T Nation

Hidden vices (and testing)


I heard of a couple of tests from the film Bronx Story (cannot guarantee the title, though), to know if you can see through one's facade with subtle tests.

I also know the classic:

If you REALLY want to know someone:

1- Lend them money
2- Get competitive with them
3- Get them drunk

And watch what they do in these situations...does the behavior change?

Any good 'classics' ?


I can forgive a friend who does'nt have the means to pay back a loan, I can forgive a friend who's a poor sport and I can laugh at a buddy who's an idiot when he's drunk. My criteria for solid friendship is pretty narrow but important. Will he have my back in a tough situation. (ie, confrontation on the street with more than one opponent) And if it's a work mate, will he watch my back in a kickass fire. Pretty basic criteria, but how I judge if a dude's solid or not.


Magnus is probably more forgiving (and probably by nature of his job, more trusting) than I am.

I think the fastest way to kill a friendship is to involve money. Giving is better than loaning. Giving anonymously is even better than that.

Another quick way to kill a friendship is to be a jerk about competition. I wouldn't stick with a friendship that someone was trying to test that way.

You sometimes see who a guy really is if you get drunk with him, but it's usually just the range of emotion he's capable of that you see. You have no idea how that will apply in a given situation.

I'm not potentially not the best person to respond to this anyway. I have one male best friend and we haven't lived in the same place since we were 19 or 20. He's a military guy so it takes a special effort to get together and we've missed some significant events in each others' lives over the years because of distance. But even with the distance, he's the one guy I know for certain has my back. He's getting his own command in a few days and it's killing me to miss the ceremony, but it's logistically and financially challenging to go and it wouldn't be a good time for visiting anyway. On the other hand, if something happened and he needed me to be there I would move heaven and earth to make it happen. I know he feels the same way. We talk quite a bit by phone, so that helps.

I have just a couple other friends I've made through work, but I realized recently that I haven't made any new close friends in years. I had a situation a few years back where a guy really didn't have my back when he was supposed to and it cost me. The friendship survived, but I've had what I guess you would call "trust issues" since then with new people.

Of course, none of this really applies to friends that happen to be women.


I agree that you can tell a lot about someone's character quickly through lending them money, seeing them drunk, or competing with them.

However, that doesn't always equate to friendship. Them having a lot of character doesn't mean they'll be a good friend nor does lacking character mean that they'll make a horrible friend.

My best friend is a guy that I hate loaning money to, I love competing with, and like getting drunk with (except when the sissy cries. It's too funny when he gets all wishy-washy.). He has a horrible way of paying you back when you loan him, but I know that, so I keep that in mind when money comes up. But, he'd have my back like nobody else; I know that. He knows the same about me.


Humm...same sex friendships...just to add a little bit more to this thread...wonder if it works as well on the other-sex relations...

Also, does anybody approve of the When Harry Met Sally theory (men cannot be friends with women, they want sex from them, and once they sleep with each other it is all different)?

(Yeah, diversified thread, I know...)


The When Harry Met Sally theory holds almost all of the time. That's the way men were created.

Refer to the thread on "ladders".


I married my best female friend...a long time ago now. Things do change, but it's not like you stop being friends.


$$$ is the best indicator I've ever seen. Transforms some...


Not bad tests actually, but I think it says a lot about your character how you handle what happens when friendship involves money, booze or competition.

I've paid for a friends tattoo without expectation of getting the money back, and not caring. He actually paid me back the year later, when he came into some cash.. which says a lot about him, I suppose (best friend).

I've got friends that will take any sport (from football to ping pong) so serious it isn't funny. I normally just don't care, so after a while they figure it's time to drop the serious act. I'll keep score, and will play hard, but otherwise it ain't a big deal win or lose. Nothing to get upset about.

And booze? God. That's a tough one. Some people just talk a little too much when drunk, and you learn things they wouldn't tell you sober. It's not really booze in that case, but the fact they were willing to open up and you learnt the truth on some things.


If someone is your friend, you don't need to test the friendship. You just know. True friendship doesn't need tests. They become almost like brothers or sisters. Nothing more needs to be said. Either they are, or they aren't.


Is Bronx Story different from A Bronx Tale? I can relate to the latter and it's one of my favorite movies of all time.

I have many acquaintances, but only a handful of true friends. It's not that you have to intentionally test your friends, it just happens. It's all about reciprocity, and if it's not there, what do you really have?

You learn really quick what people are all about when things get a little rough. I've cut ties with friends because they didn't have the balls to help me out in fights. I don't care how much of a pacifist you are, or how many guys there are, if you're my friend you'll have my back. Even when I'm wrong.

I've been good friends with three other guys since high school. We called each other the Four Horsemen (I know, haha, wrestling). People knew back then and they know now that if they mess with any one of us, the others will be right there without hesitation. Even though we've gone our separate ways and we live in 3 different cities, we love each other like brothers.

Back to the point, we've had fights over money, but you move on. Maybe I'll think twice about lending the guy money again, but it's only money. The biggest strain of any of our friendships was due to one guy working for the other. It didn't work. Also, I've seen many friends become enemies over women. Some people have different opinions, but I would never mess with any of my friends' girls if I expected them to remain a friend. That's just a given in my book.


Two tests that tell a lot about a friendship:

Becoming roommates. This means being together more of the time, which changes certain dynamics, and it means having to work together and compromise about shit like whose turn to do the dishes or clean the toilet.

If you both like the same chick. This can really involve some negotiation and compromise (maybe trade her for a first round draft pick?)


Play a round of golf with somebody. You can know a lot about somebody based on how they react to good and bad shots.


you'll learn all you need to know about someone in a fight, especially if you're gettin jumped. anyone who'd have your back, no matter what, is a solid dude.


I don't know. If a friend gets in a fight, and he deserves to get his ass kicked for starting it, he's on his own. At a certain point (if the fight gets a little too serious, or if the guy he's fighting friends hop in) I'll join, but otherwise, it's his fight.

I don't know. Raised in a place where everyones friend didn't jump in the moment trouble started. You dealt with your own problems. You could start stuff with a group of people, knowing you'd only have to fight the one of them.

Someone getting jumped, on the other hand, is different.