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Friendship IELTS Listening Reading Practice

Published on July 15th, 2018 | Last updated on September 7th, 2019 by | Category: Listening Practice in English | 3 Comments on Friendship IELTS Listening Reading Practice | 131 Views | Reading Time: 7 minutes

Friendship IELTS Listening Reading Practice

Friendship IELTS Listening Reading Practice

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Friendship IELTS Reading Practice

Trying to be a better friend to yourself sounds like an odd idea initially because we naturally imagine a friend as someone else, not as a part of our own mind, but there is value in the concept because of the extent to which we know how to treat our own friends with the sympathy and imagination we seldom apply to ourselves. If a friend is in trouble, our first instinct is rarely to tell them that they are fundamentally in a failure. If a friend complains that their partner isn’t very warm to them, we don’t tell them they’re getting what they deserve. We try to reassure them that they’re essentially likable and that it’s worth investigating what might be done.

In friendship, we know instinctively how to deploy strategies of wisdom and consolation that we stubbornly refuse to apply to ourselves. There are some key moves a good friend would typically make which can provide a model for what we should ideally be doing with ourselves in our own heads. Firstly, a good friend likes you pretty much as you already are. Any suggestion they make and ambition they have about how you could change builds on a background of acceptance.

When they propose that you might try a different tack, it’s not an ultimatum or a threat. They’re not saying that you have to change, or be abandoned. A friend insists we’re good enough already, but they want to join forces with us to solve a challenge they feel we would probably benefit from overcoming.

Without being flattering, good friends also constantly keep in mind certain things we’re getting right. They don’t think anything wrong with the odd compliment and emphasis on our strengths. It’s quietly galling how easily we can lose sight of all our own good points when troubles strike. The friend doesn’t fall into this trap. They can acknowledge the difficulties, while still holding onto a memory of our virtues. The good friend is compassionate. when we fail – as we will – they are understanding and generous around our mishaps. Our folly doesn’t exclude them from the circle of their love. The good friend definitely conveys that to err, fail and screw up is just what we humans do.

We will emerge from childhood with various biases in our characters which evolved to help us cope with our necessarily imperfect parents, and these acquired habits of mind will reliably let us down in adult life, but we’re not to be blamed because we didn’t deliberately set out to be like this. We didn’t realistically have a lot of better options. We’re indelibly required to make big decisions before we ever really understand what’s a stake or how our choices will play out.

We’re steering blind in all our large moves around love and work. We opt for a move to a different city, but we can’t possibly know whether we’re going to flourish there. We have to select a career path when we’re still young and we don’t know what our later needs will be.

In long-term relationships, we have to make a commitment to another person before we understand what it would be like to tie our lives so deeply to theirs. The good friend knows failures are not in fact rare. They bring – as a starting point – their own and humanity’s vivid experience of messing up into play as key points of reference. They’re continually telling us that our specific case might be unique, but that the general structure is common. People don’t just sometimes fail; everyone fails. only we don’t know about it. 

It’s ironic, yet essentially hopeful that we usually know quite well how to be a better friend to near strangers than we know how to be to ourselves. The hopefulness lies in the fact that we do actually already possess the relevant skills of friendship. It’s just we haven’t as yet directed them to the person who probably needs them most, namely of course ourselves.

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Friendship IELTS Listening Practice

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