Friends forever: a personal choice Friends forever: a personal choice

Friends forever: a personal choice

Your generation 3 October, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.

Friendships that last a lifetime can be built at any stage of life. The choice to develop a friendship, however, is always personal.

Medical Advisors: Rosa Guevara Quintero – Psychologist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare –
Felipe Gutiérrez Vélez – Psychologist

Thanks to technology and the opportunity it brings to find those who we have lost touch with, high school reunions are now more common. People from the class of 1985, 2000 and 2009 meet to share memories and reflect on the good old days. “We learn about this form of socializing as children.

Relationships outside of the family start to form and children begin to find things in common, laugh together, play at recess, give meaning to their friendship, practice rules and norms, and they can find lifelong friends,” explains psychologist Felipe Gutiérrez Vélez.

Social beings

From when they are born, children operate under the principles of pleasure and authenticity. They only want to be with whom they share common interests, affinities and with those they understand. “There’s also the value of sharing: children will not feel good with those who want to dominate them. They prefer their peers and those who see the world the same way, which is why they only want to hear answers that keep them satisfied,” indicates psychologist Rosa Guevara Quintero.

This clashes with the perspective of adults, who want their children to be next to those that can offer some type of benefit to them, “So we do something called programming: we groom the child so their needs fit ours. We want them to have friends that we like and that share our same interests. But friendships and relationships that children establish themselves are connections that are more authentic because they are something that is not imposed on them.”

Friendships that children have when they are two, three or five, however, are different than those they will form as teens – a stage in which other needs arise such as commitment, support, sincerity and camaraderie; although competition and wanting attention can also play a role in this stage.

“There are a lot of aspects to friendship. While, morally, they may not always be perfect, they are a necessary part of an individual’s psychological development,” Dr. Guevara adds .

Regardless of what they are based on, friendships are emotional relationships that can last a lifetime whether they are with the same people or whether they change. They also form in different places such as high school, college, work or through playing sports.

Everyone can define their relationships how they see fit, and decide along the way who their soulmates, colleagues, acquaintances or closest friends are. High school friends, for example, are part of the group that is there to witness the development of a person’s personality, with school reunions serving as an excuse to meet again, but as adult versions.

Connecting through differences

Psychologist Rosa Guevara Quintero points out that in order for children’s friendships to flourish, it is necessary to let them be and feel. “Many times parents tell children not to mix with people of a certain age, religion or social status. We have to do away with those patterns; this is why we have children who are alone – as they have barriers that are imposed upon them from home. They must be spontaneous, and parents must therefore allow children to have other spaces to spend time with their friends from school.”

Read also: The importance of friendship