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I realized some time ago that I must be forever careful and prefer to fly solo than be patsy to the steady flow of social climbers in ambitious times.
So yes, I will share some golden principles of how to choose good friends, and yes they have worked for me. As I sit by the window with a close friend, laughing about very inane things, sharing holiday vignettes, I have to say yes, I've known some fabulous friendships over the years. I must admit I used to find male friends more uncomplicated and straight up, but now , must be a sign of maturity, I've even got great , enriching female friends!!!
- The first rule is- no friends with agenda’s for me. Always put up your antennae and try to glean right at the start when you still have your objectivity intact, when a friend may have some hidden motive for your friendship. It is always more rewarding to have friends who fulfill you with conversation, company and a few laughs than someone being nice to extract something out of you or use you to meet other people you are connected with.
- That automatically means that I also try to avoid friends from a similar line of work where there would be a conflict of interest.
Two Bollywood actors who started out as great friends and starred in many films together - Priety Zinta and Rani Mukherji- today post a fall out have an undeclared war of sorts. Their relationship turned sour in the process of perusing the same career goals in the world of Indian cinema, and this was also noticed by Karan Johar who used them together in ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ channelizing their emotions effectively.
Director Satish Kaushik and Pankaj Kapur were good friends and co-anchors on a TV show where they kept the audience in splits with their unique brand of humour. But illustrating my trepidations of too close a friendship in the work place, they fell out.
Govinda and Salman Khan, Karan Johar and Shah Rukh are exceptions, they work together, have a great bond, and actually benefit each other by being close friends, enjoying the work experience together, travel together and if they have spats, they iron them out with a healthy pow-wow and move on. A pow-wow is after all a natural occurrence in any close bond.
- Often a regard for similar values makes for a good friendship. This way you don't end up judging each other, because you are on the same page to start with.
- Although having expectations is not conducive to the best in friendships, there does need to be the feeling of support, as the saying goes, a friend in need. You do want to know that its not all about the laughs and good times, that you have some one to go to when the world looks like its crashing around you. And which of us don't have that feeling some time or other.
- Shared moments of laughter are special, so for me, it works to have a friend with a sense of humor, a person I can laugh with and where I can be me.
- I gravitate toward friends with that non-judgmental acceptance of me for the great feeling of comfort this factor provides. A kind of happy bonhomie where you're left to be whom you are and even loved for it.
- Since cheerful company is always preferable, and it is a no-brainer that you must avoid negative persons, try to avoid the self appointed role of agony aunt. If a friend needs you, of course be there, provide a shoulder or a kerchief for the occasional tear. And on your part, try not to choose to be a one-man NGO looking to alleviate man's lot.
Friendships, like all relationships, need to be nurtured. Often people get married, and in the absorbing newness of the experience, let the stars of friendship grow distant in the matrimonial earth-moon orbit. But this often results in over dependence -with this foresight one understands and values the enrichment that friends bring to a fuller life.
Tread gingerly, evaluate carefully, take your time about becoming intimate, and yes, you can reap the rewards of an enriching friendship that lasts a lifetime. Dive in hurriedly, and it may not always be a smooth ride , and worst of all may end with a resounding thud!