I have always been lucky have good friends. I am hardly a socialite but I am lucky to have experienced some great things with my friends.
A number of weeks ago, Joe said I was his ‘best friend’. That was obviously lovely for me, although in the next sentence Joe said his teacher was his ‘best friend’. Finally, Joe decided an imaginary chicken wrap was his best friend. 
I was not particularly worried about being below a snack in Joe’s ‘friend pecking order’ but it did make me think about how Joe views the notion of friends. I have previously written that the definition of a friend is ‘a person with whom one has a bond or mutual affection…’ according to Google. 
This seems fairly straight forward. I have a bond with my friends and I hope any feelings of affection are mutual…But do we need friends? Do children need friends?
I often think people can be fickle when it comes to friends. However I am always amazed by the friendship skills shown by some children. At the weekend Joe spent some time with his young relatives. Joe can be fairly cumbersome when it comes to playing with other children. He can dominate social situations or can shrink into the background; both of which can lead to difficulties. 
I saw some beautiful examples of friendship at the weekend. Joe and his relatives were at ease with each other. It was wonderful to see them play. Joe’s young relatives shared their toys with him and interacted with him in a lovely manner, even when Joe hogged the toys, in particular the whoopee cushion.
Joe does like his own company. A lot of people do. I have worked in education for a number of years now. One of the biggest concerns people can have about a child is how they are forming friendships. A student once told me that they enjoyed being at our school because they were allowed to be themselves and were not forced into superficial friendships. 
I do not know what the future holds for Joe in a friendship sense. He might continue his one-sided style of friendship, he might become a real social animal or he might enjoy his own company.
To be fair it doesn’t matter as long as he is happy. I will be happy if I appear above the chicken wrap next time Joe talks about his friends…

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2 thoughts on “Do we need friends? 

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