A friend to all is a friend to none

A friend to all is a friend to none meaning

The first time I’ve listened to this saying is in Taylor Swift’s song Cardigan, “A friend to all is a friend to none. Chase two girls, lose the one.” I didn’t pay much attention to this line at first until one day I saw this saying again, this time with more information: it was said by Aristoteles, a famous Greek philosopher. Interesting, I didn’t know that before. “A friend to all is a friend to none.”

But hang on, why can’t somebody be friend with everyone? What is wrong with that?

It seems like there are many ways to understand this saying depends on what being a “friend” means. We have casual friends that we hang out together, we also have (or want) that kind of friend whom we comfortably share our darkest secret with, a loyal friend who is completely still be on your side when the world turns its back to you, even if that means he/she has to sacrifice some relationship or cut someone off.

When we see someone being friends with everybody, we tend to take caution a bit. There are two main reasons that I can think of:

  • That person has close relationships and spends time with many people, there might be a chance that he/she will spills the beans in some conversation, even he/she doesn’t mean to.
  • That person cares about keeping peace with everybody more than teaming up with you. He/she will not give up a relationship to make you happy. It sounds stupid but seeing your true friend having fun with someone you do not like, someone who had hurted you in the past, is annoying.

When we trust doesn’t go deep, the friendship also stops at being casual and will rarely go to the level of close friends. That is why a friend to all hardly has close friends.

So that’s why I think. How about you? Please let me know in the comment section below.

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