Economics is one of my guides in life. And to find friends who can speak the same language as me makes me happy till no ends. I’m so grateful for these friends. Here’s friendship as a normal function.
None of my friends are normal, they are all unique and incredibly amazing in their own ways. And that is why I love them so much. Whilst I have had friends all my life, I think I truly cultivated real friendship in Hong Kong. The type of friendship where you go through shit together, enjoy the highs, brave through the lows, learn the tolerating limits and still always challenging each other as we grow through the years.
Turns out, these types of friendship are rare, and I’m so lucky I have found them.
This was a discussion at Ian’s place with Rob and Ian. I’ve been wanting to write about this, but have forgotten the discussion thanks to Ian’s endless sake. Thankfully, it popped back into my head in the shower and I can write about it again.
Life experiences are basically various normal function curves.
- When we are young, the curve is quite flat. It is all about gaining experiences, figuring out the type of people and friendship you are looking for, and just being open to people. (Yellow flat curve)
- As we age further, we are exposed to more similar minds due to socioeconomic factors, education or the environment we expose ourselves to. This means that the curve forms a more defined “bell” shape. (Red curve with some shape)
- With the bell shape, it is roughly the people we are exposed to. Then, we start to apply the experiences of what type of friendship we enjoy, and redefine the curve. (Green curve with more defined shape)
- Now that we understand what we like (that bell shape), we move through life upgrading our friendship, so as to shift the bell shape towards the right. With a rightward shift, it means that the friends are of the same characteristics that we admire, and with a higher equality. We also get to choose the friends and shift the curve. Being humans, we also like to surround ourselves with similar minds, hence the narrower curve. (Blue defined shape, with a shift to the right)
Fat Tail-end Friendship
Of everything, perhaps the most important part of a normal function is its tail end risks. That means the 2 sides that are not part of that bell shape. These ends are small and towards the end. They are very important.
These friends are perhaps the most important. It is easy to enter into a echo chamber in the normal graph with similar minds. The tail-end friendship exposes us to new perspectives, new insights and new dimensions. Whilst cultivating friendship to sharpen my bell curve, I also actively look to fatten my tail-end friends.
Not so much to lengthen it, just fatten it.
I have benefited incredibly much from fat tail-end friendships. V taught me about art. Juong taught me about design. A taught me about workout and climbing. Pasquale taught me so much about psychosis. Kimchi taught me about sisterhood and girly-friendships. Marcus taught me about men and relationships.
Apart from that, there are also just random life encounters with random people teaching me about the various lifestyles, standards of living, quality of life, etc. I’m so grateful, my heart is full!
Low variance means people are more similar, hence the bell is steeper and sharper. As I experienced more in life, I know what I want. In general, my friends are those who have lived in at least 2 countries, travel a lot and are introspective. They also well-read, educated and intelligent.
I’m the luckiest to have these friendships in my life. Whilst not everyone is like that, hence the bell curve, they have a similar characteristic. So I have friends from all walks of life and from different countries. I know I can always tap into their brilliant brains and soak in their intelligence. I’m most grateful for that!
See, economics can explain principles in life.
Sharpen the curve, fatten the tails.