General Question

Fluthyou's avatar

How important is it to have things in common with your group of friends?

Asked by Fluthyou (647 points ) March 3rd, 2014

I guess there’s general things you can have in common like music, books, films, art. Things that are nice to share. That also sort of leaks into how you like to spend your free time, your hobbies. Then there’s values, moral compasses, that can also be tracked back to the above -what you consume and how you spend your time.

What if one thing, like schooling or being in a particular program brings you together but after awhile it becomes apparent that something’s shifted?

I guess what I’m trying to ask, is what is the glue of friendship? Do common interests matter? Is it all chemistry? What is it?

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14 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

For my friends, it’s definately a sense of humor! We’re all different religions, different economic classes, different outlooks on life, but we all enjoy having fun, using our brains to think, and laughing a lot.

I guess in your position, if the group is all kind of meshing except for me, I’d just do my thing and move on, but if it’s important to you, then you could observe what they’re discussing, who’s flirting with who, etc…to see how to ‘fit in’ better.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s also a general common viewpoint about the world and society. It doesn’t have to be specific, but enough commonality that we each feel comfortable being around each other. And there’s an element of support in a common viewpoint in how the world works best.

Cruiser's avatar

Common interests and chemistry. Music and humor are the common thread amongst most my friends. I am friends with a few neighbors I don’t have a lot in common with but they are simply nice people to be around. My best friends are ones I have known most of my adult life.

Fluthyou's avatar

@zenvelo I really like the idea, of agreeing above all on how the world works best.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Fluthyou Really? I think it’s interesting to hear different viewpoints, keeps it interesting & makes you think more.

syz's avatar

I’ve noticed that my friends share similar philosophies, but not really anything else in common.

Fluthyou's avatar

@KNOWITALL That’s true, having different viewpoint is essential. But no two people are exactly alike anyway, there’s an innate difference. How the world works best doesn’t have to be something as specific as being an eco-activist or practicing a certain religion, but maybe just agreeing on what kind of positive or creative energy you want to put out into the world.

Fluthyou's avatar

@syz I’m beginning to think that makes more sense than whether or not you like the same band or are in similar fields of study. That must also somewhat ease the pressure to conform.

hearkat's avatar

I think the most important “bond” is to have shared values. I couldn’t be friends with someone who was rude or unkind, or selfish. I have friends from many different ‘demographics’ whether gender, sexual identity, sexual preference, skin tone, hair color, BMI, religious/philosohical beliefs, vocations, hobbies, musical tastes, etc.; but I won’t associate with anybody who is mean-spirited or judgmental. I’m more likely to spend more time with those who share interests, but their value as a friend is more based on their dependability and trustworthiness.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hearkat I used to hang out with this guy friend, loved him to death, intelligent, etc… and he told me the most horrible stories of his ‘past’, like leaving a girl stranded in Mexico with no money because she wouldn’t sleep with him, that type thing, then I found out everyone but me thinks he’s pretty much a jerk. Then of course, I learned the hard way everyone was right and I was wrong, he wasn’t a nice guy. My point is, sometimes people can fool you.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

How many things are “many things”? The only thing I have to have in common with friends, is God, we have Him in common I don’t care of they like fishing, which I don’t, love NASCAR, which I can take or leave“_, love books—which I am not thrilled about, etc. I don’t care.

hearkat's avatar

@KNOWITALL – Sure. But after getting burned once or twice, I think we become less easily fooled. I’m a pretty astute judge of character these days. Even simple things like how a person reacts to bad customer service or whether they hold the door for others can give you a glimpse into their true character. Arrogance, entitlement, lack of compassion – those are very clear red flags to me and those people do not get the title of “Kat’s Friend.”

Coloma's avatar

Personality matters to me more than common interests, though there is nothing like two likeminded people sharing their mutual passions.
I am a zippy, mostly extroverted type with a passion for knowledge, humor, and lively conversations. I prefer lively, mentally quick, witty and stimulating personalities but this doesn’t mean I cannot find some common ground with certain types, just that I prefer similar personalities for the best blend of what turns me on. I hate being the conversational juggler with uber dull types please someone take the fucking balls I toss and launch them. haha

Adagio's avatar

@Cruiser Couldn’t agree more about chemistry, oftentimes the glue that binds a friendship is inexplicable, no words to describe it. Shared history can be a pretty strong binder also, especially during formative years, certainly is where I am concerned.

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