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T-6005
01-17-2010, 01:05 PM
I have friends for a wide variety of purposes - each person I hang out with corresponds to some aspect of my personality.

It may sound horrible, but bear with me.

I'm not saying there isn't some overlap between them - they're all pretty good drinking buddies, for instance. But there's no doubt that some friends are more optimized than others for discussing certain friends.

I have an Anthropology friend, because I can't talk about ethnography and social theory with Holly (or the other friends, really). I have my forbearing dork friend to talk about video games and comics, and another friend to talk to about books and history-lite. I think Holly's place in the model is self-explanatory, but anyway. I don't yet have a guitar-playing buddy, but they're a dime a dozen. It wouldn't be hard to find one, so I don't try. I've got the international friend to talk to about the international student experience.

It's hard to compartmentalize my personality like that, and I often slip up - I mention something from class to Holly or my dork friend and I get the "eyes glazed, where's-my-phone" look. Too polite to interrupt a friend or to straight out tell me they don't care, they allow their eyes and minds to wander around until I pause for breath, then they change the topic, thinking I won't notice.

It's fine with me - I imagine it's just about impossible to find someone who's interested in the exact same things you are (I don't talk to Holly about makeup or the budding relationships at her workplace) - but sometimes I find myself failing to keep the subjects separate. I mean, these are all things I have an active interest in, so it can't be helped that eventually I'll talk about them.

Just wondering what your friendscapes look like. Those of you in high school probably have nice little cliques where your interests are distilled and homogenized, but I imagine those of us who've been out a few years or more have discovered multiple interests that aren't necessarily shared by every person we have contact with. What do you do? What do you do?

DMelges
01-17-2010, 01:18 PM
I can totally relate.

I have different friends for different things. I have friends to discuss life with, friends to play video games with, friends to rock out with, friends to drink with, friends to go out with and friends to stay in doors with. I also have friends with whom I can discuss international and cultural subjects, while the other friends have no idea of what is going on in the world. Friends to talk about sex with, friends to have sex with, and friends who haven't even got to second base yet. And those few friends with whom I can talk art with...

It is impossible to find someone that shares all your interests. I find myself avoiding certain subjects with friends, because I know that it will basically be a one way conversation, or we will end up arguing because they are misinformed in some subject, or even vice-versa.

But I do find it interesting that my 'rock out' buddys, with whom I play shows and go to shows, they are also my drinking buddies, and they are good to have life and art conversations as well.

Paint_It_Black
01-17-2010, 01:56 PM
But there's no doubt that some friends are more optimized than others for discussing certain friends.

I'm quite sure you didn't mean to say that, but it reminded me that one of my favorite things to talk about with my friends are our other mutual friends. Gossiping is awesome.

Most of my friends are only good for talking about games. Maybe some movies or a little tv. But mostly games. Not surprising really, since playing games is about all we do together.

I have one friend who is good to talk to about almost any subject that interests me, though his input is not always the greatest. Still, he lets me talk and talk and generally agrees, so what could be better?

One of my best friends fairly recently went from being a religious right-winger to an atheist left-winger. It was a slow development I suppose that gained momentum towards the end. Anyway, I of course loved this development. Finally a real life friend to criticize religion and bash Republicans with.

I'm fortunate enough to have an excellent online friend to talk about pretty much anything with, so that covers any holes.

DMelges
01-17-2010, 02:19 PM
One of my best friends fairly recently went from being a religious right-winger to an atheist left-winger. It was a slow development I suppose that gained momentum towards the end. Anyway, I of course loved this development. Finally a real life friend to criticize religion and bash Republicans with.

So I'm guessing you like the fact of he turned into an atheist left-winger? Must've been interesting to see that take shape, huh ?

I don't have many friends that I can talk religion with. Where I live alot of people are strong catholics, and they prefer to leave it that way.

I'm a direct realism kind of guy, so I absorve and analyze, and only later criticize. And most of my friends, are a bit closed minded. So you throw an idea towards them, and they reject it immediatley.

But the few friends I have with whom I can discuss such these.... our conversations can last hours and hours.

Rag Doll
01-17-2010, 02:29 PM
I never really thought much of this I suppose. Let's give it a try...

I have a group of friends for discussing all things trivial (they're actually my trivia team...). We get together at parties and talk about music (all have roughly the same tastes), movies (different), tv (different), and celebrity gossip. Occasionally, also gossip about people we know (most of us all went to the same high school).

My two closest female friends....we talk about all that personal life stuff. School, work, family, significant others, etc. With a bit of the gossip thrown in. They're the ones I can talk to about any of the serious personal things...or the not so serious personal thing.

I have another close female friend that I can do some of the personal life discussions with. She's also almost my clone, physically and personality-wise. We have a lot of the same entertainment interests (Six Feet Under, the Smashing Pumpkins, so on). We are also very much the same politically.....we were both Women's Studies majors, not religious (I'm atheist, she's agnostic), very liberal, pretty intelligent, etc. Oh, and big drinkers. She fills a big void with my female friends.

The mens can indulge my goofy side and my intellectual side. The only thing with him that gets the glazed over look is with gossip about friends and whatnot. Unless there's a TON of drama, then he's interested (bit of schadenfreude, I guess).

Vera
01-17-2010, 03:03 PM
It's weird. I feel like I'm a lot less compartmentalized with my friends. I mean, I tend to think of it as which friends I can talk about niché interests and which I can't. Usually the more niché I can get with a friend, the more every other area of conversation is open, be it life, studies, work, inter-personal relationships. But of course, really depends on the moment whether I want to talk about studies or the bizarre fan behavior I've observed while lurking at some message board for a TV show I'm into.

That's not to say I don't like hanging out with those peeps who I can't discuss absolutely everything with because usually those conversations take interesting, illuminating turns. Like I was hanging out with a school friend who can discuss my less mainstream interests as well because she's a good conversationalist but we usually stick to typical topics, what films/TV we've watched, how work/school/life is going, what kind of crap is happening in our circle of friends.. But this time we got on this tangent about this one acquintance of ours who is kind of pretentious and we basically discussed how using terminology you need a special expertise for is douchey if you're not in company of people who've studied/read what you've read.

With online friends it's more obvious that you get to talking about specific stuff that you have in common.

I sometimes do the "whoops wrong person" thing, like explaining a friend of mine who doesn't watch much TV outside Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City and Project Runway, that I like to buy sitcoms on DVD because they're fun to rewatch and she's like "Oh like Friends?" and I'm like "No, Newsradio ..er it was, um, this sitcom. On [Finnish channel name] in the early 00's as re-runs if I remember correctly. It's funny .. um." :[

I used to do this sort of thing a lot, kind of embarrassingly reveal my quirkiest likes to somebody who was not into them AT ALL.

Also, Thibault, we should become Anthropology friends :]

nieh
01-17-2010, 03:17 PM
Unless there's a TON of drama, then he's interested (bit of schadenfreude, I guess).

You should start hanging out with Kelly again.

Rag Doll
01-17-2010, 03:21 PM
You should start hanging out with Kelly again.

Man, the bridal party I'm in has even more drama than Kelly, surprisingly ;p

nieh
01-17-2010, 03:31 PM
Man, the bridal party I'm in has even more drama than Kelly, surprisingly ;p

How is that even possible?

Al Coholic
01-17-2010, 05:25 PM
While the conversation is often general with most friends, varying personalities are so different there are different friends I would never mix.

T-6005
01-17-2010, 10:08 PM
See, I would totally mix my different friends. Concerted fronts of interest are the best way to bring extant acquaintances in line with broader planes of thought.

Which brings on like 4 hours of fun discussion.

Llamas
01-17-2010, 10:22 PM
It's the same for me. I can talk about nearly anything to my best friend, but everyone else has compartments. One of my best friends is mostly politics and sports. We talk about other stuff, but we're each other's favorite person to talk to about those two things... so we generally stick to that. And then I bring up sports to another close friend, and she just responds with some blanket comment about liking the Vikings... haha. I always have a specific person I go to when I wanna talk about something... I've gotten pretty good about not talking about the wrong stuff to the wrong people, but it does happen, and then there's that awkwardness for a bit. :-P

And as Richard pointed out, there are always those friends you gossip with. Most of my close friends aren't gossipers, which is good because I generally don't like getting involved with gossip... but I have one group of friends who pretty much do nothing else. These friends are awesome drinking/dancing buddies, but otherwise all we do is gossip about each other. Best people to have a night out with, worst people to have a serious conversation with.

And speaking of mixing friends who have extremely dissimilar interests... I recently had a problem with that. Two of my friends now hate each other and won't go somewhere if the other will be there. So immature.

RageAndLov
01-18-2010, 01:33 AM
I am in this position as well. Some friends to play games with, some to play sports with, some to talk about sports with, some to drink with and so on.

Aren't most people in this position? You will probably never find a person with most of your interest. Me myself have never met a person who have the same interests in music as me.