Think of the last time you described your relationship with someone around you: Friends? Friendly? Good friends? Virtual friends? Gen Y’s highly social nature, digital and social media connectivity and non-traditional approach to relationships has made this world into a huge cluster of Friends. Mark Vernon, author of The Meaning of Friendship comments, “Now, we are using friendship to describe quite a wide range of relationships. We have no clear idea of what to want from them, or how to end them.”
Are all friendships equal?
Relationship etiquette expert Pria Warrick says, “There will always be a difference between your friends, and your parents or husband. It may have become quite ‘cool’ to call your mom or husband your best friend but friendship within family distorts real world relationships resulting in behavioural issues like kids not listening to the parents or spouses not talking to each other just as they stop talking to friends.”
Friendships with boundaries
In the day and age of ‘easy come-easy go’, even familial friendships carry a use-by date. College-goer Lalit Gangwani is cool with being friends with his dad, “But he’s not on my social media, neither does he attend my parties.” The reason: “You allow parents into some space, not all.” Wisdom for the current times? Of course! Bengaluru-based gaming expert Satish Nair, 49, says, “It’s a fine line that gets you unfriended. There are no set rules.”
When it comes to familial friendships, everyone has their own line. For instance pharmacist Gurpreet Narula, 46, is friendly with her two teenage daughters. “But that doesn’t mean I will overlook if they want to miss school and go to the mall. My friendship comes without visible benefits. It’s emotional. But my first role in their life is as a mother.” The nuances are tricky. Maybe, let friends be friends, family be family.
You’ll be unfriended if…CHILDREN-PARENTS: You embarrass your kids among their peer group
HUSBAND-WIFE: You don’t give them space, check their phone or keep tabs
SIBLINGS: You tattle, raid their closet, post growing-up secrets or date within their peer group
BOSS-EMPLOYEE: You show tardiness, gossip or deliver shoddy work