Do you know what friendship is?

What is friendship? Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people, a strong bond between them.

Although there are many forms of friendship certain characteristics are present in many types of such bonds. Such characteristics include:

  • affection
  • kindness
  • love
  • sympathy
  • empathy
  • honesty
  • loyalty
  • generosity
  • mutual understanding
  • forgiveness
  • enjoyment of each other’s company
  • trust
  • the ability to be oneself
  • express your feelings
  • make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.

Friendship is an essential aspect of relationship building skills.

A friend in need is a friend indeed is a proverb that stands true always. In our day to day work, we come across so many people and all of them are not our friends.

How are friends made? Friends have something in common like hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes, etc. They are generally of the same age group. They may live nearby, may go to the same school or may be doing the same work. Good friends know all about one another. There would be no secrets among them. Sometimes they love one another better than their relatives.

There are different kinds of friends:

  • true and faithful friends
  • casual friends
  • false or fair-weather friends

True friends are like one soul, living in two bodies, Aristotel said. They are attached so much to one another. A real friend is one who comes to you, when all others have left. He may at times frown upon you but stay with you even if you aren’t easy to be with. A true friend is one, on whom one can always rely. He or she shares you joys and sorrows.

In our everyday life, we come across so many people who become friends for a purpose. There are also other type of friends, who are casual friends, whom we meet on our travels in buses and the trains. They are friends with whom we exchange so many views. But at the end of the journey, each goes his or her own way and the casual friendship is also gone.

There are fair weather friends. A fair weather friend is someone who is a good friend when it is easy to be one and who stops being one when you are having problems. They praise you to skies and linger around you as long as you enjoy property and power. When fortune turns against you, they would be nowhere to be seen. A fair weather friend associates with you only when they have nothing better to do. Such kind of friends may only stick around in exciting situations but when times are somewhat boring, leave your side.

Friendship spreads on. There are many proverbs and sayings about friendship. It is said that house can be known by the friends who frequent it. Know his friends and you know the man. Mahatma Gandhi said that adversity is the crucible test for friendship. You know your real friend, only when he stands by you in times of adversity. It is said prosperity makes friends. Adversity tries them.

Friendship is said to be an art and if you want to have a friend you must be one. It is said that friendship multiplies our joys and divides our grief. Your life is blessed, if you have a faithful friend. In this world of wilderness every one of us requires a true friend. But beware, a friend of all is a friend of none.

There’s a Swedish proverb: “Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”

We all have some exciting experiences, which might be as ordinary as a beautiful  sunset. When joyful emotions arise, we want to share them with our partner, with a friend, or even a stranger. Or we might want to tell them about it. Sharing emotions is uplifting.

When life is sad, we may want to withhold our feelings, but expressing them to our partner or a friend, will help us when they show their empathy. We don’t have to feel alone. It’s comforting to know someone else cares.

Recipe for friendship

  • 2 heaping cups of patience
  • 1 heart full of love
  • 2 handfuls of generosity
  • 1 head full of understanding
  • a dash of humour

Sprinkle generously with kindness and plenty of faith. Mix well. Spread over a period of a life time. Serve to everyone you meet.

Author unknown

What is friendship? Speak how you understand it and say some words about your friend.