Seeing the good in people (including myself)
June 27, 2011 11:18 AM Subscribe
In friendships, I have a hard time seeing myself as the concrete stuff I can bring to it (helping others, entertaining them). I can't see people appreciating me for my "soft" qualities (kindness, affection, etc.). Although I can appreciate other people for more than what they bring me in concrete ways, I can't put words on the things I like about them. What kinds of qualities are good to see in friends?
posted by Monday, stony Monday to Human Relations (17 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Kids tend to instrumentalize people: they see their friends for what they can give them: play partners, toys, etc. As a kid, I was very lonely, and didn't have much to instrumentalize: I didn't have too many toys, and I wasn't physically adept. To compensate, I've tended to cultivate my intellect, so that I could bring that to the table.
Fast forward 25 years, and I still can't see why people would befriend me, except for my knowledge, my technical know-how and my humor. I know that I like other people not because they are entertaining or useful to me, but because of their other qualities. Except that I can't name them.
That's where you come in: What makes a friend a good friend, other than say, knowing Canadian history very well, or having a bitchin' computer he or she lets you play?