Greg Rolfe

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time · ~100 ·

Greg blog
Friendship: an art or a skill

Friendship: an art or a skill

I have had the definition of friendship defined as someone who is willing to get up in the middle of the night to go to the middle of nowhere to give you a hand. And to be honest it seemed accurate. But where do you get such a friend or perhaps more honestly how do you become such a friend? Is it a developed art or a learned skill? Perhaps a bit of both?

The art of it is simply some innate ability to accomplish something at a higher level than others. Such a the ability to draw. I have the amazing skill of creating a stick figure that looks remarkably like five lines with an intersection. I consider this a skill as it took me many long years to obtain this level of accuracy. I have reached the level where it only takes you around three minutes to determine that indeed it is a person. But I regress, back to art. There are those who have this ability to seemingly without the need for years of practice to draw where the observer is able to clearly see that not only is this drawing a person but actually recognize the person. Art versus skill. 

But in the area of friendship. Is it an art, the inner ability to simply care and reach out, or is it a learned ability that is developed over time? Or is it an ability that can be both? Though to be truthful to those of us who have that someone who is willing to go out of their way to show up for us it doesn't matter. I was simply asking for a friend, I was thinking they were looking for such a person. 

I am blessed with knowing such people. To have a friend who is willing to spend their time coming to my aid, spending their time sorting out my problem. It is very comforting to have that extra set of eyes and experience present to suggest additional solution sets. And yes it was his solution set that finally ended the four and a half hour problem. Having such a friend is indeed a blessing beyond compare. 

So how do I become such a friend? Is it easy as simply showing up? The skillset to solve the problem might simply be an added benefit. I am beginning to believe that it all starts with being there.




Greg Rolfe

1 year ago #9

John Rylance

1 year ago #8

I just came across this comment made by Greta Thunberg.

I didnt have the courage to get friends. Now I have many.

I really see the value of friendship.

Apart from climate almost nothing else matters.


I thought it was worth sharing.

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #7

I’ve always thought of friendship as a balanced investment, Greg. Before we can draw anything out of the arrangement, if indeed we ever need to, we must invest something … generally time and a sympathetic ear. If we are generous with our investments, they will grow, and, if we don’t need to draw out, then at least others will benefit from our empathy. Friendship is like everything else worth having. It must be cultivated and reciprocated or it will wither and die. Yin and Yang. 

”Make new friends but remember the old. One is silvern, the other is gold.”


Greg Rolfe

1 year ago #6

John Rylance

1 year ago #5

Whether it's a skill or an art friendship is something you have to work at to maintain. 


I have related before the response I got from a 10yr old boy when I asked him during a Social Skills session if he had a best friend. He rather scathingly replied I don't rate my friends.


This comment highlights that we should treat all our friends equally, in fact we should try to treat everyone equally.


To paraphrase a maxim  you can be friends with someone some of the time  but you can't be friends with everybody all of the time.

Friendship is a challenge  but we'll worth the effort.

Greg Rolfe

1 year ago #4

Greg Rolfe

1 year ago #3

Pascal Derrien

1 year ago #2

I quite like the definition you gave in the intro :-)

Fay Vietmeier

1 year ago #1

@Greg Rolfe 


And a youth said, “speak to us of friendship."
     And he answered, saying:
     "Your friend is your needs answered.
     He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
     And he is your board and your fireside.
     For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace."

When your friend speaks their mind, 

you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, 

nor do you withhold the “aye.” 

And when they are silent .. your heart ceases not to listen to their heart; 

For without words, 

in friendship, 

all thoughts, 

all desires, 

all expectations are born and shared, 

with joy that is unacclaimed.” 

And let your best .. be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. 

  - Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet”


My favorite line .. “And let your best .. be for your friend.”

Sharing your best .. 


"I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." - Jesus  

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