Social Question

Shippy's avatar

Do you take it for granted that you have family and friends?

Asked by Shippy (9873points) December 16th, 2012

For some people having family around is a given. That can include immediate family, extended or your new family. Like your partner and kids perhaps. Some have no family at all, some do not even have friends. Have you ever imagined a life with none of them around? Have you shown lately how grateful you are to have them?

Which family do you put first in your life, your immediate family or the new family you have created?

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36 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

No, I don’t take those I love for granted. I lost my parents very young. Plus, when I was younger I believed my siblings and I had very strong family bonds but my experiences over the last decade have shown me that was a sham. I have also had a broken marriage. Friendships I thought were rock solid were not. Yet others have stayed the distance. Nothing is certain when it comes to human relationships and when you become complacent that would seem to me to be when you are most likely to lose things you thought were very safe and sure.

I put my husband and children first. Every time and without question. I have imagined being without them and while I am sure I would survive, I hope I never have to. I let them know in many ways regularly how much I love them. I could probably do this more.

jrpowell's avatar

I have found that family and friends usually cause more trouble than they are worth. I still love them but I don’t want to deal with them. Books and music never cause drama in my life.

If the “friends” I have met on the internet cause me more grief than pleasure I can nix them.

Basically, most of my family and friends in meatspace are fucking tedious and I don’t really want to deal with them if it isn’t the 4th of July and we are blowing shit up.

I’m pretty happy sitting and reading/coding/music.

Edit :: I should add that 90% of my interactions with family end up in me telling someone to “fuck off and mind their own business.”

cookieman's avatar

Considering that I have watched two aunts, three uncles, my grandparents, and my father all die pretty horrific deaths – no. No, I do not take my remaining family for granted.

However, as @johnpowell points out, not all “family” is worth caring about – and some are downright toxic. Those people I’ve either cut out completely or avoid as much as possible.

Which leaves me with a very small handful of individuals I truly love and appreciate.

zenvelo's avatar

My family is not at all close, although we get together on holidays. Friends I do not at all take for granted, I value them even though it gets harder to stay close to them over the years.

Coloma's avatar

I am an only child as is my daughter, and yes, I agree with @cookieman
I too, have thinned the herd of toxic people in my life in the last decade and am very selective about who I spend time with. Those few I treasure, but, I am fortunate in the sense of being a very emotionally independent type and I rarely get bored or lonely. Quality over quantity is my motto. :-)

Seek's avatar

Not at all. I don’t have much of either in Meatspace. I have willingly split myself from those who brought only poison to my existence. The few that remain, I cherish dearly. I do not differentiate between family and friend. They are one and the same to me.

bookish1's avatar

No! I lost my family and the dear friends I do have, I see and hear from far too infrequently.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

When I was 12 I lost the three family members closest to me suddenly and unexpectedly over the course of nine months. Think I’m going to take anyone for granted?

marinelife's avatar

Never. I deeply appreciate my friends and am grateful for my family.

gailcalled's avatar

Relevant study about this issue…or at least a tangental one.

“In a study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Tjalling Jan Holwerda of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam found that participants who reported feeling lonely — regardless of how many friends and family surrounded them — were more likely to experience dementia than those who lived on their own.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve never taken it for granted. I never really got along with my parents or siblings, so my friends were the people I felt closest to. Friends have always been hard for me to come by because I have very high expectations for them. Similarly with lovers. I expected more from love than most people, I think. I thought it meant that when you made love, you would experience something like a Vulcan mind meld. I know it doesn’t work that way, but I still have that idea in my head.

My family of origin is there, and if they are doing anything interesting, we can be together and we enjoy ourselves. But my family of choice are the ones I live with every day, and the ones who make me feel loved and connected. They are the most important. They give me what I truly need—and what I truly need is something family can never give me.

JenniferP's avatar

No. I have no family that I care to be around except for my mom. She is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. When she goes, I will have no family.

Ela's avatar

I try not to, but I’m sure it happens sometimes.

burntbonez's avatar

Not so much. I have minimal contact with family. I’m not that good with friends, either. Of course, that’s hard to know about. I have a few friends. How many do others have? It is always my impression that other people are more friendly than I am. But I could be wrong.

Shippy's avatar

It’s quite amazing to see how many have cut free from biological family. I know everyone has their reasons but it’s a shame. I also know about toxic relationships. It’s just sad I guess.

gailcalled's avatar

Chiming in for the distaff side, I love all my remaining family, both nearby and farflung.

We have had a lot of deaths, some appropriate and some way off the expected time line. So there are fewer of us.

I am very close to my good friends but they do not replace family.

KNOWITALL's avatar

No, I did when I was younger and as I got older they all died or moved away, so I have a few friends that I care about like family, and a few family members, other than that I am alone. It’s okay, just a little lonely at the holiday’s sometimes.

captainsmooth's avatar

I do not take my family or true friends for granted.

The best things in my life are the people that I love and the experiences we share.

Ela's avatar

Wow, I’m the only one that has said sometimes?

I have always been tight with my brothers and sisters. They are such an ingrained part of my life, It’s impossible for me to imagine being without them. It’s just way out of my realm of thinking. Even though my closest sister lives 400 miles away and I don’t see her everyday or even every week, I know she is there for me. I will always have my siblings. Our bonds are solid.
I only have two true friends. One I kinda lost during my divorce and the other lives 600 miles away. We haven’t seen each other for almost a year but we talk a lot on the phone for hours at a time.
Sometimes I take for granted they are there because they always are and always will be, even if it’s not physically.
I’m gonna have to think this through some more. There’s something about this I’m not getting my mind around.

ucme's avatar

No, I frequently have to shake myself & think “wow, i’m such a lucky bastard to have kids like these!”

woodcutter's avatar

Th hell is meatspace?

Seek's avatar

Meatspace = real life. You know, where the people are made of meat, instead of digital avatars.

woodcutter's avatar

Meat just sounds so impersonal as in something that is dead with no life. I would think the reverse would be closer to impersonal meaning those you “meet” online could be total fabrications. I hope that is not really how some of these seemingly anti socials here think of others

Thats what that sick fuck in Conn was about before he killed.


burntbonez's avatar

I believe it is a term of long standing, especially in science fiction.

bookish1's avatar

@woodcutter, whoa, calm down. We’re all made of meat. It just means the place where you meet flesh and blood people.

burntbonez's avatar

As opposed to the virtual world, where there are no flesh and blood people. Virtual space vs meat space.

Shippy's avatar

Hopefully we are all made of “meat”. I do respect both my cyber friends and real life friends. I hate to say real life, as both are also real to me. I know there are fakes, but I am pretty sharp when it comes to determining which is which. (It’s also pretty tough to make a friend of me both here and there).

Seek's avatar

Internet friends are real friends to me. I’ve been a user here for three years, and knew a lot of Jellies on other sites for years before that! You guys have been with me through a wedding, a pregnancy, and raising my son so far… not to mention a lot of serious family turmoil. And I was able to come here for love, for support, for advice… and no one ever tried to make me feel like my problems were less than important, or that I had it coming, or whatever. And that goes for every user, including and in some cases especially the ones I argue debate with most often in Q&A.

That’s more than I can say for the vast majority of face-to-face relationships I have had in my life.

So yeah, I need a word to differentiate between my “in real life” friends/family, and my Internet friends/family – who are just as “real” to me.

Meatspace is a good word.

bookish1's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr : I, too, have had some very uplifting friendships with people I met online. Especially when I was a trapped teenager.

wundayatta's avatar

It is important to remember that when you only know someone online, there is an awful lot you don’t know about them. We tend to forget that the things we learn nonverbally tell us an awful lot. We forget it because it never becomes conscious and most of us have a prejudice that only things we are conscious of count.

bookish1's avatar

@wundayatta : Good point… There’s also much you might never learn about someone you know in real life!

Seek's avatar

@bookish1 Ain’t that the truth.

Shippy's avatar

@bookish1 So true, after an eight year relationship, where we spent every moment together I realize I didn’t know her at all.

bookish1's avatar

@Shippy: Yep, that’s my hard won insight after dating a sociopath for too long…

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