Tell me more.” • Supportive people actively look for ways to make your life better. And now, a cancellation two hours before you’re supposed to meet? This is a society in which no commitment is solid, and everything is provisional: jobs, dwellings, spouses, ideologies.They’ll offer you a ride to the airport, a loan when you’re in dire straits, a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick. And with the ubiquity of instant electronic communication, all appointments are subject to change until the last minute, lest a better deal pops up.They help to the best of their ability, vs non-supportive people who will only help if it’s convenient or beneficial to them, if at all. You also just know when someone is looking for some company or for your company specifically. You can still be friends with those who mostly treat you like an option, but you probably shouldn’t bend over backwards to accommodate them in your life. Do they treat you as a means to an end, or an end in yourself? Because she has a famous father, and she never knows whether people want to be friends because of her, or to gain access to her dad.
That’s why I’ve come up with these 5 criteria by which you can quickly assess any relationship.
The answer to each question is binary — yes/no, A or B — so pay attention to the answer that spontaneously arises, before thinking has a chance to interfere with it.
Chances are that your gut reaction to these questions is accurate — and very telling about the nature of your relationship with Aubrey. He or she is our stand-in for awkward constructs like “he or she”, “this person”, and the singular “they.” Besides, it’s a nice name. The first criterion to consider is simple: Does Aubrey fundamentally support you, or cut you down?
Hey, I may not know the capital of Mongolia, but I know who my friends are, right? This means that about half the time, the friendship was one-sided. Is someone who offers to pick you up at the airport your friend?
In a study by Alex (Sandy) Pentland and colleagues of the MIT Media Lab, 94% of people who nominated someone as a friend expected to be nominated in return.
Turns out that even scientists have a suprisingly hard time answering these questions.
How about the person who invites you to his wedding? What if he doesn’t really care about you but just likes a really good party?
Let’s take this Friendship Test and see how you and Aubrey get along. I almost feel silly explaining this, since it seems self-evident.
But friendship and love bias our judgment, and sometimes we find ourselves the recipient of mixed behaviors — sometimes warm but other times cold. Perhaps some examples would be illustrative: • When you make a mistake, supportive people empathize with you : “Oh wow, yeah, I missed a deadline last month, too.