Is there a friend for life? 是否存在一輩子的朋友?

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我們都需要朋友,但友誼是一成不變的嗎?生活的變遷意味著我們的朋友圈也會發生變化。哪些人是泛泛之交?哪些人才是推心置腹的摯友?本期 「隨身英語」 討論友誼這個話題。

詞彙:friendship 友誼

Who do you count as your friends? From our BFF to a work mate, it’s good to have someone to chew the fat with or offer comfort and support. But when it comes to friendship, is it more important to have quantity or quality?

The recent isolation we have endured due to the coronavirus pandemic has made some of us question our friendships. We’ve fallen out of touch with friends and acquaintances, and it may feel awkward, but do we actually have to rekindle every relationship we once had? It might be time to take stock and think about who you kept in touch with, who you missed talking to, and who you didn’t. In short, maybe it’s time to reset your list of real mates.

There’s no obligation to stay friends, and writing for BBC Worklife, Bryan Lufkin says: 「While people have known for years that friendships are unquestionably good for your health, experts say it’s only natural for acquaintances and even friends to fall by the wayside as time goes on – and it’s nothing to feel guilty about.」

Of course, it can be hard to choose who’s in your friendship circle. This is what Suzanne Degges-White, professor of counselling at Northern Illinois University, calls our 『friendscape』. She says, 「in life, as we go through certain stages and ages, our attention shifts, and we want to be around people who are like us.」

So, changing friends is normal, but we still need those special pals who’ve known us long term. These are friendships we invest time in. According to Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Oxford, these are your inner circle of friends – your 「shoulders to cry on」 – and you have to see them at least once a week to keep them in that circle. He adds that the friends that do drift are mostly 「friendships of convenience」. But the advice for maintaining a good friendship is to share how you feel with someone you trust – this can help strengthen your friendship as well as giving you both a chance to support each other.

詞彙表

BFF (best friend forever) 最好的朋友
work mate 同事,工友
chew the fat 閒聊
comfort 安慰
friendship 友誼
out of touch 不常聯繫,疏遠
acquaintance 泛泛之交,相識的人
rekindle 重新燃起(一段關係、感情)
relationship 關係
take stock 反思,仔細考慮
mate 夥伴,朋友
fall by the wayside 中途放棄,不再熟絡
friendship circle 交友圈
friendscape 朋友圈
pal 好友
inner circle 核心(朋友)圈
a shoulder to cry on 可以傾訴的對象
drift 漸漸疏遠
friendship of convenience 由於便利而結成的友誼
strengthen 增強,鞏固

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What recent event has caused us to lose contact with some friends?

2. According to Bryan Lufkin, how guilty should we feel about losing contact with a friend?

3. How can we maintain a good friendship?

4. True or false? Your inner circle of friends are just friends of convenience.

5. According to one expert, what kind of people do we like to be around?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The words from my dad offered some _______ after I failed my exams.

rekindle                          convenience              comfort                   friendscape

2. I needed a _______ after I split up with my boyfriend.

shoulder to cry on          shoulder to crying on

cry on a shoulder           shoulders to cry on

3. After ten years at the company, I need to _______ of my career and decide what to do next.

rekindle                           take stock                 chew the fat            acquaintances

4. I’m going for a coffee with my _______ later. Do you want to join us?

friendscape                     inner circle                relationships           work mates

5. It was great to go out and _______ with my friends.

chewed the fat                chew my fat              chew the fat            chews the fat

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What recent event has caused us to lose contact with some friends?
The recent isolation we have endured due to the coronavirus pandemic, has made some of us question our friendships.

2. According to Bryan Lufkin, how guilty should we feel about losing contact with a friend?
Bryan says letting some friends fall by the wayside as time goes on is nothing to feel guilty about.

3. How can we maintain a good friendship?
Sharing how you feel with someone you trust maintains a good friendship.

4. True or false? Your inner circle of friends are just friends of convenience.
False. Your inner circle of friends are your 『shoulders to cry on’. The friends that do drift are mostly friendships of convenience.

5. According to one expert, what kind of people do we like to be around?
Suzanne Degges-White says we want to be around people who are like us.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The words from my dad offered some comfort after I failed my exams.

2. I needed a shoulder to cry on after I split up with my boyfriend.

3. After ten years at the company, I need to take stock of my career and decide what to do next.

4. I’m going for a coffee with my work mates later. Do you want to join us?

5. It was great to go out and chew the fat with my friends.