Shallow Friendships

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Shallow Friendships
8
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 9:32am
Last night in class, we were talking about personality types. Certain personalities are prone to "shallow friendships" supposedly. We then got into a discussion about what exactly that meant. I tried to explain my view to the class, but I don't think I did a very good job of it! Several people with an "otter" personality were offended b/c they didn't think they had shallow friendships, but they also didn't seem to understand the explanation I was trying to give of a "deep" friendship.

So, what are your thoughts? What do you think defines the difference between shallow and deep friendships? Which do you think you've had more of? Do you think you're capable of a deep friendship/relationship?

Avatar for schnappsers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 11:51am
I think I've had a mix of the two types over the years. I currently have a friend that I think has only shallow friendships with most people (myself included). She drops us all so easily when she has a boyfriend, so it makes me think there's nothing deep about her relationships with her friends if she has no trouble blowing us all off for a guy. She also tends to avoid convertations with people that might cause any sort of emotional reaction. She wants to talk about parties, work, etc., but not about any sort of problems people have. I consider that a superficial friend.

I have other friends with whom I can discuss anything and I know they're genuinely interested in both the good and the bad things that happen in my life and I in theirs.

I think determining whether I've had more deep or shallow friendships depends on how a friendship is defined. If the people I refer to as friendly acquaintances (see at social events and talk to ocasionally) are considered friends, then I've definitely had more shallow friendships than deep friendships.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 12:34pm
"shallow" friendships are to me just acquaintances - we talk about topics - movies, books, theater, mutual friends (in a superficial way), work, etc - but I don't delve beneath the surface and neither do they - they are usually acquaintances for a purpose - for networking, for catching a movie when there is nothing better to do, for idle and harmless gossip. I am capable of, and do have, deep friendships - we talk about anything under the sun, are sometimes bluntly honest and are supportive through thick and thin.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 5:42pm
What do you think defines the difference between shallow and deep friendships?

time. trust. distance. effort.

Which do you think you've had more of?

shallow. but i have enough deep friendships to keep me happy. ;-)

Do you think you're capable of a deep friendship/relationship?

sure. but as i get older, i realise that deep friendships are harder to make... i think i've just gotten more picky about who i have them with...

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 2:28am
It's important to remember that just because you have a shallow friendship with someone, doens't mean that they are shallow themselves. You can't let it all hang out with everyone.

It's good to have both as a wide social circle is a good thing and it's not good for everyone to know your deepest, darkest secrets.

A deep friednship is someone with whom I can discuss the negative side of life as well as the positve. I've noticed that if I talk about a negaitve situation a few people will get glassy eyed or even deny that there was any negative intention, or worse, blame me for the problem occurring. That's not quite the supportive friendship I was looking for.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 2:35am
I had a friend who I worked with and kept in touch with her after I left that job.for about ten years,we kept in touch and got together when we could, then last year,she just stopped having anything to do with me,breaking appointments,coming up with lame excuses why we couldn't get together. I realized that she no longer wanted to be my friend and it occurred to me that maybe all we had in common was where we used to work. I finally stopped having anything to do with her.to me, that is a shallow friendship. then another friend of mine who I knew for fifteen years and knew my family became hostile and really mean and nasty after all those years,pretending to be my friend. my question is,why?she became critical and I just stopped having anything to do with her too. maybe it is my fault,but I don't think so because I try to be a real friend,there for someone in good and bad times,and really listen. that is the difference maybe,a sincerity and being there for the other person,to encourage and support them and care about them. hard to describe,but you can tell the difference. I have had two sincere friendships in recent years,and try not to be shallow.
Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 12:40pm
That's exactly what I was trying to explain to the girl who was offended! Shallow friendships don't mean shallow people. I still think she was in a tiff simply b/c of the word shallow, though!

I think we have to have those shallow friendships so we can relax a little sometimes. Being with my best friend can get into some intense situations, so being with people who I know won't bring up dirty laundry or major life issues is nice at times!

Avatar for rdr1898
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 11:32pm
I agree that shallow friendships have their purpose, which can be good and bad. Just with anything in life, we have to experience other's imperfections in order to learn from one another. So far, I've seen the imperfections that people possess (one guy in particular) and it sure has been a learning experience especially on my part.

I once had a childhood friend that I had not heard from in 16 years. One New Year's eve I got a phone call from her saying that she was glad to find that I was still around. She found my phone number online and we began to be reacquainted. For several months we kept in contact, but one day the phone calls and emails stopped. No goodbye, except one last Christmas card that I received six years ago. She experienced some kind of family issue and without a word she was gone. It felt like she blew me off because out of the blew she stopped replying to my emails.

I do have a dear friend that I've known for ten years, and I can say she has been a deep friend to whom I can share personal issues and we offer advice to each other. The only thing we really don't share are hobbies and creative interests. She is like a second big sister to me. I too wish I could find a friend that shares both the shallow and deep friendship, but I guess we have to have one or the other when it comes to one person. Isn't that why we have several friends who have this and don't have that?

All I can say is that good friends are hard to find, especially when you're single and in in your mid 30s. I appreciate the friends and people I am able to be acqaintented with and are able to keep as dear friends. It can be a vast wasteland at times.

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 2:05am
Friendships ebb and flow. Quite often, I think when a friend suddenly rejects a friendship it may be because they are having problems and are not yet ready to talk about them. At least not with you. The best thing to do is to leave them alone and perhaps when things are going better for them, they'll be ready to reconnect. Patience is needed here.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 4:50pm
I know what you mean with this. I'm 23 and am finding that there is a BIG difference between the types of friends I have. A group are what I would call shallow, in that we see each other once in awhile and just catch up on each other's lives, etc. It's more of a having fun friendship.

Whereas with those I consider deep friendships, they are the ones I share deep secrets with and can spend every day with.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 5:25pm
I guess I'm not an otter. I don't have alot of friends - but most are deep. I can tell folks the positive or negative and I'm interested in both. I've heard friends telling friends that I'm a "close friend" or "she's one of my closet friends" when I didn't really think that about them. Of course, I am happy to hear it everytime :) And from then on, I felt similar...