A Very Social Mirror

Family members we can’t pick, but friends, we can.  And if we choose them, they must reflect something about us.  So ask yourself this:  What quality do all my good friends have in common?

Thanks to Paul Keller, via Flickr Creative commons .

See what this says about you, and friendship.

~ Jon


6 thoughts on “A Very Social Mirror

  1. I have always thought of my friends as unique from each other and myself. But I guess they are all somewhat liberal leaning, maybe more than just leaning, and they are all people who in general believe in doing the right thing for people. That last part is extraordinarily important to me, as much as I generally don’t really like people.

  2. My good friends have an awareness of their humanity, and allow that awareness to inform their relationship with others.

    The question also got me considering the qualities shared by people that I have chosen to not have in my life. What were they reflecting that made me uncomfortable?

  3. This is so wonderful! Last night I had this exact conversation with my partner as we were talking about vacation and who we were taking with us. I said that my dream is to have a weekend away with 10 other women- my friends- some of which know each other , but most would be strangers to the others. After I named the women she asked me why I would choose those particular 10. And I had to answer that Mary has a great sense of humor, Rory is a great listener, Moira is a practical joker, Lisa is full of compassion, Laurie has an open, critical mind, etc. and how each one of them has something to offer the others. I guess the quality that they all have in common is that I love them for each of their beauties and how I so wish I could be like them.

    • You bring an interesting tack to this question because I too thought of how certain friends reflect different traits that I admire. I suppose that one way of answering is to use oneself as the fulcrum — the common point through which all friends travel.

      But then I wonder about the question itself. If we answer in terms of the common trait shared by all our good friends – aside from their friendship with us — does it tend to oversimplify the variation among them?

      Alternatively, the question might challenge us to go beyond a simple answer, assuming there’s something more subtle to uncover. For me, I think the common quality all my good friends share is skepticism. They don’t take peoples’ explanations or justifications at face value. They are unimpressed with authority and power structures. Hand in hand with this, they have a robust sense of humor, because satire and jokes are a primary form of expressing a skeptical view of people in power, or at least, in public positions.

      Your answer makes me think twice about this question. Thanks.


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