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Chapter

PSYC 3690 Chapter Notes -Stoicism


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 3690
Professor
Benjamin Gottlieb

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Article #: 27
Title: A Friend in Need...
- “a friend in need is a friend indeed”
- this saying suggests two very different concepts of friendship
- if the friend indeed is the one who is in need, then friendship entails dependence: no
friend is more tenacious than one who is needy
- if the friend is one who responds to that need, however, then the friendship is a form of
altruism
- nearly everyone talked to about the effect of illness on friendship fears slipping from a
reasonable, short-term reliance or an abject, lifelong dependence
- as one friend becomes increasingly needy, the mutuality of love and concern that
friends presumably share is thrown off balance
- the prospect of resolving this ambiguity and sustaining truly mutual friendships in spite
of unequal need is the theme of this chapter
- a friend who responds to need is a friend indeed. A personal crisis that reduces your
capacity to care for yourself works as a test, sorting the true, genres friends from the
fair-weather acquaintances
- showing that the victim could laugh at themselves (one of the traits that wins their
friends) remained unchanged in spite of serious illness
- there is a common assumptions that tragedy changes your character in profound
ways, giving you insight into cosmic truth that puts cliched expressions of sympathy
and shame
- most often, when friends disappear, it is simply because they donʼt know how to
respond
- friends want not only to be correct but to be helpful, to contribute to your well-being,
not upset it
- one of the “advantages” of chronic illness is that friends who shy away in the beginning
have plane of time to make up for it later on
- those of us who experience intermittent crises find that it is not always the same
friends who respond to our need each time
- out friendsʼ availability varies with the conditions of their own lives
- we tend to think of our “best” friends as the ones who can be counted on consistently,
who take responsibility for seeing that we are cared for even if they canʼt be there
themselves
- people who are part of the structure of your life become more visible and significant as
they offer help in times of illness
- a friend indeed is one who sticks around even when need ceases, as it at least
appears to do in times of remission
- the kind of friendship that can be maintained “in sickness and in health” is in fact more
dependable altruism
- it requires genuine empathy, an ability to see you as an individual, not just as a sick
person
- rather than merely giving, true friends give on terms appropriate to your unique
character - they know you
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