compare between family and friends
Comparison Between Family and Friends
A family is a group of individuals consisting of parents and children while friendship refers to affection between persons who are not related. According to Gonzalez (2013), both family and friends are very important to each and every person since they are the foundations on which people build their social lives. However, there are a number of differences between family and friends.
With family, we have no choice over who can and cannot be our family. One is just born into their family. Contrary to this, individuals are able to choose their friends mostly on the basis similarities in character and hobbies among others. In some cases, family members such as siblings may have different personalities unlike in friendships where most friends usually have similar interests, behavior and personality.
Additionally, family relationships are permanent while friendship relationship may change over time. With time, individuals lose their old friends and get new friends thus as their ages and environments change so do friendships. When an individual faces a problem, it is likely that their friends will forsake them if their friendship was not strong enough. Friends might leave if they find an individual’s problem to be cumbersome and difficult to deal with. At times, friends may leave if they find out that they can no longer benefit from a friendship relationship. An individual’s family however supports and helps them when they are facing problems.
Due to the differences in age between family members, there are differences in opinions and views. Family members are more likely to judge each other’s decisions and thus friendships offer an outlet for one’s secrets and regrets. Most people avoid sharing details of their actions and decisions with their parents. People share things they know their family members would not approve of with their closest friends, and this strengthens the bond between friends. Unlike family, good friends advise against a decision instead of criticizing it as family members would and this thus leads individuals to trust their friends more than they trust their family members.
Also, individuals contact friends more than they contact their family members. With the knowledge that family members will always be there for them, individuals strive more to maintain friendship relationships as compared to family relationships. Adults and teenagers are more likely to spend more time and energy repairing broken friendships than maintaining family ties. As a result, friendship relationships become stronger than family relationships.
Since individuals have no choice over family members and perceive the family relationship to be permanent, they are able to solve disagreements easily and freely. Family members can point out their dissatisfactions within the family relationships since they have security in that the particular relationship is permanent. Conflicts are thus worked out since individuals are honest about their feelings. In friendly relationships, however, individuals do not have such security since the relationship could end at any time due to any reason no matter how petty. People involved in the friendship relationship are afraid that saying something negative to the other person would result at the end of the friendship. Individuals are thus forced to bottle up their feelings, and this can threaten the relationship in the long run.
Also, friendship relationships are determined by family relationships. Research studies show that people with bigger families have a larger number of friends. Similarly, individuals with smaller families are likely to have a smaller number of friends.
As a similarity, both family relationships and friendships are used as a means of providing emotional support to individuals.
Though different in the above ways, both family relationships and friendships serve the same purpose to individuals. Both are very important to the social development of each and every individual. Though individuals put more effort to ensure that their friendships are maintained, it is essential to understand that friends cannot serve the purpose of a family. Individuals must learn to treasure both relationships equally.
Gonzalez, J. A., Ragins, B. R., Ehrhardt, K., & Singh, R. (2013, January). Friends and Family: The Role of Relationships in Community and Workplace Attachment. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2013, No. 1, p. 14958). Academy of Management.
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