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Thread: Can you be friends with someone you don't respect?

  1. #1
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    Can you be friends with someone you don't respect?

    I'm wrestling with this issue now. Can you be friends with someone you don't respect? Why or why not? Bear in mind I'm not talking about a routine difference of opinion.
    "Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?" - attorney Bob Loblaw, Arrested Development

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  2. #2
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    Hi:

    Is this a new friendship or were you already friends and something happened in which you lost your respect for this person?
    To me it makes a difference.
    If is a new person in your life that you just met and you don't have an ounce of respect for that person I don't think thats a good foundation for a friendship. Friendship is a treasure and friends care respect trust each other. If you don't respect this person you cannot trust this person so how can you be friends? I would then don't extend my friendship just keep the person on a hi bye basis. Now if this was a dear friend and he or she did something which shaked your foundation of friendship analyze it put the good and bad on a balance and then make the decission to terminate the relationship or not.

  3. #3
    DmOrtega Guest
    No. Clear and simple. If I don't respect someone, I will be freindly and respectful but not freinds. Freinds usually share values. That is the basis for any relationship. Granted we all make mistakes but if those mistakes are repeated over and over, then being freinds is too much work. I am not willing to change my values to suit someone that isn't willing to change theirs for the sake of a freindship.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by DmOrtega
    No. Clear and simple. If I don't respect someone, I will be freindly and respectful but not freinds. Freinds usually share values. That is the basis for any relationship. Granted we all make mistakes but if those mistakes are repeated over and over, then being freinds is too much work. I am not willing to change my values to suit someone that isn't willing to change theirs for the sake of a freindship.
    Ditto!

  5. #5
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    Dorena put it in a nutshell for me. I cannot say it any better.
    Life is all about a$$; you're either covering it, laughing it off, kicking it, kissing it, busting it, trying to get a piece of it, behaving like one, or you live with one.

    Maxine

  6. #6
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    Personally, I could not be close friends with someone who's integrity I had doubts about but that doesn't mean I couldn't enjoy their company in a more superficial way, maybe. They could be entertaining, a lot of fun to be with but if I think they are in some way dishonest or couldn't be trusted then they would never get to that level of a friend that is so close they're like family. If I got nothing out of the relationship, if the person had no redeeming characteristics at all or their negative ones kept getting in the way then I probably wouldn't see the point of continuing it.
    Linda

    When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say “I used everything you gave me.”

    Erma Bombeck

  7. #7
    Originally posted by HejazSunKat
    Personally, I could not be close friends with someone who's integrity I had doubts about but that doesn't mean I couldn't enjoy their company in a more superficial way, maybe. They could be entertaining, a lot of fun to be with but if I think they are in some way dishonest or couldn't be trusted then they would never get to that level of a friend that is so close they're like family. If I got nothing out of the relationship, if the person had no redeeming characteristics at all or their negative ones kept getting in the way then I probably wouldn't see the point of continuing it.
    This is where I stand.

  8. #8
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    I have some casual friends with whom I disagree on some pretty major political and personal issues. I am not sure I could have a confidante who did not share my core values, but that doesn't mean I cannot associate with someone who has different views.

    Then again, you mentioned respect. I can respect that someone might disagree with me on certain political issues, but I couldn't, for example, respect someone who was racist or someone who abused a family member. There are matters of degree in this type of situation.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

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  9. #9
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    Nope. Don't think so. I have pretty much lost contact with a friend for that very reason. We had fun, but I cannot respect how she chooses to live and the very strange decisions she makes. Makes it hard to keep the conversation going. I got to the point where I asked myself why I was wasting my time with it.
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  10. #10
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    No,why would you want to be? I have dear close friends and we do sometimes disagree on significant issues. but I respect their views and they respect mine. Someone whom I do not respect does not get past "acquaintance" level. You know, you can be congenial if you end up seated together at a party or need to have contact because of work, but would never plan to spend time together.

  11. #11
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    well, I have one friend that I don't necessarily respect. It's not like she does all kind of weird things or anything--it's just that her priorities in life are very superficial and I just don't respect that. BUT, that said--she has stood by me in a couple of rough patches in my life and she has earned my loyalty. I could never turn my back on someone who has helped me through some dark times.

    We don't stay in close touch and most of my other friends can't STAND her--but she has earned the title friend and as I don't bestow that title often, I take it away even less often.

    Kristi
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  12. #12
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    Nope. And I wouldn't want someone who didn't respect me to call me their friend, either.
    Work is the ruin of the drinking classes.

  13. #13
    Personally, I could not be close friends with someone who's integrity I had doubts about but that doesn't mean I couldn't enjoy their company in a more superficial way, maybe.
    This is how I feel. I actually had to examine my feelings on this lately because I had to reevaluate a friendship. Ultimately I decided to include her in group activies, but to be less available for one on one time.

  14. #14
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    Superficial friends, yes. True, genuine friends, no.

    I also think it comes down to - is this a person you HAVE to be in contact with or is there an option for you not to see them again? For example, I am friendly with the people I work with but I don't consider them friends - it's not so much that I don't respect them, it's more that we don't have anything in common. But I have to be around them, and it's easier in that situation to be friendly and engage in friendly banter together than it is not to do that.

    I have several friends who have very different political opinions or even, in some cases, values than I do, but I still respect them greatly. I am trying to think about the people I know who I do not respect - and no, I don't think I could be friends with them past the point of politeness. I certainly don't think I would open myself up emotionally to someone I didn't respect or share things about my personal life with them.
    I will still never be able to stomach medleys. I either want to hear a song or not hear a song; I never want to hear part of a song.
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  15. #15
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    Respect on what level? I have several friends that do things like ... sleeping around (big time one of them) and I don't respect that about them. But I manage to separate the relationships that he has (short as they are) with the relationship that I have with him (going on 8 years now, and we are very close). I respect the aspects of him that have to do with me. At the end of the day, he is an adult, and those decisions he makes with regards to whom he goes home with have little affect on my life, or on my relationship with him.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  16. #16
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    My gut says no.

    However, since you don't respect this person anyhow, that doesn't mean that they can't be useful to you. Think of all the liberties you can take with someone you don't respect, but pretend to be friends with. When it comes time to burn your bridge, no pesky feelings to get in the way. Heh, heh!
    (I don't advocate this tactic for the weak of stomach)

    I suppose you were looking for something a little more insightful. Sorry, there just aren't enough details provided for me to have a real opinion.
    More calm, cool, scathing logic that drives women crazy...

  17. #17
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    I suppose you were looking for something a litte more insightful.
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  18. #18
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    I actually cannot be friends with someone I don't respect. (And have ended some relationships I mistook for friendships for this reason.) Some fundamental beliefs ultimately tie in with respect. Let's face it, if you don't respect someone, there's probably little you have in common with them anyway.
    "There's no food in your food!!" Joan Cusack to John Cusack in "Say Anything."

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by jmarie
    "A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."
    My eyes just about flew out of my head when I read the above. I remember that very saying hand painted on a plate which hung in my aunt Adele's house. I loved the saying so much, I wrote it in shorthand in the back of a notebook. That was about 16 years ago. I find the words just as profound today.
    "There's no food in your food!!" Joan Cusack to John Cusack in "Say Anything."

  20. #20
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    I'm in the no crowd too. Respect is core to a good relationship, if it isn't there I can't be close.

    I recently let go of an extremely close friend because she started cheating on her husband. I just couldn't be the unconditionally supportive friend anymore and so it ended. Very painful. Not recommended.

    Now, that is a moral issue. Political, religious and cultural differences I put on a different plane. I can respect those differences even if I disagree with the individual philosophy or action and can have a close friendship, as long as that is reciprocated.
    ~ I used to be undecided, but now I'm not so sure ~ Boscoe Pertwee

  21. #21
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    My eyes just about flew out of my head when I read the above. I remember that very saying hand painted on a plate which hung in my aunt Adele's house. I loved the saying so much, I wrote it in shorthand in the back of a notebook. That was about 16 years ago. I find the words just as profound today.
    Glad you like(ed)it! I think it rather profound, too!
    Joyce
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  22. #22
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    So what do you do if it's family????.... New issues for me...
    Peggy
    ...Wag more
    Bark less

  23. #23
    I'm with ya, Peggy. Can't choose your relatives, can you??

    But, to the original question - I respect all my close friends. That's why they are close. I don't give a fig what my casual friends are doing.

    Debie
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

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