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Dear Bob S. and Bob C.,

Thank you for your writing samples. Each of these samples provides some clues as to why you might think alike and why you may not.

Your handwritings are both light and legible. Bob C’s writing is larger and slants to the right while Bob S is smaller and more vertical.

Both of you are smart and like to play with thoughts, ideas, concepts, and challenging intellectual and social issues. Bob S. is very aggressive but only on the intellectual level. He uses his keen mind by constantly thinking in creative, innovative, and non-traditional ways. He raises questions and issues that others would not even notice, and enjoys presenting them for consideration and debate. He loves exploring new ideas, and is frank and talkative.

Despite his tendency to present controversial subjects he does not like personal conflict or confrontation. He is dignified, polite, proud, sensitive and unbiased.

Bob S. makes his capital I like the number 2 and this suggests that he sometimes feels like a second class citizen, and has learned to shield his emotions. Thus, his intellectual pursuits have become, in a sense, a compensation for his perceived shortcomings.

Bob C. is more emotionally responsive and is a very good listener, frequently acting as a sounding board for Bob S many questions and ideas.

Bob C. is very intelligent in that he understands concepts quickly and easily. Because he is both verbal and analytical he is able to quickly respond to Bob S thoughts and queries and discuss them intelligently.

This feedback is very gratifying to Bob S. because he believes he is being heard and understood and accepted. It is also gratifying to Bob C. because he feels he is using his intellectual gifts and communication skills in a productive way.

Both Bobs are determined, optimistic, opinionated, independent, and emotional loners. They are more comfortable dealing with concepts and ideas than with personal interaction, so they are good friends. They communicate best by mail, so they have time to thoughtfully consider the ideas presented and respond to them in a logical, intelligent and sensitive manner.

In a real sense the friendship between the two Bobs is typical of male relationships in that it is more rational than emotional. Unfortunately, however, it seems as though these kinds of male-to-male friendships are quite rare, and this might explain why most men have so few real friends, even though they have many acquaintances.