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Guys- this one's for YOU- Friendship, is banter enough?

Martin Saunders · 09 Jun, 2021

Yup- guys this one's for YOU!

This week is Men's Health Week and whether you're 15 or 115, there's stuff we all face occasionally that can be T.O.U.G.H. We'll be hearing from a range of voices this week, sharing tips, advice and helpful thoughts on how to navigate life as a guy and respond to some of the challenges out there!

When you think about good, positive examples of male friendship in global media, there's one pair of names which immediately springs to mind, Joey and Chandler, best friends on "Friends".

But actually, is their great friendship really such a great role model to aspire to? Because how do they actually show their care for each other?

Banter. Constant banter. Chandler tells Joey he's stupid, Joey tells Chandler he's unfunny and terrible with women, on and on, over and over again.

Now, it's only a TV show, but I think that we guys tend to do friendship a lot like that. We show our friendship through making fun.

What's the problem with that? Well, it's probably okay when you're feeling good but what about when you feel low? Do those comments made in jest start to circle around your head? Does Joey start to wonder, 'Actually, am I just stupid?'.

And then what happens when you really need to talk to someone? Do you trust your friend who always replies to everything with a joke not to reply with 'Oh, no, here comes Eeyore'? Probably not. I wonder if part of the mental health crisis that we see among us guys is linked to our inability to be real with our friends, to look each other in the eye and say things like, "I like you" or, "I like this thing about you." Joey and Chandler never did that, they just did banter.

And real friendship is about more than banter. And that's the kind of friendship that you really need when everything is not okay.

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