Friends Identity Essay

As people move for school, work, and family, networks spread out.

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In childhood, friends are mostly other kids who are fun to play with; in adolescence, there’s a lot more self-disclosure and support between friends, but adolescents are still discovering their identity, and learning what it means to be intimate. But, “in adolescence, people have a really tractable self,” Rawlins says.

“They’ll change.” How many band t-shirts from Hot Topic end up sadly crumpled at the bottom of dresser drawers because the owners’ friends said the band was lame? By young adulthood, people are usually a little more secure in themselves, more likely to seek out friends who share their values on the important things, and let the little things be.

“We don’t think about how that’s damaging the social fabric of our lives.”We aren’t obligated to our friends the way we are to our romantic partners, our jobs, and our families. This is one of the inherent tensions of friendships, which Rawlins calls “the freedom to be independent and the freedom to be dependent.”“Where are you situated? ”“Chicago.”“Okay, so you’re in Chicago, and you have close friends there.

” Rawlins asks me, in the course of explaining this tension. You say ‘Ah, I’ve got this great opportunity in Washington…’ and [your friend] goes ‘Julie, you gotta take that! Go there, do that, but if you need me I’ll be here for you.’”I wish he wouldn’t use me as an example.

This is true in life, and in science, where relationship research tends to focus on couples and families.

When Emily Langan, an associate professor of communication at Wheaton College goes to conferences for the International Association of Relationship Researchers, she says, “friendship is the smallest cluster there.

These expectations remain the same, but the circumstances under which they’re accomplished change.” The voluntary nature of friendship makes it subject to life’s whims in a way more formal relationships aren’t.

In adulthood, as people grow up and go away, friendships are the relationships most likely to take a hit.

To go along with their newly sophisticated approach to friendship, young adults also have time to devote to their friends.

According to the young adults often spend between 10 and 25 hours a week with friends, and the 2014 American Time Use Survey found that people between 20 and 24 years old spent the most time per day socializing on average of any age group.


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