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  1. Maybe it’s just me, but in general, the rules of friendship are pretty ubiquitous, and not that complicated. Friends are people who have similarities and differences that you embrace. The expanded explanation of this is if there are aspects of your friend that make you uncomfortable, or you disagree with, you accept them enough that they are still your friends. Friendships are rather like romantic relationships: you can’t change a person, and you can’t go into a relationship expecting them to change, or that *you* can change them.

    That said, if something gets to a point where a behavior is no longer acceptable, if the friendship is valuable to you, you want to have a conversation with them, try to work things out. But if the relationship isn’t valuable to you, then maybe you do just choose not to hang with them any more, if possible.

    I have certainly done all the things you have said above. I have defended my friends, I have confronted my friends (more gently in the past than I might now), and I have done the best I could to mend relationships. And what I have found as I get older is that I tend to make more aquaintances, and less friends. I’ve grown apart from a number of friends, and I’ve lost friends when the relationship no longer stood up to differences…both from my actions and theirs.

    There are levels of friendship, of course, too, and the number of people I consider close friends – people I’ve let in that deep – can be counted on one hand with fingers left over.

    This is a long sprawling comment, but to answer your question, I don’t think it comes down to rules of friendship, There is simply what you do or do not feel comfortable with. And once that becomes an issue, you either have to accept it, address it, or move on. The choice is up to you what you do.

  2. I’ve managed to push myself into corners like these in the lo-many-years I’ve been on the Internet. When I started being ‘’ a decade ago, people were very quick to call others ‘friend.’ And… well, I tend to take the term ‘friend’ pretty seriously, and this tended to get me roped into unfortunate circumstances — i.e., assuming that someone was a friend and thus going several extra miles for them. This has even had the occasional financial repercussion, which fortunately cemented the realization that ‘friend’ doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone.

    So I’d like to know as well, what the most polite, straightforward way to tell someone the ‘definition of friendship’ and ‘definition of acquaintanceship’ is.

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