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How my sister became my most important friend

Great luck: Sometimes your own sister becomes the best friend in the world.
Photo: iStock

Siblings can be best friends

How do I find a good friend? Fortunately, I never had to ask this question, because my sister has become the best friend in the world for me. But until then it was a long way ...

It's the middle of the night, three o'clock in the morning. I'm alone, somewhere in a parking lot in a strange city. Two hours earlier, my now ex-boyfriend told me he does not love me. I could stuff only a few clothes in a bag, then I fled the apartment. Somehow I have to survive the hours until dawn - until I can move to a hotel. At this moment I just want one thing: to talk to someone, to trust him, what happened to me, to talk to someone who thinks clearly for me and takes the night off the scare. I stare at my phone, flick through the address book, review the friends I might want to call now. And choose my sister's number.

There can be no friendship between family members, especially between parents and children or siblings, says philosopher Michel de Montaigne in his essay "On Friendship". Montaigne says that being too close between such close relatives would hurt natural duties. For example, family members can not say everything they think because it would lead to improper confidentiality. As far as siblings are concerned, I must now disagree with Montaigne. Because my little sister has become my most important friend for me.

Of course that was not always the case. Especially in our youth, there were plenty of tears, popping doors and loud arguments. I could not understand her behavior, she did not understand mine, and far too often I thought I had to tell her how she should live her life. My motives were care and love. But I took her the space that she needed to develop independently.

Today I know that this phase was especially important in making us friends. A well-known quote from a stranger to friendship reads, "A friend is someone who likes you even though he knows you." We know the deepest abysses of both of us, knowing many of the mistakes the other made. And we like each other anyway, and a little bit because of that, because the lenient knowledge of our weaknesses allows us a special closeness. In addition, it is easier to understand the reactions of others, because we can explain much by background knowledge.

Why is my sister not just a friend, but the most important one?

In answer to this question, a fact plays an important role, which the sociologist Rudolf Stichweh names as follows: "Compared to friendship, the family in many ways benefits. Their biggest is their "immutability." " If we'd just been friends who might have met at a hobby, we would not have always been aware that we'd remain sisters forever and thus connected, we probably would have at so many points Contact cut.

Especially today it is the case that people rarely have real friends and rely more on a slightly variable network of acquaintances, which can change quickly according to the circumstances of life. Above all, more and more people cultivate friendships in which the mutual "benefit forms the motive of friendship, " as the philosopher Aristotle puts it in his Nicomachean Ethics.

Many also cultivate friendships that serve the sole purpose of having fun together. Of course, these friendships are also valuable and indispensable for a fulfilling life. But those who have found a "perfect friendship", as Aristotle calls them, can certainly be especially happy. In such a friendship, the philosopher says, "excellent characters" are friends with each other because they value each other for their own sake. This form has become rare and to reach it requires a lot of time and mutual familiarity. This time had my sister and me.

When I told my sister that I was writing a text about our friendship, she was touched. But not only that, she also immediately thought about our friendship with me and said something that perhaps makes it clear why our connection is so special. Our friendship is "unconditional, " she said. "You have to do a lot so I do not like you anymore". On the other hand, I could only confirm this very much, because I feel the same way. And even if that happened, I'd probably still beat up anyone who wants to do something to them - the way the sisters are doing: they 're watching each other, no matter what.


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