24.7.08

A few last friendly thoughts

...for now.

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While saying all that I did last week, I ignored to comment on the fact that there are indeed some people who can, and do, maintain regular contact with old friends - over the years and across the world. There's a friend of mine who knows people whom I should know better than he does, having originally come into more contact with them than he did, simply because he kept in touch with them - and I didn't.

A key factor behind this ability seems to be the way a person behaves socially in person. Not on the phone, not by mail, not on chat or blogs or forums (although those also do obviously matter, to some extent). Such people are the ones who're more likely to initiate a conversation with a stranger at a party, or get chatty with people alongside them in queues wherever, and are more likely to ask people what they do and where they come from....and happily provide details in return. People like me, on the other hand, will be the ones who are quite content to know details about somebody when they feel like telling us those details (not that we're any less curious), and will be happy to sit at a party on our own and just watching and listening. Needless to say, standing in queues is an entirely quiet can't-you-see-I-have-my-don'tpesterme-face-on affair.

There is probably a lesson there, but pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbrpppt.

There are also those who know how difficult it is to maintain relations with friends (and family), and who may or may not be very sociable in-person, but who make it a point to try hard to maintain those relations - even if the ones they're maintaining with are too lazy to do so. My father is one such, and everybody in my extended family agrees that he's probably the only reason many of us know what's happening with each other, because he tries and calls and meets them as often as possible. Me....I just ask him, and go back to my lazy ways.

There's a lesson there too, but heck.

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I'm tempted to stick to this classification from now on, to make things easier to deal with -

Soulmate
Best friend(s)
Close friend
Good friend
(just a) Friend
Friendly, but not friends
Acquaintances
Who-the-heck-are-you

8 comments:

spark said...

also the other 2 kinds ---

Once close pals but now just hi-hello kinds
i-dont-wanna-keep-contact-but-he/she-does friends/acquaintances

??! said...

spark:
Nonononono. Then I'd have to have similar "Used-to-but-no-longer" sub-categories for each of the categories. Am just going to upshift/downshift people as per current classification.

NightWatchmen said...

Well we think that theory might not be totally true.

We almost always find it easier to talk to folks when we are pretty sure that we will never set eyes on them again in life. So chatting up strangers at parties (though us being in parties is pretty improbable) or talking to the person next to us in the queue or having long conversations with co-passengers on trains and flights is quite easy for us.

And we too are guilty of not being in contact with old friends (of course having old friends is a debatable point since we kept changing our place of residence every 3-4 years)

Our social contact problems are almost always with people who fall in between the two categories of total strangers and friends i.e. acquaintances whom we suddenly bump into at the cinema and are asked a host of questions. And there was this one time we walked out of a cafe since we just could not recall an acquaintances name who was already there.

shyam said...

People like me, on the other hand, will be the ones who are quite content to know details about somebody when they feel like telling us those details (not that we're any less curious), and will be happy to sit at a party on our own and just watching and listening.

Who ARE you? Are you me? Do I write this blog amnesiacally?

And my mum is the one who's like your dad :) She actually made up a family tree spreadsheet - even including names of the various in-laws etc - and put in everybody and their dog's date of birth, wedding anniversaries, and other such vital information as an aide memoire... needless to say, we greatly appreciate her enthusiasm and effort, and continue to be indifferent to all but a select few :)

PS. Yes, my mum is retired :D

??! said...

NW:
That is a valid point too, and thanks for raising it.

And you walked out of the cafe? Too funny!

shyam:
The theory of blog-convergence. Must post about it (again).

Funnily enough, I keep starting a family tree, trying to make an effort, but it never gets anywhere.

Spark said...

ok...m ready to ignore the 1st...not the second....u HAVE to accept the second.....:(

km said...

A key factor behind this ability seems to be the way a person behaves socially in person.

You are right. Some people do put in effort into maintaining relationships but most don't. The latter blame it on busyness, work, family and distance and we all know what that means.

Lekhni said...

I can relate. And I detest those people who ask others all kinds of questions, and then also want to talk about themselves.

Obviously, my don't-pester-me mask doesn't work at all :(