Birds of a feather flock together, or do opposites attract?
Choosing friends is a significant part of one’s life. As they say, friends are God’s way of saying sorry for our relatives. One has no control over one’s relations that he/she is born with, but life gives us ample of opportunities to let us decide who we want in our life as friends, the priceless treasures who enrich our being with the wealth of their companionship. However, it remains a pertinent question in many a minds as to, when it comes to friendships, what holds truer? Similarities or dissimilarities? Complementing or resembling? Food for thought, indeed.
Initially, perhaps the very first thing that strikes our mind is that we fall usually and oftener for people who are “like” us, sharing the same temperament, tastes, choices, opinion, nature etc. that is how we think “wavelengths” and “frequencies” will match, and the two (or more) individuals involved will come to share a beautiful rapport. It works in more situations than not. Like-minded people hanging out have less scope for disagreements, clash of viewpoints, arguments etc. and therefore the chances of friction are limited. On the contrary, they are drawn closer by the sameness they share, and that they can go on endlessly praising their favourite movie, or drooling over a common onscreen crush, or echo each other’s take on some socio-political issue, if they discuss serious stuff, that is. In short, they support each other in their ‘yes’s and ‘no’s, thereby building up a perfect equation. The very fact that they validate each other’s beliefs and values diminishes the scope for conflict, and this holds good for relationships as well, in many cases. Even psychological tests have deduced that we have a preference for someone who has the same sort of personality/traits, which include neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness etc. and for all of these, a positive partner-to-partner correlation works in favour of relationships, that includes friendship as well.
However, there also exists another school of thought which professes that opposite minds attract. Such friendships, if worked at, can turn out to be beautiful and perhaps even more fulfilling than bonding with similar ones. After all, making and keeping friends with someone who is an absolute contrast requires immense amount of receptiveness, acceptance, respect and a broad perspective. And the reward of it all lies in having someone beside you, who may not resonate your thoughts and feelings, but understands and appreciates them nevertheless. Such two friends can complete each other way, as in making up for the lacks in each other, and being drawn even closer in the process. Through initial trifles and bickering, the strength in the relationship, if sustained, that comes through is unparalleled. Even though poles apart in attitudinal and behavioural characteristics, they might get along wonderfully and in the process, bring out the best traits in each other, that might have been lying dormant. When two different people come together, there is no scope for ‘boredom’ or ‘saturation’ in a relationship/friendship, the journey of exploration, revelation and admiration continues. After all, variety is the spice of life! So, why not let chalk and cheese gel well?
However, at the end of the day, it’s about two individuals. It’s best to let them decide what works best for them. There is no hard and fast rule involved in friendships, nor can any amount of speculations and discussions can draw an ultimate conclusion. So, if one thing one forms stronger attachments with like-minded people, let him be, and if one feels the other way round, well, to each his own.