– It could be as simple as their name.

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A close friend is someone you feel comfortable with, someone who has proven to be trustworthy, and you treat like family, maybe better. There are no pretenses, just openess where you freely exchange ideas, humor, and personal thoughts. Because my family moved several times while I was growing up, I have had several close friends over the years and I recently started to enumerate them on paper. Interestingly, all of them had monosyllable names. For example, as I grew up I knew two “Toms”, two “Johns”, two “Richs”, as well as a “Mark”, “Steve,” “Chris”, “Rick,” “Rob”, “Frank”, “Mike”, and a few others. All had short simple names. In adulthood I also gravitated towards people with single syllable names for some reason.

Obviously, all of these names are longer if spoken properly, such as “Thomas”, “Jonathan”, Richard”, Christopher”, etc. but nobody is interested in stretching them out, just simplifying them. There may also be nicknames we give each other out of affection. In my case, I’ve known guys I’ve openly referred to as “The Hub”, “The Mann”, “Ralph” (as derived from “The Honeymooners”), “Chatter”, “Paisan” and “The Great One.” Allowing ourselves to be called by a short name or nickname means we are opening ourselves up to selected people. It is unlikely we afford everyone else such informality, just our close friends, e.g., in business settings we may elect to use the “Mister/Ms” moniker to denote our authority. By allowing ourselves to be called by a short name, we are inviting familiarity.

I tend to believe the use of simple names or nicknames is indicative of our fondness for others. The names may be simple, but the people certainly are not. I have found them all to be hard and conscientious workers who are down to earth and possess a sense of humor. Outwardly they do not appear to take themselves seriously and seem to have a playfulness about them; inwardly though, they possess an interesting introspective of themselves complete with all the fears and foibles we all share. In our talks, I have found them to be candid, social, honest, and inquisitive about life. Hopefully, they view me as possessing the same qualities.

So, next time you wonder about the nature of your friendship with another, consider the names or nicknames you address each other as. Just be careful of those with more than one syllable.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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