My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship
I will discuss some of the variables affecting friendships, giving special attention to the issues of challenges and opportunities in friendship, intimacy and attachment, and friendships between men.
Challenges and opportunities in friendship
Friendship may be described by their quality as well as by their conflict (Demir et al., 2007). Thus, maintenance behaviors of positivity, supportiveness, openness, and interaction were identified as key factors in maintaining friendship (Oswald et al., 2004). Nevertheless, many people maintain not only supportive, but also conflictual or ambivalent friendships. While supportive friendships are primarily maintained because of their positive aspects, ambivalent relationships were found to be primarily compelled by one’s own internal demands, such as a feeling of commitment (Bushman & Holt-Lunstad, 2009).
Friendships are essential to human development and resilience and may have both positive and negative effects on mental and physical health (Bushman & Holt-Lunstad, 2009; Furman et al., 2009; Guroglu et al., 2008; Sias & Bartoo, 2007). Friendships were found to be an important source of happiness (Demir et al., 2007) and inversely related to the sense of loneliness (Akhtar, 2009). Kernes & Kinnier (2008) studied psychologists and found that intimate relationships, family, and friendships brought the most personal meaning to their lives. Furthermore, friendships were found to diminish inter-group anxiety (Page-Gould et al., 2008).