Amizade

Algumas citações do texto It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart sobre os efeitos das amizades (e de seus fins silenciosos):

Sobre a qualidade das amizades

When I was younger, my friends had as much a hand in authoring my personality as any other force in my life. They advised me on what to read, how to dress, where to eat. But these days, many are showing me how to think, how to live.

What makes friendship so fragile is also exactly what makes it so special. You have to continually opt in. That you choose it is what gives it its value.

Friendship is the rare kind of relationship that remains forever available to us as we age. It’s a bulwark against stasis, a potential source of creativity and renewal in lives that otherwise narrow with time.

In the most stable friendships, people tend to stand up for each other in each other’s absence; trust and confide in each other; support each other emotionally; offer help if it’s required; try to make each other happy; and keep each other up-to-date on positive life developments.

The more hours you’ve put into this chaotic business of living, the more you crave a quieter, more nurturing third thing, I think. This needn’t mean dull. The friends I have now, who’ve come all this distance, who are part of my aging plan, include all kinds of joyous goofballs and originals. There’s loads of open country between enervation and intoxication. It’s just a matter of identifying where to pitch the tent. Finding that just-right patch of ground, you might even say, is half the trick to growing old.

Essa, especialmente, traduz amizade como eu nunca antes consegui expressar. A ênfase é minha:

Laura Carstensen told me during our chat that good friends are for many people a key source of “unconditional positive regard,” a phrase I keep turning over and over in my mind.

[…]

“Philip made me feel that my best self was my real self,” [Benjamin Taylor] finally said. “I think that’s what happens when friendships succeed. The person is giving back to you the feelings you wish you could give to yourself. And seeing the person you wish to be in the world.”

Sobre o fim das amizades:

You lose friends to marriage, to parenthood, to politics—even when you share the same politics.

In 2009, the Dutch sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst published an attention-grabber of a study that basically showed we replace half of our social network over the course of seven years

This is, mind you, how most friendships die, according to the social psychologist Beverley Fehr: not in pyrotechnics, but a quiet, gray dissolve. It’s not that anything happens to either of you; it’s just that things stop happening between you. And so you drift.

[…]

You feel bereft, for one thing. As if someone has wandered off with a piece of your history.

Sobre nossa crescente dependência e crescente fragilidade das amizades:

Were friendships always so fragile? I suspect not. But we now live in an era of radical individual freedoms. All of us may begin at the same starting line as young adults, but as soon as the gun goes off, we’re all running in different directions; there’s little synchrony to our lives.

[…]

Yet it’s precisely because of the atomized, customized nature of our lives that we rely on our friends so very much. We are recruiting them into the roles of people who once simply coexisted with us—parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, fellow parishioners, fellow union members, fellow Rotarians.

(Ênfase minha).

Sobre como manter amizades

The problem is that when it comes to friendship, we are ritual-deficient, nearly devoid of rites that force us together. Emily Langan, a Wheaton College professor of communication, argues that we need them. Friendship anniversaries. Regular road trips. Sunday-night phone calls, annual gatherings at the same rental house, whatever it takes. “We’re not in the habit of elevating the practices of friendship,” she says. “But they should be similar to what we do for other relationships.”

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