Share a foxhole, survive on a deserted island, traveling through a war zone, being swept out to see. These are all perfect ways to build a friendship, right? Wrong? Maybe only for some people?
Lets explore this.
Shared experiences can create an intensely strong bond between people. That bond can become more hardened when you involve life threatening or extreme situations. Many people have said that they can rely on a person who has been through a difficult or trying time with them. The bond created is undeniable.
However, how do these relationships stack up with those made in peaceful times? Is there even anything that can correlate?
Most of my of my friends are from school or work. I don't always get together with them or hang out as often as I'd like. But there is something that makes some relationships stronger than others. After talking with a friend, he offered me to stay at his house if ever I needed to. If ever I did, it would definitely strengthen our friendship. This may seem obvious, but was surprising to me was the actual offer. Putting your self out there is not an easy task and dedicating your time or resources to someone else shows commitment and trust. Another friend has offered to help me in promoting a project of mine, and another to help edit a story, or another to come and visit and help out.
Hmm...I may be on to something here.
After looking back on my friendships, the strongest ones are those in which we both traded offers, where we actively had a give and take. I can totally see two people united by all the history they have helping each other survive, stranded on an isolated island, for example. If they worked together, both offering and openly accepting offers, then they could break ground and really grow as friends. BUT! If there wasn't this back and forth, this offering and accepting, they might become bitter, resentful, or show a deep distrust or even apathy to them. In peaceful times they might not have offered you anything. I think this an important intersection. Is there a willingness to act for them? Is there a willingness for you to let them act for you? This can happen no matter the situation, which is why I feel it is a great way to think about friends and relationships.
Do you agree? Are there any other factors you think I have overlooked?