The Friendship Bond
Mary Brown Parlee
Mary Brown Parlee’s “The Friendship Bond,” is based on a report on the Psychology Today friendship questionnaire, which was taken from a large number (40,000) of respondents. She presents the theories about friendship, that is, what social critics believe about friendship in the United States and how her own findings contradict with them in several issues regarding friendship.
The study was conducted with more than 40,000 readers who were asked about what they looked for in close friendhip, what they expected of friends, what they were willing to give in return, and how satisfied they were with the quality of their friendships. The social critics were not satisfied with the results of the study.
According to the study, friendship appears to be a unique form of human relationship which is totally different from marriage or the family relationships because friendship is not defined or regulated by law. The friendship relationship is also different from other social roles that we are play like citizens, employees, members of professional societies and other organization. Friendship enhances feeling of warmth, trust, love, and affection between two people.
The study on friendship confirms that issues of trust and betrayal are most important in friendship. Besides, friendship doesn’t only take place between people of similar types. It also takes place between people who differ in race, sexual preference, religion, and ethnic background.
Social critics have considered that dislocation and isolation grows out of the high mobility rate among Americans and a loss of community supports. Besides, they have also argued that life of people living in modern cities is filled with loneliness and stress. But the responses given by the people do agree with the social critics because there was no sign of dissatisfaction with the quality of people’s friendships.
The study also showed that most people believe and trust their friends. They tend to turn to friends in times of emotional crises. Besides many respondent opined that friends become more important as one gets older. It also showed that almost 60 percent people found their friendship reciprocal. The study concludes that friendship in America appears to be in sound health.
Regarding important qualities in a friend, they considered loyalty and the ability to keep confidences as most important. People also looked for warmth, affection, and supportiveness in their friendship while external characteristics such as age, income, and occupation, were considered least important.
The most common reasons for break-ups in friendship include feeling betrayed by a friend, and discovering that a friend had very different opinion than one’s. marry readers expressed that the most essential components in their friendship include trust and accepting feeling.
Activities of Friendship
When there is trust people often share their intimate talks. Most respondents felt that helping out a friend and turning to a friend for help is common in good friendship. The authors agree with the social psychologists in considering that trust encourages self-disclosure (revealing aspects of yourself that are both precious and vulnerable). If self-disclosure meets with continued acceptance (not necessarily the same as approval of the feelings or actions), liking and affection deepen-as well as trust.
Rules of Friendship
One rule of friendship is that friends share intimate aspects of their personal lives and feelings. The 68% respondent said they informed their friends when they had illness, 87% said they talk with friends about sexual activities. The study also showed that rules of friendship involve the right to ask for help. Whenever they were in trouble, 15% asked help form friend before family. There are certain limits in friendship. The 77% people said they should discourage their friends from committing suicide.
In the end, the study shows friendship is alive and well. It concludes that people’s descriptions of friendships, their beliefs about them, and their ideas about the rules governing friendship are consistent with each other.