familiar faces to greet us and “befriend” us. Even, people, whom we meet at our workplaces, turn out to be some of our “lifelong” friends! 

Don’t really enjoy visiting a supermarket or place of worship that much? Well, no problem! Just visit a local “garden park” where you live, and you will find that some “strangers” are greeting you in their customary ways with smiley faces while saying “peace be upon you from the almighty”. Now, of course, it is up to you whether you want to respond back to them and “befriend” them!

3. Do you think friendship is important nowadays as it was in the past?
Answer: I do think that friendship is just as important today as it was in the past, and it will remain so in all probability in the future as well. Of course, how we make friends as well as how we interact with them these days have changed in recent years, just like everything else in our world, but the appeal of friendship and its importance in the grand scheme of things hasn’t changed a bit. 

And, as a result, we still try to visit our friends, whenever we can, even though our lives have become much busier and much more hectic than in the past. But, in case if we don’t make it to visit our friends, we always try to make an effort to call them on their phones and tell them how much we miss them, and that how eagerly we are waiting to meet them in person. 

4. Are friends more important than family? [Why/why not?]
Answer: No, I don’t really like to subscribe to the idea that friends are more important than family, and that’s exactly why they are called “friends” and not family. Friends, by their very nature, are “people” with different kinds of upbringing, different backgrounds and different lifestyles, unlike family members in general, and therefore, it is only natural that we won’t able to relate to “friends” as easily and “comprehensively” as would be the case with our “families”. 

Besides, we can’t really expect to rely on our friends completely to remain by our sides physically and emotionally, when we are in time of distress and suffering, as they simply have different priorities in their lives, and as a result, they wouldn’t be able to solve our problems in a way we would expect them to. So, once again, friends are important, but family is even more important because they are the ones with we always tend to build a stronger bond.

5. Do you think it is possible to become real friends with people you meet on the internet? [Why/why not?]
Answer: Yes, I think that it is possible to become real friends with people, whom we meet on the internet, depending on how we define “real friends” as well as the distance between them.

For me, the idea of “friends” is being able to see them, meet them in person, and hang out with them to share a good time with each other. And, there is nothing to suggest that we can’t meet people, who live close to me, after talking to them and learning about them on the internet. In fact, when we communicate closely over time with someone online, see how they react to different ideas and problems, share their concern for others, and come to appreciate the things that we may have in common, and then finally extend that into helping each other through difficult times and worries with the much-needed support and advice, we could certainly count it as a real friendship. Real friendship, in my opinion, is not about how or where we meet them, but rather how we choose to carry the relationship forward.

6. How our friends can be important persons in our life?
Answer: Somewhere I heard that “friends are the family we choose for ourselves”. Therefore, there is no doubt that our friends can be important persons in our lives. In fact, it is the friends who, in concert with the family members, sometimes help us to ensure proper growth and development as a proper “human”. Besides, friends are the ones who always cheer for us when we succeed, support us emotionally when we “fail”, and rescue us when we are in “danger”.

So, friends, indeed, can be important persons in our lives, if we treat them as family members, by proving them the access to all the matters, small and big alike, of our lives as well as by making them feel special by appreciating their efforts even if they are very “small” ones. And, when we say “making them feel special”, we also mean to suggest that we must never neglect them in any manner.

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