Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Search DH  
Home | About Us | Subscribe | Contact Us | Archives | Feedback | DH Avenues


World Cup 2006
Edit Page
Net Mail
Your Take
In City Today
Daily Almanac
Festivals of India
Year 2006
Daily Astrospeak 
Annual Chinese Horoscope - 2006 
Calendar 2006

Pearls of wisdom
We know our friends by their 
defects rather than by their merits."
W Somerset Maugham

Economy & Business
'WINNING' with Jack & Suzy Welch
Metro Life - Mon
Science & Technology
DH Avenues
Cyber Space
Metro Life - Thurs
DH Education
  English For You
Studying in India 
Studying Abroad
Metro Friday
Open Sesame
DH Realty
Metro Life - Sat
Sunday Herald
Fine Art / Culture
Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Art Reviews
Kuldip Nayar
Khushwant Singh
N J Nanporia
Tavleen Singh
Swami Sukhbodhananda
Bittu Sahgal
Suresh Menon
Shreekumar Varma
Movie Guide
Ad Links
International School
Real Estate Properties in Bangalore
Deccan Herald
Now Available
in Print Format
About Us

Send your Suggestions / Queries about the Website to the

To send letters to Editor : 
Letters to Editor

You are welcome to post your letters/responses to NETMAIL here.

For enquiries on advertisements :
Contact Us

Deccan Herald » Panorama » Detailed Story
Amity is the best policy
By Mark Vernon
Friendships are vital for wellbeing, but they take time to develop and can't be artificially created
The causes of social ills — from homelessness, to divorce and obesity — are variously cited as poverty, mobility or unhappiness. But new research from Gallup suggests something else is going wrong: friendship. It seems modern society has overlooked the importance of the relationship that Aristotle noted is more desirable in life than any other good thing.

In his new book, Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford To Live Without, the Gallup director Tom Rath makes a sharp point. If you ask people why they became homeless, why their marriage failed or why they overeat, they do not blame it on poverty or mobility.

They go off the rails, they say, because of the poor quality, or nonexistence, of friendships. They feel outcast or unloved. People say friendship is over five times as important as physical intimacy in marriage.

Individuals with no real friends at work have only a one in 12 chance of feeling engaged in their job. Rath's remedy is a "friendship audit" — a scientific basis to the weighing of relationships.

The key is to recognise that different individuals give you different things that you need, and then to sharpen each friendship in line with its strength. There are, apparently, eight basic roles that friends play.

A "vital friends assessment" test calculates the balance of qualities you require from your closest circle.

First, if friendship audits are helpful at all, it seems likely that the benefits will go mostly to the "worried well". Self-help programmes presume a lot of positive-thinking credit. Those whose lives have broken down will, by definition, have a serious deficit on this count.

And, while various movements have realised that friendship is an excellent way of helping people from a path of floundering to flourishing - from buddying schemes for people with HIV to the counselling of psychotherapy - they have also recognised that friendship takes substantial time and effort.

Second, analysing what friends give is a risky business, particularly if you share your assessment with your friend.

There is little more damaging to friendship than the thought that you are being used. Third, the trouble with auditing friends is that it treats them like service providers whose value fluctuates according to how they perform. Worse, it nurtures the self-centredness that Rath identifies as a big social problem.

As Adam Smith concluded: commercial society, for all its benefits, tends not to educate people to live good lives, but lives that are good enough (for commerce). Or as Oscar Wilde said: a friend is someone who stabs you in the front.

The Guardian
Comment on this article
Other Headlines
Burden of education »
Amity is the best policy »
Schools can reap the harvest »
Fasting and feasting »
Life as a gossip girl »
Ad Links
Flowers cakes gifts to Bangalore Mumbai India
Florist Flowers Gifts Delhi Bangalore Mumbai
NRIs Rush! No Min Bal A/c
Post your Matrimonial Profile for FREE! Search Exclusive Proposals from India and Abroad.
Buy Shoes, Slippers, Apparels, Furnitures Online.
Flowers to India, Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab, Florist, Indian, Bangalore, Gifts, India.
Send Flowers, Cakes, Chocolate, Fruits to Pune.
Send Gift Cake Flower India Online
Mother's Day flowers Bangalore, Brazil, Spain, Poland, Italy  
Copyright 2005, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G. Road, Post Box No 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523