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Essay on Friendship
List of essays on friendship, essay on friendship – short essay for kids (essay 1 – 150 words), essay on friendship – 10 lines on friendship written in english (essay 2 – 250 words), essay on friendship – for school students (class 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) (essay 3 – 300 words), essay on friendship – for students (essay 4 – 400 words), essay on friendship (essay 5 – 500 words), essay on friendship – introduction, benefits and qualities (essay 6 – 600 words), essay on friendship – essay on true friendship (essay 7 – 750 words), essay on friendship – importance, types, examples and conclusion (essay 8 – 1000 words).
Friendship is a divine relationship, which is defined by neither blood nor any other similarity. Who is in this world does not have a friend?
A friend, with whom you just love to spend your time, can share your joys and sorrows. Most importantly you need not fake yourself and just be what you are. That is what friendship is all about. It is one of the most beautiful of the relations in the world. Students of today need to understand the values of friendship and therefore we have composed different long essays for students as well as short essays.
Audience: The below given essays are exclusively written for school students (Class 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Standard).
Friendship is considered as one of the treasures that anyone can possess. God has given us the liberty to choose friends because they are for our lifetime. It is quite normal for our parents and siblings to love us because they are our own blood but a friend is someone who is initially a stranger and then takes his/her place above all the other relations. Friendship is nothing but pure love without any expectations.
Role of a Friend:
True friends share and support each other even during the toughest of times. A true friend is one who feels happy for our success, who feel sad for our failures, fight with us for silly things and hugs us the next second, gets angry on us when we do any mistakes. Friendship is all about having true friends who can understand us without the need for us to speak.
Friendship is very essential for a happy life. Even a two-minute chat with a friend will make us forget our worries. That is the strength of friendship.
Friendship is a divine relationship, which is defined by neither blood nor any other similarity. Friends are those you can choose for yourself in spite of the difference you both have from each other. A good friend in need will do wonders in your life, whenever you are in need of self-realization, upbringing your confidence and more.
Friendship serves you best not only in your happiest moments but also when you feel low in emotions. A life without a good friend is not at all complete and an emptiness will be felt all the time you think of sharing your emotion that can’t be told to anyone else.
Honesty and Patience in Friendship:
To maintain and keep going with a good deep friendship, honesty is the most important factor. You should choose a person who can be cent percent honest with you in all perspective like emotions, decision making, etc. Trustworthy friendship will help you to take better decisions and choose a better path for your future well-being.
Tolerance and patience with each other are another important characteristics of long-lasting friendship. Accepting the differences, friends should be able to be with each other in all situations. As a friend, the person should lead the other to success by being a motivation and criticize the person if they choose the wrong path.
Friendship will give you sweet and happy memories that can be cherished for a lifetime and if you succeed in maintaining that precious relation, then you are the luckiest person in this world. Love and care for each other will cherish the relationship and helps the person to appreciate each thing done without any fail.
Of all the different relations which we indulge in, friendship is considered to be the purest of them all. Friendship is the true confluence of souls with like minded attitude that aids in seamless conversation and the best of times. It is believed that a person who doesn’t have any friend lives one of the toughest lives.
The Desire to Belong:
Each one of us have been so programmed that we need a companion even if it’s not romantic, someone just to tag along. There are several definitions of friendship and it is upon you as to how you believe your relation to be. Friendship can happen when you are simply sharing a bowl of food with a person day after day. It can be expressed in the way you silently care for someone even when they may not be aware of your existence.
The Little Moments that Matter:
It is giving up the little things you love dearly for the sake of someone you cherish a great deal. Friendship often refers to the little moments of senseless laugh you two share when the rest of the world starts to look bleak. It is to know what your friend needs and being there for them even when the rest of the world has turned their back towards them.
Friendship is the kind of relation which sometimes even exceeds the realms of love because it is all about giving without even once bothering to sense what you shall get back. Every time spent is special because when you are with friends, you don’t feel the blues!
Of course the definition of friendship is going to vary a great deal from one person to another. But, remember one thing, when you are friends with someone, be prepared to put your heart on the line for their happiness because friendship often manifests into love, even if it is not romantic, it always is true!
Friendship is the most valuable as well as precious gifts of life. Friendship is one of the most valued relationship. People who have good friends enjoy the most in their live. True friendship is based on loyalty & support. A good friend is a person who will stand with you when times are tough. A friend is someone special on whom you can rely on to celebrate a special moment. Friendship is like a life asset and it can lead us to success. It all depends on our choice how we choose our friends.
The quality of friendship is essential for happiness. The benefits of healthy friendship remains long-life. In addition, having a strong friend circle also improves our self-confidence. Due to the strong relationship, we get much emotional support during our bad times. True friendship is a feeling of love & care.
Real friendship cannot be built within limited boundaries like caste or creed. It gives us a feeling that someone really needs us & we are not alone. This is true that man cannot live alone. True friends are needed in every stage of life to survive. A true friend can be an old person or a child. But it is generally believed that we make friend with people who are of the same age as ours. Same age group can give you the freedom to share anything.
The selection of a true friend is also a challenging task. We have to carefully make our friend selection. Friends might come & go. They will make you laugh & cry. Wrong selection can create various problems for you. In the modern world, many youngsters become a social nuisance. The reason behind it is wrong & bad friendships.
But if we successfully choose the right person as a friend then our life becomes easier. It doesn’t matter who you are, what type of clothes you wear. The most important thing is trust because the relation of friendship stands on the pillars of trust.
Friendship is a relation which can make or break us in every stage of life. But in other words, friendship is an asset which is really precious. Obviously, it is also not so easy to maintain friendships. It demands your time as well as efforts. Last but not the least, it is hard to find true friendship but once you succeed in this task you will have a wonderful time. In exchange for that a friend will only need your valuable time and trust.
The idea of friendship is either heartwarming or gives cold feet depending on individuals and the types of friendships. In the current world, friendships have had different definitions based on the morality and civilization of the society. Ideally, friendship is defined as the state of mutual trust between individuals or parties. Trust is an important component of friendship because it determines the reliability and longevity of the friendship. Trust is built through honest communications between the individuals and interested parties.
Once trust has been established, mutual understanding and support being to form the resulting in a friendship. This friendship can be broken through lack of trust. Trust can be breached through deceit and/ or some people, it differs with the frequencies. There are people who will break friendships after only one episode of dishonesty whereas some people give second chances and even more chances. Friendship types determine the longevity and the causes of breakups. The importance of friendship in the lives of individuals is the reason why friendships are formed in the first place.
Types of Friendships:
According to Aristotle’s Nichomachean ethics, there are three types of friendships. The friendships are based on three factors i.e. utility, pleasure and goodness. The first type of friendship is based on utility and has been described as a friendship whereby both parties gain from each other.
This type of friendship is dependent on the benefits and that is what keeps the friendship going. This type of friendships do not last long because it dissolves as soon as the benefits are outsourced or when other sources are found outside the friendship. The friendship was invented for trade purposes because when two people with opposite things that depend on each other re put together, trade is maximized.
The second type of friendship is based on pleasure. This is described as friendship in which two individuals are drawn to each other based on desires of pleasure and is characterized by passionate feelings and feelings of belonging. This type of friendship can ether last long or is short-lived depending on the presence of the attraction between the two parties.
The third type of friendship is based on goodness. In this friendship, the goodness of people draw them to each other and they usually have the same virtues. The friendship involves loving each other and expecting goodness. It takes long to develop this kind of friendship but it usually lasts longest and is actually the best kind of friendship to be in. the importance of such a friendship is the social support and love.
In conclusion, friendships are important in the lives of individuals. Trust builds and sustains friendships. The different types of friendships are important because they provide benefits and social support. Friendships provide a feeling of belonging and dependence. The durability of friendships is dependent on the basis of its formation and the intention during the formation. Friendships that last long are not based on materialistic gain, instead, they are based on pure emotion.
Friendship is an emotion of care, mutual trust, and fondness among two persons. A friend might be a work-mate, buddy, fellow student or any individual with whom we feel an attachment.
In friendship, people have a mutual exchange of sentiments and faith too. Usually, the friendship nurtures more amongst those people who belong to a similar age as they possess the same passions, interests, sentiments, and opinions. During the school days, kids who belong to the similar age group have a common dream about their future and this makes them all of them get closer in friendship.
In the same way, employees working in business organizations also make friends as they are working together for attaining the organizational objectives. It does not matter that to which age group you belong, friendship can happen at any time of your life.
Benefits of Friendship:
Sometimes friendship is essential in our life. Below are a few benefits of friendship.
1. It’s impossible to live your life alone always but friendship fills that gap quickly with the friend’s company.
2. You can easily pass the rigidities of life with the friendship as in your distress period your friends are always there to help you.
3. Friendship teaches you how to remain happy in life.
4. In case of any confusion or problem, your friendship will always benefit you with good opinions.
True and Dishonest Friendship:
True friendship is very rare in today’s times. There are so many persons who support only those people who are in power so that they can fulfil their selfish motives below the name of friendship. They stay with friends till the time their selfish requirements are achieved. Dishonest friends leave people as soon as their power gets vanished. You can find these types of self-seeking friends all around the world who are quite hurtful than enemies.
Finding a true friendship is very difficult. A true friend helps the other friend who is in need. It does not matter to him that his friend is right or wrong but he will always support his friend at the time of his difficulty.
Carefulness in the Selection of Friendship:
You must be very careful while choosing friends. You should nurture your friendship with that person who does not leave you in your bad times easily. Once you get emotionally attached to the wrong person you cannot finish your friendship so soon. True friendship continues till the time of your last breaths and does not change with the passing time.
Friendship with a bad person also affects your own thoughts and habits. Therefore, a bad person should not be chosen in any type of circumstances. We must do friendship with full attention and carefulness.
Best Qualities of Good Friendship:
Good friendship provides people an enormous love to each other.
The below are the important qualities of good friendship:
1. Good friendship is always faithful, honest, and truthful.
2. People pay attention and take note of others thoughts in good friendship.
3. Persons quickly forget and let off the mistakes of the other friend. In fact, they accept their friend in the way they are actually.
4. You are not judged on the basis of your success, money or power in it.
5. Friends do not feel shy to provide us with valuable opinions for our welfare.
6. People always share their joyful times with their good friends and also stay ready to help their friends in the time of need.
7. True friends also support others in their professional as well as personal life. They encourage their friends in the area of their interest.
Friendship is established over the sacrifice, love, faith, and concern of mutual benefit. True Friendship is a support and a blessing for everybody. All those males and females who have true and genuine friends are very lucky really.
Friendship can simply be defined as a form of mutual relationship or understanding between two people or more who interact and are attached to one another in a manner that is friendly. A friendship is a serious relationship of devotion between two or more people where people involved have a true and sincere feeling of affection, care and love towards each other devoid of any misunderstanding and without demands.
Primarily friendship happens between people that have the same sentiments, feelings and tastes. It is believed that there is no limit or criteria for friendship. All of the different creed, religion, caste, position, sex and age do not matter when it comes to friendship even though friendships can sometimes be damaged by economic disparity and other forms of differentiation. From all of these, it can be concluded that real and true friendship is very possible between people that have a uniform status and are like-minded.
A lot of friends we have in the world today only remain together in times of prosperity and absence of problems but only the faithful, sincere and true friends remain all through the troubles, times of hardships and our bad times. We only discover who our bad and good friends are in the times where we don’t have things going our way.
Most people want to be friends with people with money and we can’t really know if our friends are true when we have money and do not need their help, we only discover our true friends when we need their help in terms of money or any other form of support. A lot of friendships have been jeopardised because of money and the absence or presence of it.
Sometimes, we might face difficulty or crises in our friendships because of self-respect and ego. Friendships can be affected by us or others and we need to try to strike a balance in our friendships. For our friendship to prosper and be true, we need satisfaction, proper understanding and a trustworthy nature. As true friends, we should never exploit our friends but instead do our utmost best to motivate and support them in doing and attaining the very best things in life.
The true meaning of friendship is sometimes lost because of encounters with fake friends who have used and exploited us for their own personal benefits. People like this tend to end the friendship once they get what they want or stab their supposed friends in the back just to get what they think is best for them. Friendship is a very good thing that can help meet our need for companionship and other emotional needs.
In the world we live in today, it is extremely difficult to come across good and loyal friends and this daunting task isn’t made any easier by the lie and deceit of a lot of people in this generation. So, when one finds a very good and loyal important, it is like finding gold and one should do everything to keep friends like that.
The pursuit of true friendship Is not limited to humans, we can as well find good friends in animals; for example, it is a popular belief that dogs make the best friends. It is very important to have good friends as they help us in times and situations where we are down and facing difficulties. Our true friends always do their best to save us when we are in danger and also provide us with timely and good advice. True friends are priceless assets in our lives, they share our pains and sorrow, help provide relief to us in terrible situations and do their best to make us happy.
Friends can both be the good or the bad types. Good friends help push us on the right path in life while on the other hand, bad friends don’t care about us but only care about themselves and can lead us into the wrong path; because of this, we have to be absolutely careful when choosing our friends in this life.
Bad friends can ruin our lives completely so we have to be weary of them and do our best to avoid bag friends totally. We need friends in our life that will be there for us at every point in time and will share all of our feeling with us, both the good and bad. We need friends we can talk to anytime we are feeling lonely, friends that will make us laugh and smile anytime we are feeling sad.
What is friendship? It is the purest form of relationship between two individual with no hidden agenda. As per the dictionary, it is the mutual affection between people. But, is it just a mutual affection? Not always, as in the case of best friends, it is far beyond that. Great friends share each other’s feelings or notions which bring a feeling of prosperity and mental fulfillment.
A friend is a person whom one can know deeply, as and trust for eternity. Rather than having some likeness in the idea of two people associated with the friendship, they have some extraordinary qualities yet they want to be with each other without changing their uniqueness. By and large, friends spur each other without censuring, however at times great friends scrutinize do affect you in a positive manner.
Importance of Friendship:
It is very important to have a friend in life. Each friend is vital and their significance in known to us when certain circumstances emerge which must be supported by our friends. One can never feel lonely in this world on the off chance that he or she is embraced by true friends. Then again, depression wins in the lives of the individuals who don’t have friends regardless of billions of individuals present on the planet. Friends are particularly vital amid times of emergency and hardships. On the off chance that you wind up experiencing a hard time, having a friend to help you through can make the change simpler.
Having friends you can depend on can help your confidence. Then again, an absence of friends can make you feel lonely and without help, which makes you powerless for different issues, for example, sadness and drug abuse. Having no less than one individual you can depend on will formulate your confidence.
Choosing Your Friends Wisely:
Not all friends can instill the positivity in your life. There can be negative effects as well. It is very important to choose your friends with utmost wisdom. Picking the right friend is somewhat troublesome task however it is extremely important. In the event that for instance a couple of our dear friends are engaged with negative behaviour patterns, for example, smoking, drinking and taking drugs, at some point or another we will be attracted to their bad habits as well. This is the reason behind why it is appropriate to settle on an appropriate decision with regards to making friends.
Genuine friendship is truly a gift delighted in by a couple. The individuals who have it ought to express gratitude toward God for having genuine pearls in their lives and the individuals who don’t have a couple of good friends ought to always take a stab at better approaches to anchor great friends. No organization is superior to having a friend close by in the midst of need. You will stay cheerful in your one-room flat on the off chance that you are surrounded by your friends; then again, you can’t discover satisfaction even in your estate in the event that you are far away from others.
Types of Friends:
There is variety everywhere, so why not in friends. We can see different types of friends during our journey of life. For instance, your best friend at school is someone with whom you just get along the most. That friend, especially in the case of girls, may just get annoyed even if you talk to another of your friend more than her. Such is the childish nature of such friendships that at times it is difficult for others to identify whether you are best friends or competitors.
Then there is another category of your siblings. No matter how much you deny, but your siblings or your elder brother and sisters are those friends of yours who stay on with you for your entire life. You have a different set of friendship with them as you find yourself fighting with them most of the times. However, in times of need, you shall see that they are first ones standing behind you, supporting you.
There is another category of friends called professional friends. You come across such friends only when you grow up and choose a profession for yourself. These friends are usually from the same organisation and prove to be helpful during your settling years. Some of them tend to stay on with you even when you change companies.
Friendship Examples from History:
History has always taught us a lot. Examples of true friendship are not far behind. We have some famous example from history which makes us realise the true value of friendship. The topmost of them are the Krishna and Sudama friendship. We all must have read or heard as to how after becoming a king when Krishna met Sudama, his childhood friend, he treated him with honour even though Sudama was a poor person. It teaches us the friendship need not be between equals. It has to be between likeminded people. Next example is of Karna and Duryodhana, again from the Mahabharat era.
Despite knowing the fact that the Pandavas were his brothers, Karna went on to fight alongside Duryodhan as he is his best friend and even laid down his life for him. What more example of true friendship can one find? Again from the same era, Krishna and Arjun are also referred to as the best of the friends. Bhagavad Gita is an example of how a true friend can guide you towards positivity in life and make you follow the path of Dharma. Similarly, there are numerous examples from history which teach us the values of true friendship and the need to nourish such for own good.
Whether you accept or deny it, a friend plays an important role in your life. In fact, it is very important to have a friend. However, at the same time, it is extremely important to choose the friends wisely as they are the ones who can build you or destroy you. Nonetheless, a friend’s company is something which one enjoys all through life and friends should be treated as the best treasure a man can have.
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125 Friendship Essay Topic Ideas & Examples
When you have a good friendship topic, essay writing becomes as easy as it gets. We have some for you!
📝 Friendship Essay Structure
🏆 best friendship topic ideas & essay examples, 💡 good essay topics on friendship, 🎓 simple & easy friendship essay titles, 📌 most interesting friendship topics to write about, ❓ research questions about friendship, 💯 free friendship essay topic generator.
Describing a friend, talking about your relationship and life experiences can be quite fun! So, take a look at our topics on friendship in the list below. Our experts have gathered numerous ideas that can be extremely helpful for you. And don’t forget to check our friendship essay examples via the links.
Writing a friendship essay is an excellent way to reflect on your relationships with other people, show your appreciation for your friends, and explore what friendship means to you. What you include in your paper is entirely up to you, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t structure it properly. Here is our advice on structuring an essay on friendship:
- Begin by selecting the right topic. It should be focused and creative so that you can earn a high mark. Think about what friendship means to you and write down your thoughts. Reflect on your relationship with your best friend and see if you can write an essay that incorporates these themes. If these steps didn’t help – don’t worry! Fortunately, there are many web resources that can help you choose. Browse samples of friendship essays online to see if there are any topics that interest you.
- Create a title that reflects your focus. Paper titles are important because they grasp the reader’s attention and make them want to read further. However, many people find it challenging to name their work, so you can search for friendship essay titles online if you need to.
- Once you get the first two steps right, you can start developing the structure of your essay. An outline is a great tool because it presents your ideas in a clear and concise manner and ensures that there are no gaps or irrelevant points. The most basic essay outline has three components: introduction, body, and conclusion. Type these out and move to the next step. Compose an introduction. Your introduction should include a hook, some background information, and a thesis. A friendship essay hook is the first sentence in the introduction, where you draw the reader’s attention. For instance, if you are creating an essay on value of friendship, include a brief description of a situation where your friends helped you or something else that comes to mind. A hook should make the reader want to read the rest of the essay. After the hook, include some background information on your chosen theme and write down a thesis. A thesis statement is the final sentence of the first paragraph that consists of your main argument.
- Write well-structured body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should start with one key point, which is then developed through examples, references to resources, or other content. Make sure that each of the key points relates to your thesis. It might be useful to write out all of your key points first before you write the main body of the paper. This will help you to see if any of them are irrelevant or need to be swapped to establish a logical sequence. If you are composing an essay on the importance of friendship, each point should show how a good friend can make life better and more enjoyable. End each paragraph with a concluding sentence that links it to the next part of the paper.
- Finally, compose a conclusion. A friendship essay conclusion should tie together all your points and show how they support your thesis. For this purpose, you should restate your thesis statement at the beginning of the final paragraph. This will offer your reader a nice, well-balanced closure, leaving a good impression of your work.
We hope that this post has assisted you in understanding the basic structure of a friendship paper. Don’t forget to browse our website for sample papers, essay titles, and other resources!
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- Effect of Friendship on Students’ Emotional Health The study discovered a significant positive correlation between the quality of new friendships and adjustment to university; this association is more robust for students living in residence than those commuting to university. Friday and Adkins […]
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- Chicago (N-B)
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Friendship Essay: Writing Guide, Outline With Examples
Table of contents
A friendship essay is precisely what it sounds like: a paper that students write to describe their relationships with their mates. It is among the many assignments that students are given in their college institutions. Writing essays about friendship is a great way to analyze what the connection means to you and reflect on some of your encounters. It can also be used as a tool to improve your closeness and affection. This blog post offers tips you may consider while writing your paper and its outline. It features friendship essay examples that help generate ideas that form the primary focus of your paper. If you are not ready to waste your time on essay writing, StudyCrumb is here to offer affordable prices and professional writers.
What Is a Friendship Essay?
The definition of friendship essay is quite clear and straightforward. A paper about friends can be described as a write-up on a relationship between two or more people. This interpretation makes it easier to obtain the meaning of friendship essay. Writing such thematic essay will help you communicate your feelings as well as your thoughts. It allows you to recollect your memories about different encounters you have had in life. It will also help you evaluate qualities of your connection. While writing, you may have a sequence of events starting from your meet-up, activities you have done together, and how you have sustained the connection. Preparing an essay about friendship can evoke memories from your past that may have been long forgotten.
Purpose of an Essay on Friendship
This kind of essay aims to help you explore its nature and form, its pros and cons, and its role in your life. The importance of friendship essay is that it acts as a reflective tool. It helps you realize the significance of creating and maintaining good relationships with friends. It also explains how these connections contribute to your overall wellness. In addition, an article about friendship may teach you to understand that true friendship is priceless and should stand the test of time.
Ideas to Write a Friendship Essay on
Writing essays about friendship is a more manageable task than drafting a paper about a topic that may require more detailed research. Any excellent essay about true friendship starts with an idea that you can examine. Below are some unique ideas you can explore:
- What is friendship?
- What does friendship mean to me?
- The value of friendship you cherish in your life.
- Cross-cultural friendships.
- The role of friendship in mental health maintenance.
As you reflect on your relationship with your friend, see if you can write a paper incorporating these themes. Remember to choose an idea that interests you and is relevant to your personal experiences or research. Be sure to support your arguments with evidence and examples from real-life situations, literature, or academic research. Look through our definition essay topics or persuasive essay ideas to find a theme that suits your task best.
Friendship Essay Outline
An essay outline about friendship is a summary of what your write-up will contain but in a less detailed format. You use it to organize and structure your content logically and effectively. It presents the main topics and subtopics hierarchically, allowing writers to see the connection between different parts of the material. The importance of an outline lies in its ability to help writers plan, organize, as well as clarify their ideas. This makes the writing of an essay about friends more efficient, and the final product is more coherent and effective. Here is an example of an outline for a friendship essay.
- Briefly introduce the topic of friendship
- Provide a thesis statement that summarizes the main points of the essay
- Topic sentence
- Your main argument
- Real-life examples that support your key idea
- Supporting evidence
- 3rd Body Paragraph
- Examples or recommendations
- Summarize the main points
- Provide some food for thought
Note that this is a general outline. The exact structure and content of your essay will depend on the specific requirements of your assignment and your personal interests.
Structure of a Friendship Essay
The structure of an essay on friendship typically includes the following three parts.
- Introduction An introduction should grab the reader's attention and provide background information. It should also include a clear thesis statement that sets a path and direction of the friendship essays.
- Body The essay's body is where you will provide evidence and details to underpin your thesis statement. It should consist of several paragraphs supporting and developing a statement of purpose. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of your friendliness, such as its importance, benefits, or challenges.
- Conclusion Briefly summarize the essay's main points and reinforce your principal argument. The conclusion should leave a lasting impression on readers and emphasize your topic's significance. Overall, the structure should be clear and well-organized, allowing the audience to follow your argument and understand the topic's significance.
Friendship Essay Introduction
A good introduction about friendship essay should grab the reader's attention and encourage them to continue reading. This can be achieved through a " hook ," a quote, an interesting fact, or a thought-provoking question. Background information can then be provided to give context to the discussed topic. The introduction to an essay about friendship should also clearly state your main point or argument of the piece, known as thesis statement. This sets pace for the rest of the paper and gives readers a clear view of what to expect. A friendship essay introduction should be concise, engaging, and provide context for the audience to understand the content fully.
Read more: How to Start off an Essay
Friendship Essay Introduction Example
Here is an example of a friendship essay introduction that sets the stage for a reflective and thought-provoking exploration of the most precious gift in life.
Friendship is a special bond that unites two individuals with common interests, experiences, and emotions. It makes life easier and contributes to our happiness. It is a relationship that transcends race, religion, and socio-economic status and has power to sustain and uplift the spirit of humans. In this essay, I will explore its benefits and how it can contribute to a better world. Through personal anecdotes, I will illustrate the bond's depth and role in our day-to-day lives.
Friendship Essay Thesis Statement
The friendship thesis statement aims to provide a summary of the essay's main point. It can be one or two sentences which you develop as you research. The statement of purpose should focus on the central argument and be supported by evidence presented in the body. The thesis statement about friendship should guide the essay's structure. Its main objective is to provide your reader with a roadmap to follow. It should be specific, concise, and accurately reflect the content in your paper. Understanding what constitutes a strong thesis is crucial for writers as it is integral to every essay writing process.
Friendship Thesis Statement Example
The thesis statement must be clear to readers so that they may quickly recognize it and comprehend the paper's significance. It should act as a blueprint of what to expect. A friendship thesis statement sample could be:
In this essay, I will explore friendship's meaning, its importance, benefits, drawbacks, and how it can contribute to a better world. Through a series of personal anecdotes, I will illustrate the bond's depth and its key role in our lives.
Friendship Essay Body
The body part should include five or more paragraphs. Students will use body paragraphs to elaborate on the key factors that make their connection special.
- Definition and explanation. This friendship body paragraph should start with a definition and a brief explanation of its characteristics and qualities.
- Importance of friends. Discuss why it is vital in your life and how it contributes to personal growth and welfare.
- Types of friendships. A paragraph about friendship should discuss different types of friend's relationships that exist.
- Qualities of a good friend. Discuss standards a great confidant should possess.
- Challenges. Discuss the common problems that friends face.
- Ways to strengthen friendship. Provide tips on reinforcing and maintaining good relationships.
- Conclusion. Sum up the key points made in your essay and reiterate the importance of genuine bonds in life.
Friendship Body Paragraph Example
Below is a friendship body paragraph sample.
How to Spend Free Time with Friends • Outdoor Activities. Spending time in nature is a great way to bond with friends. You can meet, then go for a hike, take a walk, or go to a picnic in a park. This allows you to connect and enjoy the beautiful world around you. • Movie Night. Watching a movie is another fun activity you can do with friends. You can share popcorn, grab snacks, and enjoy a movie together. This is a great way to relax and unwind. • Board Games. Playing board games with friends is a fun and interactive way to spend free time. You can play classic games like Monopoly. This is a great way to challenge each other and have a good time.
Friendship Essay Conclusion
Any conclusion on a friendship essay should sum up the main ideas discussed in your essay and restate the thesis statement. It should leave a lasting impression and provide a closure to your topic. To start writing a conclusion about a friendship essay, commence by rephrasing the thesis statement in different words. Summarize the points discussed in your essay by connecting them back to your statement of purpose. End conclusion with a final thought or call to action that leaves a lasting impression on your reader. It is vital to keep it concise yet impactful. Avoid introducing new information or arguments, as it can confuse readers. Instead, focus on tying up loose ends and emphasizing main ideas discussed in your essay.
Read more: How to Conclude an Essay
Friendship Essay Conclusion Sample
Here is an example of a friendship essay conclusion:
In conclusion, friendship is an essential aspect of our lives that brings joy, support, and companionship. It is a relationship built on mutual trust, understanding, and love. A true friend will always be there for you, no matter what. As humans, we need sincere friends to help us navigate life's ups and downs and provide emotional support. An understanding friend can withstand any obstacle and bring happiness to our lives. The connection is meant to last a lifetime, whether through shared experiences, interests, or simply a common bond. Ultimately, having a close group of loyal friends who truly care for us is one of the greatest gifts we can receive in life.
How to Write an Essay on Friendship?
To write an essay about friendship, start by brainstorming ideas about what friends mean to you and the benefits of such kinds of relationships. Knowing how to write a good essay about friendship involves selecting a great topic and arranging your content in a manner that has logical flow.
1. Come Up With a Topic About Friendship
To brainstorm essay topics on friendship, consider the following.
- Reflect on your own experiences. Think about your own bonds and encounters you have had with allies. Avoid bad occurrences. This can inspire topics to explore in your essay. To find a subject that interests you, you can also look through internet examples of friend essays.
- Ask questions related to friends, such as "What makes a meaningful connection?" or "How does the quality of your bond change over time?"
- Talk to others. Ask friends, family, or classmates about their experiences. They may have interesting insights that can inspire new topics for your essay.
Ensure that topic you select is appropriate for your report style. For example:
The Day my Best Friend Changed My Life.
You can start this topic by how you met, narrate your story, and then pick out some attributes of a good friend and the advantages of the relationship. Remember to choose a topic on friendship essay that you feel passionate about and can explore in depth in your essay.
2. Do Research
To research and collect information for the friend essay, follow these steps.
- Start with a general search. Use search engines like Google to find articles, books, and other resources on affection.
- Identify keywords. Determine the most relevant keywords for your essay, such as "essay about a friend." Use them in your search to narrow down results to the most pertinent information.
- Evaluate sources. When you have a list of potential sources, evaluate each to determine their credibility and relevance. Look for sources that are written by experts in the field and that have been peer-reviewed or published in reputable journals.
- Take notes. As you read, take notes on the most important and relevant information.
3. Develop a Friendship Essay Outline
An outline is a useful tool for organizing ideas in an essay and it ensures that your essay has a structure. Before outlining you need to have a clear vision of what your essay will focus on. Then analyze every piece of information that you have and categorize it into headings. An outline of an essay about friendships will comprise a list which consists of each paragraph’s topic sentence . By going through the outline, you are able to examine what purpose each paragraph serves. If you need assistance on how to create an outline for a college essay about friendship use the outline example shown below.
4. Write an Essay on Friendship
Writing an essay about friendship is an exciting task. Below is a sample of how you can write your friendship essay. Friendship is the bond between two or more individuals based on mutual trust, support, and understanding. This connection can develop at any stage of life and even last a lifetime. It is a bond that fills our lives with comfort, laughter, and advice during a hard period. Many different factors can contribute to its formation and success. Having similar needs, mutual interests, and social activities can help sustain the relationship. Another crucial aspect is being ready to support each other through happy and difficult times unconditionally. Trust is also an essential component in the longevity of this connection. In conclusion, friendship is an invaluable treasure that brings joy, comfort, and support to our lives. It provides a safe place in a world that can be harsh and unforgiving. It reminds us that we should always stay true to each other.
5. Proofread Your Friendship Essay
When writing a friendship essay, consider the following for an effective introduction.
- Grab your reader's attention. A good introduction makes them want to continue reading your friendship essay.
- Provide context. Give an overview of the friendship essay and its purpose. This will make readers interested in your work.
- Establish your purpose. Clearly state the main idea or thesis.
- Preview the main points. Briefly summarize key points that will be covered.
- Be concise. An introduction should be short and on point, generally no more than one or two paragraphs.
Remember, your introduction will set tone for the rest of your piece and should encourage your readers to continue reading.
Read more: Essay About Happiness : Tips & Examples
Friendship Essay Examples
A sample essay about friendship can be critical to students, especially when they are researching and collecting information. Free friendship essays help you get ideas on how to write and structure your essay. Below are essay examples about friendship that you can go through to help with your writing and draw inspiration from. Friendship essay example 1
Friendship essay example 2
Essay about friendship sample 3
Example of essay on friendship 4
Friendship Essay Writing Tips
Here are some extra tips you need to know that will motivate you to write a friendship short essay.
- You could start with a quote, an anecdote, or a surprising fact.
- Use examples from your own life to illustrate your points in your school college essay about friendship, as this will make your essay more relatable and interesting to read.
- Friendship titles for essays should be clear and straightforward. They should also reflect your main points.
- Describe the aspect of the bond that, in your opinion, is most crucial. It is possible to personalize something that means an entirely different thing to various individuals.
Bottom Line on Friendship Essay Writing
Your central task is to understand what is a friendship essay even before you start writing. Friendship essays explore the nature of our relationships and their various aspects. They can take various forms, from short reflective essays to longer, more analytical pieces. These papers can discuss qualities that make a good friend, the benefits of your relationship, or challenges of maintaining close relationships. Examples of short essays about friendship could be a personal reflection, exploring the unique bond between the writer and their friend and what they hope to continue gaining from each other when they cross paths in future. If you struggle with other papers, feel free to check out our writing guides. From an essay about bullying to a world peace essay , we’ve got you covered.
FAQ About Friendship Essay
1. may i use friendship quotes for the essay.
Yes, it is always a winning step. You can write an essay on friendship with quotes either as the title of your essay or as an introductory phrase. You can also include it in the body of your work while narrating your story.
2. How to write a hook for an essay of friendship?
An essay should hook your reader's attention and make them want to read your story. When writing essays about friendship, you can describe a unique situation in which your friends helped you. You can also end your introduction with a catchy quote, such as Squad goals! Some other quotes that you can use include:
- A road to a friend's house is never long.
- Count your age with friends and years.
- True friend is seen through the heart, not through the eyes.
3. Explain the importance of friendship essay.
The importance of friendship essay is that it teaches students to express their thoughts and feelings about confidants and benefits they obtain from this connection. It also acts as a reflective tool. Friend essays also help students realize advantages of creating and maintaining good relationships with friends and how these linkages contribute to your overall wellness and welfare.
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15 Prompts for Talking and Writing About Friendship
Questions to help students reflect on the meaning of friendship in their lives
By Natalie Proulx
Who are your closest friends? How much do you share with them? Do you actually like your friends? What have you learned from them?
Below, we’ve rounded up 15 questions we’ve asked students over the years all about friendship. You can use them as prompts for writing or discussion, inside the classroom or out. We hope they’ll inspire you to reflect on your friendships, consider how you can strengthen the ones you have, and motivate you to reach out and make new ones.
Each prompt includes an excerpt from a related New York Times article, essay or photo; a link to the related piece; and several questions to help you think deeply about it. Many of these questions are still open for comment from students 13 or older.
You can find even more ideas for teaching and learning about friendship in our related lesson plan: How Students Can Cultivate Meaningful Friendships Using The New York Times .
1. Who Are Your Friends?
Do you have a “best friend,” a few close friends or a large group of friends? What interests, experiences, passions and circumstances forge those relationships? What are some of your favorite memories or admirable characteristics you associate with your friends?
Use this Picture Prompt to talk or write about your most important friendships.
2. How Alike Are You and Your Friends?
Did you know there is science behind how we choose our friends? Research has shown that we tend to befriend people who are much like us in a wide array of characteristics, including age, race, religion, even our handgrip strength.
In this prompt , you’ll read more about the things that bond us, and then share what you and your friends have in common.
3. Do You Have Any Unlikely Friendships?
Though we tend to connect with people who are like us, sometimes friendship happens with someone we’d least expect. That was the case for Spencer Sleyon, a 22-year-old rapper and producer from East Harlem, and Rosalind Guttman, an 81-year-old woman living in a retirement community in Florida, who met playing the Words With Friends game.
Do you have any surprising friendships like this one?
4. How Much Do You Share With Your Friends?
Do you often express your innermost thoughts, feelings and struggles to those closest to you? Or do you tend to keep those things to yourself? Being vulnerable can be scary, but research shows it’s important for building connections with others.
Use this prompt to reflect on what it feels like to open up to your friends, and how you might try to do more of it.
5. Do You Have Satisfying Friendships?
Are internet friendships as fulfilling as in-person ones? In a guest essay, a writer argues that “The kind of presence required for deep friendship does not seem cultivated in many online interactions. Presence in friendship requires ‘being with’ and ‘doing for.’”
Do you agree? Can online “friends” be true friends? Share your opinion.
6. Do You Have Any Close Friends?
Do you prefer to have many casual friends or just a few close ones? What makes a person a “best” friend? Do you wish you had more close friendships? This prompt explores these questions and more, as well as shares expert advice for developing deeper friendships.
7. How Do You React When Your Friendships Change?
Have you ever become less close to a friend over time? Have you ever felt jealousy when your friend joined another friend group? Have you ever had a friendship just fizzle out? These kinds of changes happen all the time, but they can be difficult to navigate.
Tell us what you do when you feel a friendship start to shift.
8. Do Social Media and Smartphones Make Your Friendships Stronger?
Does being able to stay constantly in touch with your friends via social media, texting and location sharing strengthen your friendships and make them easier to maintain? Or does it do the opposite? Weigh in with your experiences on this prompt .
9. Do You Like Your Friends?
It may sound like a strange question, but a 2016 study found that only about half of perceived friendships are mutual. That means you might not even like someone who thinks of you as a best friend. And vice versa.
Is this is true for any of your relationships?
10. How Often Do You Text Your Friends Just to Say ‘Hi’?
When was the last time you texted, called, emailed or messaged a friend just to say “hello”? Research suggests casual check-ins might mean more than we realize. Do you underestimate how much your friends would like hearing from you?
Read what experts have to say and then share your thoughts.
11. Is It Harder for Men and Boys to Make and Keep Friends?
American men appear to be stuck in a “friendship recession,” according to a recent survey. Less than half of men said they were truly satisfied with the number of friendships they had. The same study also found that men are less likely than women to seek emotional support from or share personal feelings with their friends.
Does this reflect your experience? Weigh in.
12. Do You Have Any Intergenerational Friendships?
“When applying to my job, I had no idea of the friendships I would be making with 70+ year old women. They teach me new things every day while I hear their life stories and things they have done,” Laura from Ellisville wrote in response to this prompt.
Do you have any friends who are significantly younger or older than you? What do you think we can gain from these kinds of intergenerational friendships? Tell us here.
13. Have You Ever Been Left Out?
Imagine it’s a Saturday. All your friends told you they were busy, so you’re sitting at home, alone, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. But then you see a post that stops you in your tracks. It’s a picture of all of your friends hanging out together — without you. This is what happened to Hallie Reed in her first semester at college.
Has something like this ever happened to you? Use this prompt to talk or write about how it felt.
14. What Have Your Friends Taught You About Life?
“My friends taught me different perspectives on life.” “My friends have taught me to not care what other people think.” “My friends have taught me to be myself.”
These are just a few of the responses teenagers had to this prompt. What have your friends taught you?
15. Have You Ever Had a Significant Friendship End?
Few relationships are meant to last forever. In a guest essay, Lauren Mechling writes that “even bonds founded on that rare, deeply felt psychic connection between two people” are “bound to fray.”
Have you experienced this with someone with whom you were once very close? What happened? Share your story.
Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.
Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate these prompts into your classroom.
Natalie Proulx joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2017 after working as an English language arts teacher and curriculum writer. More about Natalie Proulx
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Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health
Discover the connection between health and friendship, and how to promote and maintain healthy friendships.
Friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being, but it's not always easy to develop or maintain friendships. Understand the importance of social connection in your life and what you can do to develop and nurture lasting friendships.
What are the benefits of friendships?
Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent isolation and loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friends can also:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
- Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social connections have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). In fact, studies have found that older adults who have meaningful relationships and social support are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.
Why is it sometimes hard to make friends or maintain friendships?
Many adults find it hard to develop new friendships or keep up existing friendships. Friendships may take a back seat to other priorities, such as work or caring for children or aging parents. You and your friends may have grown apart due to changes in your lives or interests. Or maybe you've moved to a new community and haven't yet found a way to meet people.
Developing and maintaining good friendships takes effort. The enjoyment and comfort friendship can provide, however, makes the investment worthwhile.
What's a healthy number of friends?
Quality counts more than quantity. While it may be good to cultivate a diverse network of friends and acquaintances, you may feel a greater sense of belonging and well-being by nurturing close, meaningful relationships that will support you through thick and thin.
What are some ways to meet new friends?
It's possible to develop friendships with people who are already in your social network. Think through people you've interacted with — even very casually — who made a positive impression.
You may make new friends and nurture existing relationships by:
- Staying in touch with people with whom you've worked or taken classes
- Reconnecting with old friends
- Reaching out to people you've enjoyed chatting with at social gatherings
- Introducing yourself to neighbors
- Making time to connect with family members
If anyone stands out in your memory as someone you'd like to know better, reach out. Ask mutual friends or acquaintances to share the person's contact information, or — even better — to reintroduce the two of you with a text, email or in-person visit. Extend an invitation to coffee or lunch.
To meet new people who might become your friends, you have to go to places where others are gathered. Don't limit yourself to one strategy for meeting people. The broader your efforts, the greater your likelihood of success.
Persistence also matters. Take the initiative rather than waiting for invitations to come your way and keep trying. You may need to suggest plans a few times before you can tell if your interest in a new friend is mutual.
For example, try several of these ideas:
- Attend community events. Look for groups or clubs that gather around an interest or hobby you share. You may find these groups online, or they may be listed in the newspaper or on community bulletin boards. There are also many websites that help you connect with new friends in your neighborhood or city. Do a Google search using terms such as [your city] + social network, or [your neighborhood] + meet ups.
- Volunteer. Offer your time or talents at a hospital, place of worship, museum, community center, charitable group or other organization. You can form strong connections when you work with people who have mutual interests.
- Extend and accept invitations. Invite a friend to join you for coffee or lunch. When you're invited to a social gathering, say yes. Contact someone who recently invited you to an activity and return the favor.
- Take up a new interest. Take a college or community education course to meet people who have similar interests. Join a class at a local gym, senior center or community fitness facility.
- Join a faith community. Take advantage of special activities and get-to-know-you events for new members.
- Take a walk. Grab your kids or pet and head outside. Chat with neighbors who are also out and about or head to a popular park and strike up conversations there.
Above all, stay positive. You may not become friends with everyone you meet but maintaining a friendly attitude and demeanor can help you improve the relationships in your life. It may also sow the seeds of friendship with new acquaintances.
How does social media affect friendships?
Joining a chat group or online community might help you make or maintain connections and relieve loneliness. However, research suggests that use of social networking sites doesn't necessarily translate to a larger offline network or closer offline relationships with network members. In addition, remember to exercise caution when sharing personal information or arranging an activity with someone you've only met online.
How can I nurture my friendships?
Developing and maintaining healthy friendships involves give-and-take. Sometimes you're the one giving support, and other times you're on the receiving end. Letting friends know you care about them and appreciate them can help strengthen your bond. It's as important for you to be a good friend as it is to surround yourself with good friends.
To nurture your friendships:
- Be kind. This most-basic behavior remains the core of successful relationships. Think of friendship as an emotional bank account. Every act of kindness and every expression of gratitude are deposits into this account, while criticism and negativity draw down the account.
- Be a good listener. Ask what's going on in your friends' lives. Let the other person know you are paying close attention through eye contact, body language and occasional brief comments such as, "That sounds fun." When friends share details of hard times or difficult experiences, be empathetic, but don't give advice unless your friends ask for it.
- Open up. Build intimacy with your friends by opening up about yourself. Being willing to disclose personal experiences and concerns shows that your friend holds a special place in your life, and it may deepen your connection.
- Show that you can be trusted. Being responsible, reliable and dependable is key to forming strong friendships. Keep your engagements and arrive on time. Follow through on commitments you've made to your friends. When your friends share confidential information, keep it private.
- Make yourself available. Building a close friendship takes time — together. Make an effort to see new friends regularly, and to check in with them in between meet ups. You may feel awkward the first few times you talk on the phone or get together, but this feeling is likely to pass as you get more comfortable with each other.
Manage your nerves with mindfulness. You may find yourself imagining the worst of social situations, and you may feel tempted to stay home. Use mindfulness exercises to reshape your thinking. Each time you imagine the worst, pay attention to how often the embarrassing situations you're afraid of actually take place. You may notice that the scenarios you fear usually don't happen.
When embarrassing situations do happen, remind yourself that your feelings will pass, and you can handle them until they do.
Yoga and other mind-body relaxation practices also may reduce anxiety and help you face situations that make you feel nervous.
Remember, it's never too late to develop new friendships or reconnect with old friends. Investing time in making friends and strengthening your friendships can pay off in better health and a brighter outlook for years to come.
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- Holt-Lunstad J. Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors: The power of social connection in prevention. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2021; doi: 10.1177/15598276211009454.
- Loneliness and social isolation — tips for staying connected. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/loneliness-and-social-isolation-tips-staying-connected. Accessed Dec. 16, 2021.
- Bystritsky A. Complementary and alternative treatments for anxiety symptoms and disorders: Physical, cognitive, and spiritual interventions. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Dec. 16, 2021.
- Oshio T, et al. Association between the use of social networking sites, perceived social support, and life satisfaction: Evidence from a population-based survey in Japan. PLoS One. 2020; doi: 10/1371/journal.pone.0244199.
- Wilkinson A, et al. Maintenance and development of social connection by people with long-term conditions: A qualitative study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; doi:10.3390/ijerph16111875.
- Suragarn U, et al. Approaches to enhance social connection in older adults: An integrative review of literature. Aging and Health Research. 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ahr.2021.100029.
- Holt-Lunstad J. The major health implications of social connection. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 2021; doi: 10.1177/0963721421999630.
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Friendship, as understood here, is a distinctively personal relationship that is grounded in a concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other, for the other’s sake, and that involves some degree of intimacy. As such, friendship is undoubtedly central to our lives, in part because the special concern we have for our friends must have a place within a broader set of concerns, including moral concerns, and in part because our friends can help shape who we are as persons. Given this centrality, important questions arise concerning the justification of friendship and, in this context, whether it is permissible to “trade up” when someone new comes along, as well as concerning the possibility of reconciling the demands of friendship with the demands of morality in cases in which the two seem to conflict.
1.1 Mutual Caring
1.2 intimacy, 1.3 shared activity, 2.1 individual value, 2.2 social value, 3. friendship and moral theory, other internet resources, related entries, 1. the nature of friendship.
Friendship essentially involves a distinctive kind of concern for your friend, a concern which might reasonably be understood as a kind of love. Nonetheless, it is important not to misconstrue the sort of love friendship involves. Ancient Greek had three words that might reasonably be translated as love: agape , eros , and philia . Of these, agape through the Christian tradition has come to mean a kind of love that does not respond to the antecedent value of its object but instead is thought to create value in its object, as with the sort of love God has for us persons as well as, by extension, our love for God and our love for humankind in general. By contrast, eros and philia have come to be generally understood as responsive to the merits of their objects—to the beloved’s properties, such as his goodness or beauty. The difference is that eros is a kind of passionate desire for an object, typically sexual in nature, whereas ‘ philia ’ originally meant a kind of affectionate regard or friendly feeling towards not just one’s friends but also possibly towards family members, business partners, and one’s country at large (Liddell et al., 1940; Cooper, 1977a). Given this classification of kinds of love, philia seems to be that which is most clearly relevant to friendship (though just what philia amounts to needs to be clarified in more detail).
For this reason, love and friendship often get lumped together as a single topic; nonetheless, there are significant differences between them. As understood here, love is an evaluative attitude directed at particular persons as such, an attitude which we might take towards someone whether or not that love is reciprocated and whether or not we have an established relationship with her. [ 1 ] Friendship, by contrast, is essentially a kind of relationship grounded in a particular kind of special concern each has for the other as the person she is; and whereas we must make conceptual room for the idea of unrequited love, unrequited friendship is senseless. Consequently, accounts of friendship tend to understand it not merely as a case of reciprocal love of some form (together with mutual acknowledgment of this love), but as essentially involving significant interactions between the friends—as being in this sense a certain kind of relationship.
Nonetheless, questions can be raised about precisely how to distinguish romantic relationships, grounded in eros , from relationships of friendship, grounded in philia , insofar as each involves significant interactions between the involved parties that stem from a kind of reciprocal love that is responsive to merit. Clearly the two differ insofar as romantic love normally has a kind of sexual involvement that friendship lacks; yet, as Thomas (1989) asks, is that enough to explain the real differences between them? Badhwar (2003, 65–66) seems to think so, claiming that the sexual involvement enters into romantic love in part through a passion and yearning for physical union, whereas friendship involves instead a desire for a more psychological identification. Yet it is not clear exactly how to understand this: precisely what kind of “psychological identification” or intimacy is characteristic of friendship? (For further discussion, see Section 1.2 .)
In philosophical discussions of friendship, it is common to follow Aristotle ( Nicomachean Ethics , Book VIII) in distinguishing three kinds of friendship: friendships of pleasure, of utility, and of virtue. Although it is a bit unclear how to understand these distinctions, the basic idea seems to be that pleasure, utility, and virtue are the reasons we have in these various kinds of relationships for loving our friend. That is, I may love my friend because of the pleasure I get out of her, or because of the ways in which she is useful to me, or because I find her to have a virtuous character. Given the involvement of love in each case, all three kinds of friendship seem to involve a concern for your friend for his sake and not for your own.
There is an apparent tension here between the idea that friendship essentially involves being concerned for your friend for his sake and the idea of pleasure and utility friendships: how can you be concerned for him for his sake if you do that only because of the pleasure or utility you get out of it? If you benefit your friend because, ultimately, of the benefits you receive, it would seem that you do not properly love your friend for his sake, and so your relationship is not fully one of friendship after all. So it looks like pleasure and utility friendships are at best deficient modes of friendship; by contrast, virtue friendships, because they are motivated by the excellences of your friend’s character, are genuine, non-deficient friendships. For this reason, most contemporary accounts, by focusing their attention on the non-deficient forms of friendship, ignore pleasure and utility friendships. [ 2 ]
As mentioned in the first paragraph of this section, philia seems to be the kind of concern for other persons that is most relevant to friendship, and the word, ‘ philia ,’ sometimes gets translated as friendship; yet philia is in some ways importantly different from what we ordinarily think of as friendship. Thus , ‘ philia ’ extends not just to friends but also to family members, business associates, and one’s country at large. Contemporary accounts of friendship differ on whether family members, in particular one’s children before they become adults, can be friends. Most philosophers think not, understanding friendship to be essentially a relationship among equals; yet some philosophers (such as Friedman 1989; Rorty 1986/1993; Badhwar 1987) explicitly intend their accounts of friendship to include parent-child relationships, perhaps through the influence of the historical notion of philia . Nonetheless, there do seem to be significant differences between, on the one hand, parental love and the relationships it generates and, on the other hand, the love of one’s friends and the relationships it generates; the focus here will be on friendship more narrowly construed.
In philosophical accounts of friendship, several themes recur consistently, although various accounts differ in precisely how they spell these out. These themes are: mutual caring (or love), intimacy, and shared activity; these will be considered in turn.
A necessary condition of friendship, according to just about every view (Telfer 1970–71; Annas 1988, 1977; Annis 1987; Badhwar 1987; Millgram 1987; Sherman 1987; Thomas 1987, 1989, 1993; Friedman 1993, 1989; Whiting 1991; Hoffman 1997; Cocking & Kennett 1998; and White 1999a, 1999b, 2001) is that the friends each care about the other, and do so for her sake; in effect, this is to say that the friends must each love the other. Although many accounts of friendship do not analyze such mutual caring any further, among those that do there is considerable variability as to how we should understand the kind of caring involved in friendship. Nonetheless, there is widespread agreement that caring about someone for his sake involves both sympathy and action on the friend’s behalf. That is, friends must be moved by what happens to their friends to feel the appropriate emotions: joy in their friends’ successes, frustration and disappointment in their friends’ failures (as opposed to disappointment in the friends themselves), etc. Moreover, in part as an expression of their caring for each other, friends must normally be disposed to promote the other’s good for her sake and not out of any ulterior motive. (However, see Velleman 1999 for a dissenting view.)
To care about something is generally to find it worthwhile or valuable in some way; caring about one’s friend is no exception. A central difference among the various accounts of mutual caring is the way in which these accounts understand the kind of evaluation implicit therein. Most accounts understand that evaluation to be a matter of appraisal: we care about our friends at least in part because of the good qualities of their characters that we discover them to have (Annas 1977; Sherman 1987; Whiting 1991); this is in line with the understanding of love as philia or eros given in the first paragraph of Section 1 above. For this reason, many authors argue that to be friends with bad people reveals a potentially morally condemnable evaluative defect (see, e.g., Isserow 2018). Other accounts, however, understand caring as in part a matter of bestowing value on your beloved: in caring about a friend, we thereby project a kind of intrinsic value onto him; this is in line with the understanding of love as agape given above.
Friedman (1989, 6) argues for bestowal, saying that if we were to base our friendship on positive appraisals of our friend’s excellences, “to that extent our commitment to that person is subordinate to our commitment to the relevant [evaluative] standards and is not intrinsically a commitment to that person.” However, this is too quick, for to appeal to an appraisal of the good qualities of your friend’s character in order to justify your friendship is not on its own to subordinate your friendship to that appraisal. Rather, through the friendship, and through changes in your friend over time, you may come to change your evaluative outlook, thereby in effect subordinating your commitment to certain values to your commitment to your friend. Of course, within friendship the influence need not go only one direction: friends influence each other’s conceptions of value and how to live. Indeed, that friends have a reciprocal effect on each other is a part of the concern for equality many find essential to friendship, and it is central to the discussion of intimacy in Section 1.2 .
(For more on the notion of caring about another for her sake and the variety of philosophical accounts of it, see the entry on love .)
The relationship of friendship differs from other interpersonal relationships, even those characterized by mutual caring, such as relationships among colleagues: friendships are, intuitively, “deeper,” more intimate relationships. The question facing any philosophical account is how that characteristic intimacy of friendship is to be understood.
On this point, there is considerable variation in the literature—so much that it raises the question whether differing accounts aim at elucidating the same object. For it seems as though when the analysis of intimacy is relatively weak, the aim is to elucidate what might be called “acquaintance friendships”; as the analysis of intimacy gets stronger, the aim seems to tend towards closer friendships and even to a kind of ideal of maximally close friendship. It might be asked whether one or another of these types of friendship ought to take priority in the analysis, such that, for example, cases of close friendship can be understood to be an enhanced version of acquaintance friendship, or whether acquaintance friendship should be understood as being deficient in various ways relative to ideal friendship. Nonetheless, in what follows, views will be presented roughly in order from weaker to stronger accounts of intimacy.
To begin, Thomas (1987; 1989; 1993; 2013) claims that we should understand what is here called the intimacy of friendship in terms of mutual self-disclosure: I tell my friends things about myself that I would not dream of telling others, and I expect them to make me privy to intimate details of their lives. The point of such mutual self-disclosure, Thomas argues, is to create the “bond of trust” essential to friendship, for through such self-disclosure we simultaneously make ourselves vulnerable to each other and acknowledge the goodwill the other has for us. Such a bond of trust is what institutes the kind of intimacy characteristic of friendship. (Similar ideas can be found in Annis 1987.)
Cocking & Kennett (1998) caricature this as “the secrets view,” arguing:
It is not the sharing of private information nor even of very personal information, as such, that contributes to the bonds of trust and intimacy between companion friends. At best it is the sharing of what friends care about that is relevant here. 
Their point is that the secrets view underestimates the kind of trust at issue in friendship, conceiving of it largely as a matter of discretion. Given the way friendship essentially involves each caring about the other’s good for the other’s sake and so acting on behalf of the other’s good, entering into and sustaining a relationship of friendship will normally involve considerable trust in your friend’s goodwill towards you generally, and not just concerning your secrets. Moreover, friendship will normally involve trust in your friend’s judgment concerning what is in your best interests, for when your friend sees you harming yourself, she ought, other things being equal, to intervene, and through the friendship you can come to rely on her to do so. (See also Alfano, 2016, who emphasizes not just trust but trustworthiness to make similar points.)
Such enhanced trust can lead to “shared interests or enthusiasms or views … [or] a similar style of mind or way of thinking which makes for a high degree of empathy” (Telfer 1970–71, 227). Telfer finds such shared interests central to the “sense of a bond” friends have, an idea similar to the “solidarity”—the sharing of values and a sense of what’s important—that White (2001) advocates as central to friendship. For trusting my friend’s assessments of my good in this way seemingly involves trusting not only that she understands who I am and that I find certain things valuable and important in life but also and centrally that she understands the value of these things that are so meaningful to me. That in turn seems to be grounded in the empathy we have for each other—the shared sense of what’s important. So Telfer and White, in appealing to such shared sense of value, are offering a somewhat richer sense of the sort of intimacy essential to friendship than Thomas and Annis.
An important question to ask, however, is what precisely is meant by the “sharing” of a sense of value. Once again there are weaker and stronger versions. On the weak side, a sense of value is shared in the sense that a coincidence of interests and values is a necessary condition of developing and sustaining a friendship; when that happy coincidence dissipates, so too does the friendship. It is possible to read Annas’s summary of Aristotle’s view of friendship this way (1988, 1):
A friend, then, is one who (1) wishes and does good (or apparently good) things to a friend, for the friend’s sake, (2) wishes the friend to exist and live, for his own sake, (3) spends time with his friend, (4) makes the same choices as his friend and (5) finds the same things pleasant and painful as his friend.
(4) and (5) are the important claims for present purposes: making the same choices as your friend, if done consistently, depends on having a similar outlook on what reasons there are so to choose, and this point is reinforced in (5) given Aristotle’s understanding of pleasure and pain as evaluative and so as revealing what is (apparently) good and bad. The message might be that merely having coincidence in evaluative outlook is enough to satisfy (4) and (5).
Of course, Aristotle (and Annas) would reject this reading: friends do not merely have such similarities antecedent to their friendship as a necessary condition of friendship. Rather, friends can influence and shape each other’s evaluative outlook, so that the sharing of a sense of value is reinforced through the dynamics of their relationship. One way to make sense of this is through the Aristotelian idea that friends function as a kind of mirror of each other: insofar as friendship rests on similarity of character, and insofar as I can have only imperfect direct knowledge about my own character, I can best come to know myself—both the strengths and weaknesses of my character—by knowing a friend who reflects my qualities of character. Minor differences between friends, as when my friend on occasion makes a choice I would not have made, can lead me to reflect on whether this difference reveals a flaw in my own character that might need to be fixed, thereby reinforcing the similarity of my and my friend’s evaluative outlooks. On this reading of the mirroring view, my friend plays an entirely passive role: just by being himself, he enables me to come to understand my own character better (cf. Badhwar 2003). [ 3 ]
Cocking & Kennett (1998) argue against such a mirroring view in two ways. First, they claim that this view places too much emphasis on similarity as motivating and sustaining the friendship. Friends can be very different from each other, and although within a friendship there is a tendency for the friends to become more and more alike, this should be understood as an effect of friendship, not something constitutive of it. Second, they argue that the appeal to the friend’s role as a mirror to explain the increasing similarity involves assigning too much passivity to the friend. Our friends, they argue, play a more active role in shaping us, and the mirroring view fails to acknowledge this. (Cocking & Kennett’s views will be discussed further below. Lynch (2005) provides further criticisms of the mirroring view, arguing that the differences between friends can be central and important to their friendship.)
In an interesting twist on standard accounts of the sense in which (according to Aristotle, at least) a friend is a mirror, Millgram (1987) claims that in mirroring my friend I am causally responsible for my friend coming to have and sustain the virtues he has. Consequently, I am in a sense my friend’s “procreator,” and I therefore find myself actualized in my friend. For this reason, Millgram claims, I come to love my friend in the same way I love myself, and this explains (a) Aristotle’s otherwise puzzling claim that a friend is “another self,” (b) why it is that friends are not fungible, given my role as procreator only of this particular person, and (c) why friendships of pleasure and utility, which do not involve such procreation, fail to be genuine friendships. (For more on the problem of fungibility, see Section 2.1 .) However, in offering this account, Millgram may seem to confound my being causally necessary for my friend’s virtues with my being responsible for those virtues—to confound my passive role as a mirror with that of a “procreator,” a seemingly active role. Millgram’s understanding of mirroring does not, therefore, escape Cocking & Kennett’s criticism of mirroring views as assigning too much passivity to the friend as mirror.
Friedman (1989) offers another way to make sense of the influence my friend has on my sense of value by appealing to the notion of bestowal. According to Friedman, the intimacy of friendship takes the form of a commitment friends have to each other as unique persons, a commitment in which the
friend’s successes become occasions for joy; her judgments may provoke reflection or even deference; her behavior may encourage emulation; and the causes which she champions may inspire devotion …. One’s behavior toward the friend takes its appropriateness, at least in part, from her goals and aspirations, her needs, her character—all of which one feels prima facie invited to acknowledge as worthwhile just because they are hers. 
As noted in the 3rd paragraph of Section 1.1 , Friedman thinks my commitment to my friend cannot be grounded in appraisals of her, and so my acknowledgment of the worth of her goals, etc., is a matter of my bestowing value on these: her ends become valuable to me, and so suitable for motivating my actions, “just because they are hers.” That is, such a commitment involves taking my friend seriously, where this means something like finding her values, interests, reasons, etc. provide me with pro tanto reasons for me to value and think similarly. [ 4 ] In this way, the dynamics of the friendship relation involves friends mutually influencing each other’s sense of value, which thereby comes to be shared in a way that underwrites significant intimacy.
In part, Friedman’s point is that sharing an evaluative perspective in the way that constitutes the intimacy of friendship involves coming to adopt her values as parts of my own sense of value. Whiting (1991) argues that such an approach fails properly to make sense of the idea that I love my friend for her sake. For to require that my friend’s values be my own is to blur the distinction between valuing these things for her sake and valuing them for my own. Moreover, Whiting (1986) argues, to understand my concern for her for her sake in terms of my concern for things for my sake raises the question of how to understand this latter concern. However, Whiting thinks the latter is at least as unclear as the former, as is revealed when we think about the long-term and my connection and responsibility to my “future selves.” The solution, she claims, is to understand the value of my ends (or yours) to be independent of the fact that they are mine (or yours): these ends are intrinsically valuable, and that’s why I should care about them, no matter whose ends they are. Consequently, the reason I have to care for myself, including my future selves, for my sake is the same as the reason I have to care about my friend for her sake: because I recognize the intrinsic value of the (excellent) character she or I have (Whiting 1991, 10; for a similar view, see Keller 2000). Whiting therefore advocates what she calls an “impersonal” conception of friendship: There are potentially many people exhibiting (what I would consider to be) excellences of character, and these are my impersonal friends insofar as they are all “equally worthy of my concern”; what explains but does not justify my “differential and apparently personal concern for only some … [is] largely a function of historical and psychological accident” (1991, 23).
It should be clear that Whiting does not merely claim that friends share values only in that these values happen to coincide; if that were the case, her conception of friendship would be vulnerable to the charge that the friends really are not concerned for each other but merely for the intrinsically valuable properties that each exemplifies. Rather, Whiting thinks that part of what makes my concern for my friend be for her sake is my being committed to remind her of what’s really valuable in life and to foster within her a commitment to these values so as to prevent her from going astray. Such a commitment on my part is clearly a commitment to her, and a relationship characterized by such a commitment on both sides is one that consistently and non-accidentally reinforces the sharing of these values.
Brink (1999) criticizes Whiting’s account of friendship as too impersonal because it fails to understand the relationship of friendship itself to be intrinsically valuable. (For similar criticisms, see Jeske 1997.) In part, the complaint is the same as that which Friedman (1989) offered against any conception of friendship that bases that friendship on appraisals of the friend’s properties (cf. the 3rd paragraph of Section 1.1 above): such a conception of friendship subordinates our concern for the friend to our concern for the values, thereby neglecting what makes friendship a distinctively personal relationship. Given Whiting’s understanding of the sense in which friends share values in terms of their appeal to the intrinsic and impersonal worth of those values, it seems that she cannot make much of the rebuttal to Friedman offered above: that I can subordinate my concern for certain values to my concern for my friend, thereby changing my values in part out of concern for my friend. Nonetheless, Brink’s criticism goes deeper:
Unless our account of love and friendship attaches intrinsic significance to the historical relationship between friends, it seems unable to justify concern for the friend qua friend. [1999, 270]
It is only in terms of the significance of the historical relationship, Brink argues, that we can make sense of the reasons for friendship and for the concern and activity friendship demands as being agent-relative (and so in this way personal) rather than agent-neutral (or impersonal, as for Whiting). [ 5 ]
Cocking & Kennett (1998), in what might be a development of Rorty (1986/1993), offer an account of close friendship in part in terms of the friends playing a more active role in transforming each other’s evaluative outlook: in friendship, they claim, we are “receptive” to having our friends “direct” and “interpret” us and thereby change our interests. To be directed by your friend is to allow her interests, values, etc. to shape your own; thus, your friend may suggest that you go to the opera together, and you may agree to go, even though you have no antecedent interest in the opera. Through his interest, enthusiasm, and suggestion (“Didn’t you just love the concluding duet of Act III?”), you may be moved directly by him to acquire an interest in opera only because he’s your friend. To be interpreted by your friend is to allow your understanding of yourself, in particular of your strengths and weaknesses, to be shaped by your friend’s interpretations of you. Thus, your friend may admire your tenacity (a trait you did not realize you had), or be amused by your excessive concern for fairness, and you may come as a result to develop a new understanding of yourself, and potentially change yourself, in direct response to his interpretation of you. Hence, Cocking & Kennett claim, “the self my friend sees is, at least in part, a product of the friendship” (505). (Nehamas 2010 offers a similar account of the importance of the interpretation of one’s friends in determining who one is, though Nehamas emphasizes in a way that Cocking & Kennett do not that your interpretation of your friend can reveal possible valuable ways to be that you yourself “could never have even imagined beforehand” (287).)
It is a bit unclear what your role is in being thus directed and interpreted by your friend. Is it a matter of merely passively accepting the direction and interpretation? This is suggested by Cocking & Kennett’s understanding of friendship in terms of a receptivity to being drawn by your friend and by their apparent understanding of this receptivity in dispositional terms. Yet this would seem to be a matter of ceding your autonomy to your friend, and that is surely not what they intend. Rather, it seems, we are at least selective in the ways in which we allow our friends to direct and interpret us, and we can resist other directions and interpretations. However, this raises the question of why we allow any such direction and interpretation. One answer would be because we recognize the independent value of the interests of our friends, or that we recognize the truth of their interpretations of us. But this would not explain the role of friendship in such direction and interpretation, for we might just as easily accept such direction and interpretation from a mentor or possibly even a stranger. This shortcoming might push us to understanding our receptivity to direction and interpretation not in dispositional terms but rather in normative terms: other things being equal, we ought to accept direction and interpretation from our friends precisely because they are our friends. And this might push us to a still stronger conception of intimacy, of the sharing of values, in terms of which we can understand why friendship grounds these norms.
Such a stronger conception of intimacy is provided in Sherman’s interpretation of Aristotle’s account of friends as sharing a life together (Sherman 1987; see also Moore & Frederick 2017, which argues that friends must share a life together partly through the mutual acknowledgment of their shared activity in the form of a joint narrative that interprets these activities as meaningful). According to Sherman’s Aristotle, an important component of friendship is that friends identify with each other in the sense that they exhibit a “singleness of mind.” This includes, first, a kind of sympathy, whereby I feel on my friend’s behalf the same emotions he does. Unlike similar accounts, Sherman explicitly includes pride and shame as emotions I sympathetically feel on behalf of my friend—a significant addition because of the role pride and shame have in constituting our sense of ourselves and even our identities (Taylor 1985). In part for this reason, Sherman claims that “through the sense of belonging and attachment” we attain because of such sympathetic pride and shame, “we identify with and share their [our friends’] good” (600). [ 6 ]
Second, and more important, Sherman’s Aristotle understands the singleness of mind that friends have in terms of shared processes of deliberation. Thus, as she summarizes a passage in Aristotle (1170b11–12):
character friends live together, not in the way animals do, by sharing the same pasture, but “by sharing in argument and thought.” 
The point is that the friends “share” a conception of values not merely in that there is significant overlap between the values of the one friend and those of the other, and not merely in that this overlap is maintained through the influence that the friends have on each other. Rather, the values are shared in the sense that they are most fundamentally their values, at which they jointly arrive by deliberating together.
[Friends have] the project of a shared conception of eudaimonia [i.e., of how best to live]. Through mutual decisions about specific practical matters, friends begin to express that shared commitment …. Any happiness or disappointment that follows from these actions belongs to both persons, for the decision to so act was joint and the responsibility is thus shared. 
The intent of this account, in which what gets shared is, we might say, an identity that the friends have in common, is not to be descriptively accurate of particular friendships; it is rather to provide a kind of ideal that actual friendships at best only approximate. Such a strong notion of sharing is reminiscent of the union view of (primarily erotic) love, according to which love consists in the formation of some significant kind of union, a “we” (see the entry on love , the section on love as union ). Like the union view of love, this account of friendship raises worries about autonomy. Thus, it seems as though Sherman’s Aristotle does away with any clear distinction between the interests and even agency of the two friends, thereby undermining the kind of independence and freedom of self-development that characterizes autonomy. If autonomy is a part of the individual’s good, then Sherman’s Aristotle might be forced to conclude that friendship is to this extent bad; the conclusion might be, therefore, that we ought to reject this strong conception of the intimacy of friendship.
It is unclear from Sherman’s interpretation of Aristotle whether there are principled reasons to limit the extent to which we share our identities with our friends; perhaps an appeal to something like Friedman’s federation model (1998) can help resolve these difficulties. Friedman’s idea is that we should understand romantic love (but the idea could also be applied to friendship) not in terms of the union of the two individuals, in which their identities get subsumed by that union, but rather in terms of the federation of the individuals—the creation of a third entity that presupposes some degree of independence of the individuals that make it up. Even so, much would need to be done to spell out this view satisfactorily. (For more on Friedman’s account, see the entry on love , the section on love as union .)
In each of these accounts of the kind of intimacy and commitment that are characteristic of friendship, we might ask about the conditions under which friendship can properly be dissolved. Thus, insofar as friendship involves some such commitment, we cannot just give up on our friends for no reason at all; nor, it seems, should our commitment be unconditional, binding on us come what may. Understanding more clearly when it is proper to break off a friendship, or allow it to lapse, may well shed light on the kind of commitment and intimacy that is characteristic of friendship; nonetheless, this issue gets scant attention in the literature.
A final common thread in philosophical accounts of friendship is shared activity. The background intuition is this: never to share activity with someone and in this way to interact with him is not to have the kind of relationship with him that could be called friendship, even if you each care for the other for his sake. Rather, friends engage in joint pursuits, in part motivated by the friendship itself. These joint pursuits can include not only such things as making something together, playing together, and talking together, but also pursuits that essentially involve shared experiences, such as going to the opera together. Yet for these pursuits to be properly shared in the relevant sense of “share,” they cannot involve activities motivated simply by self interest: by, for example, the thought that I’ll help you build your fence today if you later help me paint my house. Rather, the activity must be pursued in part for the purpose of doing it together with my friend, and this is the point of saying that the shared activity must be motivated, at least in part, by the friendship itself.
This raises the following questions: in what sense can such activity be said to be “shared,” and what is it about friendship that makes shared activity so central to it? The common answer to this second question (which helps pin down an answer to the first) is that shared activity is important because friends normally have shared interests as a part of the intimacy that is characteristic of friendship as such, and the “shared” pursuit of such shared interests is therefore an important part of friendship. Consequently, the account of shared activity within a particular theory ought to depend at least in part on that theory’s understanding of the kind of intimacy relevant to friendship. And this generally seems to be the case: for example, Thomas (1987, 1989, 1993, 2013), who argues for a weak conception of intimacy in terms of mutual self-disclosure, has little place for shared activity in his account of friendship, whereas Sherman (1987), who argues for a strong conception of intimacy in terms of shared values, deliberation, and thought, provides within friendship a central place not just to isolated shared activities but, more significantly, to a shared life.
Nonetheless, within the literature on friendship the notion of shared or joint activity is largely taken for granted: not much thought has been given to articulating clearly the sense in which friends share their activity. This is surprising and unfortunate, especially insofar as the understanding of the sense in which such activities are “shared” is closely related to the understanding of intimacy that is so central to any account of friendship; indeed, a clear account of the sort of shared activity characteristic of friendship may in turn shed light on the sort of intimacy it involves. This means in part that a particular theory of friendship might be criticized in terms of the way in which its account of the intimacy of friendship yields a poor account of the sense in which activity is shared. For example, one might think that we must distinguish between activity we engage in together in part out of my concern for someone I love, and activity we share insofar as we engage in it at least partly for the sake of sharing it; only the latter, it might be argued, is the sort of shared activity constitutive of the relationship of friendship as opposed to that constitutive merely of my concern for him (see Nozick 1989). Consequently, according to this line of thought, any account of the intimacy of friendship that fails to understand the sharing of interests in such a way as to make sense of this distinction ought to be rejected.
Helm (2008) develops an account of shared activity and shared valuing at least partly with an eye to understanding friendship. He argues that the sense in which friends share activity is not the sort of shared intention and plural subjecthood discussed in literature on shared intention within social philosophy (on which, see Tuomela 1995, 2007; Gilbert 1996, 2000, 2006; Searle 1990; and Bratman 1999), for such sharing of intentions does not involve the requisite intimacy of friendship. Rather, the intimacy of friendship should be understood partly in terms of the friends forming a “plural agent”: a group of people who have joint cares—a joint evaluative perspective—which he analyzes primarily in terms of a pattern of interpersonally connected emotions, desires, judgments, and (shared) actions. Friendships emerge, Helm claims, when the friends form a plural agent that cares positively about their relationship, and the variety of kinds of friendships there can be, including friendships of pleasure, utility, and virtue, are to be understood in terms of the particular way in which they jointly understand their relationship to be something they care about—as tennis buddies or as life partners, for example.
2. Value and Justification of Friendship
Friendship clearly plays an important role in our lives; to a large extent, the various accounts of friendship aim at identifying and clarifying that role. In this context, it is important to understand not only why friendship can be valuable, but also what justifies particular friendships.
One way to construe the question of the value of friendship is in terms of the individual considering whether to be (or continue to be) engaged in a friendship: why should I invest considerable time, energy, and resources in a friend rather than in myself? What makes friendship worthwhile for me, and so how ought I to evaluate whether particular friendships I have are good friendships or not?
One sort of answer is that friendship is instrumentally good. Thus, Telfer (1970–71) claims that friendship is “ life enhancing ” in that it makes us “feel more alive”—it enhances our activities by intensifying our absorption in them and hence the pleasure we get out of them (239–40). Moreover, she claims, friendship is pleasant in itself as well as useful to the friends. Annis (1987) adds that it helps promote self-esteem, which is good both instrumentally and for its own sake.
Yet friendship is not merely instrumentally valuable, as is hinted at by Annis’ claim that “our lives would be significantly less full given the universal demise of friendship” (1987, 351). Cooper (1977b), interpreting Aristotle, provides two arguments for why this might be so. First, Cooper’s Aristotle claims, living well requires that one know the goodness of one’s own life; however, given the perpetual possibility of self-deception, one is able accurately to evaluate one’s own life only through friendship, in which one’s friend acts as a kind of mirror of one’s self. Hence, a flourishing life is possible only through the epistemic access friendship provides. Second, Cooper’s Aristotle claims that the sort of shared activity characteristic of friendship is essential to one’s being able to engage in the sort of activities characteristic of living well “continuously” and “with pleasure and interest” (310). Such activities include moral and intellectual activities, activities in which it is often difficult to sustain interest without being tempted to act otherwise. Friendship, and the shared values and shared activities it essentially involves, is needed to reinforce our intellectual and practical understanding of such activities as worthwhile in spite of their difficulty and the ever present possibility that our interest in pursuing them will flag. Consequently, Cooper concludes, the shared activity of friendship is partly constitutive of human flourishing. Similarly, Biss (2019) argues along Kantian lines that friendship and the sort of trust friendship involves, are a central and necessary part of the pursuit of moral self-perfection.
So far these are attempts to understand the value of friendship to the individual in terms of the way friendship contributes, instrumentally or constitutively, to something else that is valuable to the individual. Yet one might also think that friendship is valuable for its own sake. Schoeman (1985), partly in response to the individualism of other accounts of the value of friendship, claims that in friendship the friends “become a unique community with a being and value of its own” (280): the intimacy of friendship results in “a way of being and acting in virtue of being united with another” (281). Although this claim has intuitive appeal, Schoeman does not clearly explain what the value of that “unique community” is or why it should have that value. Indeed, we ought to expect that fleshing out this claim would involve a substantive proposal concerning the nature of that community and how it can have a separate (federated?—cf. Friedman 1998) existence and value. Once again, the literature on shared intention and plural subjecthood is relevant here; see, for example, Gilbert 1989, 1996, 2000; Tuomela 1984, 1995; Searle 1990; and Bratman 1999.
A question closely related to this question of the value of friendship is that of what justifies my being friends with this person rather than with someone else or no one at all. To a certain extent, answers to the question of the value of friendship might seem to provide answers to the question of the justification of friendship. After all, if the value of friendship in general lies in the way it contributes (either instrumentally or constitutively) to a flourishing life for me, then it might seem that I can justify particular friendships in light of the extent to which they contribute to my flourishing. Nonetheless, this seems unacceptable because it suggests—what is surely false—that friends are fungible . (To be fungible is to be replaceable by a relevantly similar object without any loss of value.) That is, if my friend has certain properties (including, perhaps, relational properties) in virtue of which I am justified in having her as my friend (because it is in virtue of those properties that she contributes to my flourishing), then on this view I would be equally justified in being friends with anyone else having relevantly similar properties, and so I would have no reason not to replace my current friend with someone else of this sort. Indeed, it might even be that I ought to “trade up” when someone other than my current friend exhibits the relevant friendship-justifying properties to a greater degree than my friend does. This is surely objectionable as an understanding of friendship.
In solving this problem of fungibility, philosophers have typically focused on features of the historical relationship of friendship (cf. Brink 1999, quoted above). One approach might be found in Sherman’s 1987 union account of friendship discussed above (this type of view might be suggested by the account of the value of friendship in Schoeman 1985). If my friend and I form a kind of union in virtue of our having a shared conception of how to live that is forged and maintained through a particular history of interaction and sharing of our lives, and if my sense of my values and identity therefore depends on these being most fundamentally our values and identity, then it is simply not possible to substitute another person for my friend without loss. For this other person could not possibly share the relevant properties of my friend, namely her historical relationship with me. However, the price of this solution to the problem of fungibility, as it arises both for friendship and for love, is the worry about autonomy raised towards the end of Section 1.2 above.
An alternative solution is to understand these historical, relational properties of my friend to be more directly relevant to the justification of our friendship. Thus, Whiting (1991) distinguishes the reasons we have for initiating a friendship (which are, she thinks, impersonal in a way that allows for fungibility) from the reasons we have for sustaining a friendship; the latter, she suggests, are to be found in the history of concern we have for each other. However, it is unclear how the historical-relational properties can provide any additional justification for friendship beyond that provided by thinking about the value of friendship in general, which does not solve the fungibility problem. For the mere fact that this is my friend does not seem to justify my continued friendship: when we imagine that my friend is going through a rough time so that he loses those virtues justifying my initial friendship with him, why shouldn’t I just dump him and strike up a new friendship with someone who has those virtues? It is not clear how the appeal to historical properties of my friend or our friendship can provide an answer.
In part the trouble here arises from tacit preconceptions concerning the nature of justification. If we attempt to justify continued friendship in terms of the friend’s being this particular person, with a particular historical relationship to me, then it seems like we are appealing to merely idiosyncratic and subjective properties, which might explain but cannot justify that friendship. This seems to imply that justification in general requires the appeal to the friend’s being a type of person, having general, objective properties that others might share; this leads to the problem of fungibility. Solving the problem, it might therefore seem, requires somehow overcoming this preconception concerning justification—a task which no one has attempted in the literature on friendship.
(For further discussion of this problem of fungibility as it arises in the context of love, as well as discussion of a related problem concerning whether the object (rather than the grounds) of love is a particular person or a type of person, see Section 6 of the entry on love .)
Another way to construe the question of the value of friendship is in more social terms: what is the good to society of having its members engaged in relationships of friendship? Telfer (1970–71, 238) answers that friendship promotes the general good “by providing a degree and kind of consideration for others’ welfare which cannot exist outside it.” Blum (1980) concurs, arguing that friendship is an important source of moral excellence precisely because it essentially involves acting for the sake of your friend, a kind of action that can have considerable moral worth. (For similar claims, see Annis 1987.)
Cocking & Kennett (2000) argue against this view that friendly acts per se are morally good, claiming that “I might be a perfectly good friend. I might just not be a perfectly moral one” (287). They support this conclusion, within their account of friendship as involving being directed and interpreted by one’s friend, by claiming that “I am just as likely to be directed by your interest in gambling at the casino as by your interest in ballet” (286). However, Cocking & Kennett seem to be insufficiently sensitive to the idea, which they accept (cf. 284), that friends care about promoting each other’s well-being. For if I am concerned with your well-being and find you to be about to embark on an immoral course of action, I ought not, contrary to what Cocking & Kennett suggest, blindly allow you to draw me into joining you; rather, I ought to try to stop you or at least get you to question whether you are doing the right thing—as a matter of my directing and interpreting you. In this context, Koltonski (2016) argues that one ought to ensure that one’s friend is properly engaging in moral deliberation, but then defer to one’s friend’s judgment about what to do, even when one disagrees with the moral conclusion, for such deference is a matter of properly respecting the friend’s moral agency.
These answers to the social value of friendship seem to apply equally well to love: insofar as love essentially involves both a concern for your beloved for his sake and, consequently, action on his behalf for his sake, love will exhibit the same social value. Friedman (1989), however, argues that friendship itself is socially valuable in a way that love is not. Understanding the intimacy of friendship in terms of the sharing of values, Friedman notes that friendship can involve the mutual support of, in particular, unconventional values, which can be an important stimulus to moral progress within a community. For “our commitments to particular persons are, in practice, necessary counterbalances to our commitments to abstract moral guidelines, and may, at times, take precedence over them” (6). Consequently, the institution of friendship is valuable not just to the individuals but also to the community as a whole. On the other hand, however, we might worry that friendship can have negative consequences for society as a whole. As Thomas (1999) and Lintott (2015) argue, we tend to privilege in our loves and friendships “people like us”, which can give rise to biases in favor of certain social identities like race, class, and sexual orientation that can perpetuate inequalities among these groups, reinforce epistemic injustices, and limit our moral development.
A growing body of research since the mid-1970s questions the relationship between the phenomenon of friendship and particular moral theories. Thus, many (Stocker 1976, 1981; Blum 1980, 1993; Wilcox 1987; Friedman 1989, 1993; Badhwar 1991; Cocking & Oakley 1995) have criticized consequentialist and deontological moral theories on the grounds that they are somehow incompatible with friendship and the kind of reasons and motives that friendship provides. Often, the appeal to friendship is intended to bypass traditional disputes among major types of moral theories (consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics), and so the “friendship critique” may seem especially important and interesting. [ 7 ]
At the root of these questions concerning the relationship between friendship and morality is the idea that friendship involves special duties : duties for specific people that arise out of the relationship of friendship. Thus, it seems that we have obligations to aid and support our friends that go well beyond those we have to help strangers because they are our friends, much like we parents have special duties to aid and support our children because they are our children. Indeed, Annis (1987) suggests, such duties “are constitutive of the relationship” of friendship (352; but see Bernstein (2007) for an argument that friendship does not involve any requirement of partiality). Given this, the question arises as to what the relationship is between such special duties of friendship and other duties, in particular moral duties: can our obligations to our friends sometimes trump our moral duties, or must we always subordinate our personal relationships to morality in order to be properly impartial (as, it might be thought, morality demands)?
One concern in this neighborhood, articulated by Stocker (1976), is that the phenomenon of friendship reveals that consequentialist and deontological moral theories, by offering accounts of what it is right to do irrespective of the motives we have, promote a kind of “ moral schizophrenia ”: a split between our moral reasons on the one hand and our motives on the other. Such moral schizophrenia, Stocker argues, prevents us in general from harmonizing our moral reasons and our motives, and it does so in a way that destroys the very possibility of our having and sustaining friendships with others. Given the manifest value of friendship in our lives, this is clearly a serious problem with these moral theories.
What is it about friendship that generates these problems? One concern arises out of the teleological conception of action , implicit in consequentialism, according to which actions are understood in terms of their ends or purposes. The trouble is, Stocker (1981) argues, the characteristic actions of friendship cannot be understood in this way. To be a friend is at least sometimes to be motivated to act out of a concern for your friend as this individual (cf. Section 1.1 ). Although actions done out of friendship may have ends, what characterizes these as “friendly acts,” as we might call them, is not that they are done for any particular purpose:
If acting out of friendship is composed of purposes, dispositions to have purposes, and the like, where these are purposes properly so-called, and thus not essentially described by the phrase ‘out of friendship’, there seems … no guarantee that the person cares about and likes, has friendship for, the ‘friend’. [Stocker 1981, 756–57]
That is, actions done out of friendship are essentially actions motivated by a special sort of concern—a concern for this particular person—which is in part a matter of having settled habits of response to the friend. This, Stocker concludes, is a kind of motivation for action that a teleological conception of action cannot countenance, resulting in moral schizophrenia. (Jeske (2008) argues for a somewhat different conclusion: that in order to heal this apparent split between impartial moral obligations and the partial obligations of friendship, we must abandon the distinction between moral and nonmoral obligations.)
Stocker (1976) raises another, more general concern for consequentialism and deontology arising out of a conception of friendship. Thus, although act consequentialists —those who justify each particular act by appeal to the goodness of the consequences of that act, impersonally conceived (see the entry on consequentialism )—could justify friendly acts, they “cannot embody their reason in their motive” (1976, 70), for to be motivated teleologically by the concern to maximize goodness is not to be motivated out of friendship. Consequently, either act consequentialists must exhibit moral schizophrenia, or, to avoid it, they must understand consequentialist reasons for action to be our motives. However, because such consequentialist reasons are impersonal, taking this latter tack would be to leave out the kind of reasons and motives that are central to friendship, thereby undermining the very institution of friendship. (Cf. the discussion of impersonal justification of friendship and the problem of fungibility in Section 2.1 .)
The same is true, Stocker argues, of rule consequentialism (the view that actions are right if they follow principles or rules that tend to result in the most good overall, impersonally conceived—see the entry on rule-consequentialism ) and on deontology (the view that actions are right just in case they are in accordance with certain rules or principles that are binding on all moral agents). For even if rule consequentialism and deontology can provide moral reasons for friendly actions in terms of the rule that one must benefit one’s friends, for example, such reasons would be impersonal, giving no special consideration to our particular friends at all. If we are to avoid moral schizophrenia and embody this reason in our motives for action, we could not, then, act out of friendship—out of a concern for our friends for their sakes. This means that any rule consequentialist or deontologist that avoids moral schizophrenia can act so as to benefit her friends, but such actions would be merely as if friendly, not genuinely friendly, and she could not therefore have and sustain genuine friendships. The only alternative is to split her moral reasons and her motives for friendly acts, thereby becoming schizophrenic. (For some discussion about whether such moral schizophrenia really is as bad as Stocker thinks, see Woodcock 2010. For concerns similar to Stocker’s about impartial moral theories and motivation for action arising out of a consideration of personal relationships like friendship, see Williams 1981.)
Blum (1980) (portions of which are reprinted with slight modifications in Blum 1993) and Friedman (1993), pick up on this contrast between the impartiality of consequentialism and deontology and the inherent partiality of friendship, and argue more directly for a rejection of such moral theories. Consequentialists and deontologists must think that relationships like friendship essentially involve a kind of special concern for the friend and that such relationships therefore demand that one’s actions exhibit a kind of partiality towards the friend. Consequently, they argue, these impartialist moral theories must understand friendship to be inherently biased and therefore not to be inherently moral. Rather, such moral theories can only claim that to care for another “in a fully morally appropriate manner” requires caring for him “simply as a human being, i.e., independent of any special connection or attachment one has with him” (Blum 1993, 206). It is this claim that Blum and Friedman deny: although such universalist concern surely has a place in moral theory, the value—indeed the moral value (cf. Section 2.2 )—of friendship cannot properly be appreciated except as involving a concern for another for his sake and as the particular person he is. Thus, they claim, insofar as consequentialism and deontology are unable to acknowledge the moral value of friendship, they cannot be adequate moral theories and ought to be rejected in favor of some alternative.
In reply, Railton (1984) distinguishes between subjective and objective consequentialism, arguing that this “friendship critique” of Stocker and Blum (as well as Friedman) succeeds only against subjective consequentialism. (See Mason (1998) for further elaborations of this argument, and see Sadler (2006) for an alternative response.) Subjective consequentialism is the view that whenever we face a choice of actions, we should both morally justify a particular course of action and be motivated to act accordingly directly by the relevant consequentialist principle (whether what that principle assesses are particular actions or rules for action). That is, in acting as one ought, one’s subjective motivations ought to come from those very moral reasons: because this action promotes the most good (or is in accordance with the rule that tends to promote the most good). Clearly, Stocker, Blum, and Friedman are right to think that subjective consequentialism cannot properly accommodate the motives of friendship.
By contrast, Railton argues, objective consequentialism denies that there is such a tight connection between the objective justification of a state of affairs in terms of its consequences and the agent’s motives in acting: the moral justification of a particular action is one thing (and to be undertaken in consequentialist terms), but the motives for that action may be entirely separate. This means that the objective consequentialist can properly acknowledge that sometimes the best states of affairs result not just from undertaking certain behaviors, but from undertaking them with certain motives, including motives that are essentially personal. In particular, Railton argues, the world would be a better place if each of us had dispositions to act so as to benefit our friends out of a concern for their good (and not the general good). So, on consequentialist grounds each of us has moral reasons to inculcate such a disposition to friendliness, and when the moment arrives that disposition will be engaged, so that we are motivated to act out of a concern for our friends rather than out of an impersonal, impartial concern for the greater good. [ 8 ] Moreover, there is no split between our moral reasons for action and our motives because such reasons may in some cases (such as that of a friendly act) require that in acting we act out of the appropriate sort of motive. So the friendship critique of Stocker, Blum, and Friedman fails. [ 9 ]
Badhwar (1991) thinks even Railton’s more sophisticated consequentialism ultimately fails to accommodate the phenomenon of friendship, and that the moral schizophrenia remains. For, she argues, a sophisticated consequentialist must both value the friend for the friend’s sake (in order to be a friend at all) and value the friend only so long as doing so is consistent with promoting the most good overall (in order to be a consequentialist).
As a non-schizophrenic, un-self-deceived consequentialist friend, however, she must put the two thoughts together. And the two thoughts are logically incompatible. To be consistent she must think, “As a consequentialist friend, I place special value on you so long, but only so long, as valuing you thus promotes the overall good.” … Her motivational structure, in other words, is instrumental, and so logically incompatible with the logical structure required for end friendship. 
Badhwar is here alluding to a case of Railton’s in which, through no fault of yours or your friend’s, the right action according to consequentialism is to sacrifice your friendship for the greater good. In such a case, the sophisticated consequentialist must in arriving at this conclusion “evaluate intrinsic goods [of friendship] and their virtues by reference to a standard external to them”—i.e., by reference to the overall good as this is conceived from an impersonal point of view (496). However, Badhwar argues, the value of friendship is something we can appreciate only from a personal point of view, so that the moral rightness of friendly actions must be assessed only by appeal to an essentially personal relationship in which we act for the sake of our friends and not for the sake of producing the most good in general and in indifference to this particular personal relationship. Therefore, sophisticated consequentialism, because of its impersonal nature, blinds us to the value of particular friendships and the moral reasons they provide for acting out of friendship, all of which can be properly appreciated only from the personal point of view. In so doing, sophisticated consequentialism undermines what is distinctive about friendship as such. The trouble once again is a split between consequentialist reasons and friendly motivations: a kind of moral schizophrenia.
At this point it might seem that the proper consequentialist reply to this line of criticism is to refuse to accept the claim that a moral justification of the value of friendship and friendly actions must be personal: the good of friendship and the good that friendly actions promote, a consequentialist should say, are things we must be able to understand in impersonal terms or they would not enter into a properly moral justification of the rightness of action. Because sophisticated consequentialists agree that motivation out of friendship must be personal, they must reject the idea that the ultimate moral reasons for acting in these cases are your motives, thereby rejecting the relatively weak motivational internalism that is implicit in the friendship critique (for weak motivational internalism, see the entry on moral cognitivism vs. non-cognitivism , and in particular the section on motivational internalism and the action-guiding character of moral judgements ). Indeed, this seems to be Railton’s strategy in articulating his objective consequentialism: to be a good person is to act in the morally right ways (justified by consequentialism) and so to have, on balance, motivations that tend to produce right action, even though in certain cases (including those of friendship) these motivations need not—indeed cannot—have the consequentialist justification in view. (For further elaborations of this strategy in direct response to Badhwar 1991, see Conee 2001 and Card 2004; for a defense of Railton in opposition to Card’s elaboration of sophisticated consequentialism, see Tedesco 2006.)
This means that the debate at issue in the friendship critique of consequentialism needs to be carried on in part at the level of a discussion of the nature of motivation and the connection between moral reasons and motives. Indeed, such a discussion has implications for how we should construe the sort of mutual caring that is central to friendship. For the sophisticated consequentialist would presumably try to spell out that mutual caring in terms of friendly dispositions (motives divorced from consequentialist reasons), an attempt which advocates of the friendship critique would say involves insufficient attention to the particular person one cares about, insofar as the caring would not be justified by who she is (motives informed by personal reasons).
The discussion of friendship and moral theories has so far concentrated on the nature of practical reason. A similar debate focuses on the nature of value. Scanlon (1998) uses friendship to argue against what he calls teleological conceptions of values presupposed by consequentialism. The teleological view understands states of affairs to have intrinsic value, and our recognition of such value provides us with reasons to bring such states of affairs into existence and to sustain and promote them. Scanlon argues that friendship involves kinds of reasons—of loyalty, for example—are not teleological in this way, and so the value of friendship does not fit into the teleological conception and so cannot be properly recognized by consequentialism. In responding to this argument, Hurka (2006) argues that this argument presupposes a conception of the value of friendship (as something we ought to respect as well as to promote) that is at odds with the teleological conception of value and so with teleological conceptions of friendship. Consequently, the debate must shift to the more general question about the nature of value and cannot be carried out simply by attending to friendship.
These conclusions that we must turn to broader issues if we are to settle the place friendship has in morality reveal that in one sense the friendship critique has failed: it has not succeeded in making an end run around traditional debates between consequentialists, deontologists, and virtue theorists. Yet in a larger sense it has succeeded: it has forced these moral theories to take personal relationships seriously and consequently to refine and complicate their accounts in the process.
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How to cite this entry . Preview the PDF version of this entry at the Friends of the SEP Society . Look up topics and thinkers related to this entry at the Internet Philosophy Ontology Project (InPhO). Enhanced bibliography for this entry at PhilPapers , with links to its database.
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Aristotle, General Topics: ethics | character, moral | cognitivism vs. non-cognitivism, moral | consequentialism | consequentialism: rule | ethics: deontological | ethics: virtue | impartiality | love | obligations: special | Plato: ethics | Plato: friendship and eros | Plato: rhetoric and poetry | respect | value: intrinsic vs. extrinsic
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Emerson writes a poem about old friendships and about friendships lost.
A ruddy drop of manly blood The surging sea outweighs, The world uncertain comes and goes, The lover rooted stays. I fancied he was fled, And, after many a year, Glowed unexhausted kindliness Like daily sunrise there. My careful heart was free again, — O friend, my bosom said, Through thee alone the sky is arched, Through thee the rose is red, All things through thee take nobler form, And look beyond the earth, And is the mill-round of our fate A sun-path in thy worth. Me too thy nobleness has taught To master my despair; The fountains of my hidden life Are through thy friendship fair.
W e have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken. Maugre all the selfishness that chills like east winds the world, the whole human family is bathed with an element of love like a fine ether. How many persons we meet in houses, whom we scarcely speak to, whom yet we honor, and who honor us! How many we see in the street, or sit with in church, whom, though silently, we warmly rejoice to be with! Read the language of these wandering eye-beams. The heart knoweth.
The effect of the indulgence of this human affection is a certain cordial exhilaration. In poetry, and in common speech, the emotions of benevolence and complacency which are felt towards others are likened to the material effects of fire; so swift, or much more swift, more active, more cheering, are these fine inward irradiations. From the highest degree of passionate love, to the lowest degree of good-will, they make the sweetness of life.
Our intellectual and active powers increase with our affection. The scholar sits down to write, and all his years of meditation do not furnish him with one good thought or happy expression; but it is necessary to write a letter to a friend, — and, forthwith, troops of gentle thoughts invest themselves, on every hand, with chosen words. See, in any house where virtue and self-respect abide, the palpitation which the approach of a stranger causes. A commended stranger is expected and announced, and an uneasiness betwixt pleasure and pain invades all the hearts of a household. His arrival almost brings fear to the good hearts that would welcome him. The house is dusted, all things fly into their places, the old coat is exchanged for the new, and they must get up a dinner if they can. Of a commended stranger, only the good report is told by others, only the good and new is heard by us. He stands to us for humanity. He is what we wish. Having imagined and invested him, we ask how we should stand related in conversation and action with such a man, and are uneasy with fear. The same idea exalts conversation with him. We talk better than we are wont. We have the nimblest fancy, a richer memory, and our dumb devil has taken leave for the time. For long hours we can continue a series of sincere, graceful, rich communications, drawn from the oldest, secretest experience, so that they who sit by, of our own kinsfolk and acquaintance, shall feel a lively surprise at our unusual powers. But as soon as the stranger begins to intrude his partialities, his definitions, his defects, into the conversation, it is all over. He has heard the first, the last and best he will ever hear from us. He is no stranger now. Vulgarity, ignorance, misapprehension are old acquaintances. Now, when he comes, he may get the order, the dress, and the dinner, — but the throbbing of the heart, and the communications of the soul, no more.
What is so pleasant as these jets of affection which make a young world for me again? What so delicious as a just and firm encounter of two, in a thought, in a feeling? How beautiful, on their approach to this beating heart, the steps and forms of the gifted and the true! The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed; there is no winter, and no night; all tragedies, all ennuis, vanish, — all duties even; nothing fills the proceeding eternity but the forms all radiant of beloved persons. Let the soul be assured that somewhere in the universe it should rejoin its friend, and it would be content and cheerful alone for a thousand years.
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. Shall I not call God the Beautiful, who daily showeth himself so to me in his gifts? I chide society, I embrace solitude, and yet I am not so ungrateful as not to see the wise, the lovely, and the noble-minded, as from time to time they pass my gate. Who hears me, who understands me, becomes mine, — a possession for all time. Nor is nature so poor but she gives me this joy several times, and thus we weave social threads of our own, a new web of relations; and, as many thoughts in succession substantiate themselves, we shall by and by stand in a new world of our own creation, and no longer strangers and pilgrims in a traditionary globe. My friends have come to me unsought. The great God gave them to me. By oldest right, by the divine affinity of virtue with itself, I find them, or rather not I, but the Deity in me and in them derides and cancels the thick walls of individual character, relation, age, sex, circumstance, at which he usually connives, and now makes many one. High thanks I owe you, excellent lovers, who carry out the world for me to new and noble depths, and enlarge the meaning of all my thoughts. These are new poetry of the first Bard, — poetry without stop, — hymn, ode, and epic, poetry still flowing, Apollo and the Muses chanting still. Will these, too, separate themselves from me again, or some of them? I know not, but I fear it not; for my relation to them is so pure, that we hold by simple affinity, and the Genius of my life being thus social, the same affinity will exert its energy on whomsoever is as noble as these men and women, wherever I may be.
I confess to an extreme tenderness of nature on this point. It is almost dangerous to me to "crush the sweet poison of misused wine" of the affections. A new person is to me a great event, and hinders me from sleep. I have often had fine fancies about persons which have given me delicious hours; but the joy ends in the day; it yields no fruit. Thought is not born of it; my action is very little modified. I must feel pride in my friend's accomplishments as if they were mine, — and a property in his virtues. I feel as warmly when he is praised, as the lover when he hears applause of his engaged maiden. We over-estimate the conscience of our friend. His goodness seems better than our goodness, his nature finer, his temptations less. Every thing that is his, — his name, his form, his dress, books, and instruments, — fancy enhances. Our own thought sounds new and larger from his mouth.
Yet the systole and diastole of the heart are not without their analogy in the ebb and flow of love. Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed. The lover, beholding his maiden, half knows that she is not verily that which he worships; and in the golden hour of friendship, we are surprised with shades of suspicion and unbelief. We doubt that we bestow on our hero the virtues in which he shines, and afterwards worship the form to which we have ascribed this divine inhabitation. In strictness, the soul does not respect men as it respects itself. In strict science all persons underlie the same condition of an infinite remoteness. Shall we fear to cool our love by mining for the metaphysical foundation of this Elysian temple? Shall I not be as real as the things I see? If I am, I shall not fear to know them for what they are. Their essence is not less beautiful than their appearance, though it needs finer organs for its apprehension. The root of the plant is not unsightly to science, though for chaplets and festoons we cut the stem short. And I must hazard the production of the bald fact amidst these pleasing reveries, though it should prove an Egyptian skull at our banquet. A man who stands united with his thought conceives magnificently of himself. He is conscious of a universal success, even though bought by uniform particular failures. No advantages, no powers, no gold or force, can be any match for him. I cannot choose but rely on my own poverty more than on your wealth. I cannot make your consciousness tantamount to mine. Only the star dazzles; the planet has a faint, moon-like ray. I hear what you say of the admirable parts and tried temper of the party you praise, but I see well that for all his purple cloaks I shall not like him, unless he is at last a poor Greek like me. I cannot deny it, O friend, that the vast shadow of the Phenomenal includes thee also in its pied and painted immensity, — thee, also, compared with whom all else is shadow. Thou art not Being, as Truth is, as Justice is, — thou art not my soul, but a picture and effigy of that. Thou hast come to me lately, and already thou art seizing thy hat and cloak. Is it not that the soul puts forth friends as the tree puts forth leaves, and presently, by the germination of new buds, extrudes the old leaf? The law of nature is alternation for evermore. Each electrical state superinduces the opposite. The soul environs itself with friends, that it may enter into a grander self-acquaintance or solitude; and it goes alone for a season, that it may exalt its conversation or society. This method betrays itself along the whole history of our personal relations. The instinct of affection revives the hope of union with our mates, and the returning sense of insulation recalls us from the chase. Thus every man passes his life in the search after friendship, and if he should record his true sentiment, he might write a letter like this to each new candidate for his love.
DEAR FRIEND: —
If I was sure of thee, sure of thy capacity, sure to match my mood with thine, I should never think again of trifles in relation to thy comings and goings. I am not very wise; my moods are quite attainable; and I respect thy genius; it is to me as yet unfathomed; yet dare I not presume in thee a perfect intelligence of me, and so thou art to me a delicious torment. Thine ever, or never.
Yet these uneasy pleasures and fine pains are for curiosity, and not for life. They are not to be indulged. This is to weave cobweb, and not cloth. Our friendships hurry to short and poor conclusions, because we have made them a texture of wine and dreams, instead of the tough fibre of the human heart. The laws of friendship are austere and eternal, of one web with the laws of nature and of morals. But we have aimed at a swift and petty benefit, to suck a sudden sweetness. We snatch at the slowest fruit in the whole garden of God, which many summers and many winters must ripen. We seek our friend not sacredly, but with an adulterate passion which would appropriate him to ourselves. In vain. We are armed all over with subtle antagonisms, which, as soon as we meet, begin to play, and translate all poetry into stale prose. Almost all people descend to meet. All association must be a compromise, and, what is worst, the very flower and aroma of the flower of each of the beautiful natures disappears as they approach each other. What a perpetual disappointment is actual society, even of the virtuous and gifted! After interviews have been compassed with long foresight, we must be tormented presently by baffled blows, by sudden, unseasonable apathies, by epilepsies of wit and of animal spirits, in the heyday of friendship and thought. Our faculties do not play us true, and both parties are relieved by solitude.
I ought to be equal to every relation. It makes no difference how many friends I have, and what content I can find in conversing with each, if there be one to whom I am not equal. If I have shrunk unequal from one contest, the joy I find in all the rest becomes mean and cowardly. I should hate myself, if then I made my other friends my asylum.
The valiant warrior famoused for fight, After a hundred victories, once foiled, Is from the book of honor razed quite, And all the rest forgot for which he toiled."
Our impatience is thus sharply rebuked. Bashfulness and apathy are a tough husk, in which a delicate organization is protected from premature ripening. It would be lost if it knew itself before any of the best souls were yet ripe enough to know and own it. Respect the naturlangsamkeit which hardens the ruby in a million years, and works in duration, in which Alps and Andes come and go as rainbows. The good spirit of our life has no heaven which is the price of rashness. Love, which is the essence of God, is not for levity, but for the total worth of man. Let us not have this childish luxury in our regards, but the austerest worth; let us approach our friend with an audacious trust in the truth of his heart, in the breadth, impossible to be overturned, of his foundations.
The attractions of this subject are not to be resisted, and I leave, for the time, all account of subordinate social benefit, to speak of that select and sacred relation which is a kind of absolute, and which even leaves the language of love suspicious and common, so much is this purer, and nothing is so much divine.
I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frostwork, but the solidest thing we know. For now, after so many ages of experience, what do we know of nature, or of ourselves? Not one step has man taken toward the solution of the problem of his destiny. In one condemnation of folly stand the whole universe of men. But the sweet sincerity of joy and peace, which I draw from this alliance with my brother's soul, is the nut itself, whereof all nature and all thought is but the husk and shell. Happy is the house that shelters a friend! It might well be built, like a festal bower or arch, to entertain him a single day. Happier, if he know the solemnity of that relation, and honor its law! He who offers himself a candidate for that covenant comes up, like an Olympian, to the great games, where the first-born of the world are the competitors. He proposes himself for contests where Time, Want, Danger, are in the lists, and he alone is victor who has truth enough in his constitution to preserve the delicacy of his beauty from the wear and tear of all these. The gifts of fortune may be present or absent, but all the speed in that contest depends on intrinsic nobleness, and the contempt of trifles. There are two elements that go to the composition of friendship, each so sovereign that I can detect no superiority in either, no reason why either should be first named. One is Truth. A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another. Sincerity is the luxury allowed, like diadems and authority, only to the highest rank, that being permitted to speak truth, as having none above it to court or conform unto. Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins. We parry and fend the approach of our fellow-man by compliments, by gossip, by amusements, by affairs. We cover up our thought from him under a hundred folds. I knew a man, who, under a certain religious frenzy, cast off this drapery, and, omitting all compliment and commonplace, spoke to the conscience of every person he encountered, and that with great insight and beauty. At first he was resisted, and all men agreed he was mad. But persisting, as indeed he could not help doing, for some time in this course, he attained to the advantage of bringing every man of his acquaintance into true relations with him. No man would think of speaking falsely with him, or of putting him off with any chat of markets or reading-rooms. But every man was constrained by so much sincerity to the like plaindealing, and what love of nature, what poetry, what symbol of truth he had, he did certainly show him. But to most of us society shows not its face and eye, but its side and its back. To stand in true relations with men in a false age is worth a fit of insanity, is it not? We can seldom go erect. Almost every man we meet requires some civility, — requires to be humored; he has some fame, some talent, some whim of religion or philanthropy in his head that is not to be questioned, and which spoils all conversation with him. But a friend is a sane man who exercises not my ingenuity, but me. My friend gives me entertainment without requiring any stipulation on my part. A friend, therefore, is a sort of paradox in nature. I who alone am, I who see nothing in nature whose existence I can affirm with equal evidence to my own, behold now the semblance of my being, in all its height, variety, and curiosity, reiterated in a foreign form; so that a friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
The other element of friendship is tenderness. We are holden to men by every sort of tie, by blood, by pride, by fear, by hope, by lucre, by lust, by hate, by admiration, by every circumstance and badge and trifle, but we can scarce believe that so much character can subsist in another as to draw us by love. Can another be so blessed, and we so pure, that we can offer him tenderness? When a man becomes dear to me, I have touched the goal of fortune. I find very little written directly to the heart of this matter in books. And yet I have one text which I cannot choose but remember. My author says, — "I offer myself faintly and bluntly to those whose I effectually am, and tender myself least to him to whom I am the most devoted." I wish that friendship should have feet, as well as eyes and eloquence. It must plant itself on the ground, before it vaults over the moon. I wish it to be a little of a citizen, before it is quite a cherub. We chide the citizen because he makes love a commodity. It is an exchange of gifts, of useful loans; it is good neighbourhood; it watches with the sick; it holds the pall at the funeral; and quite loses sight of the delicacies and nobility of the relation. But though we cannot find the god under this disguise of a sutler, yet, on the other hand, we cannot forgive the poet if he spins his thread too fine , and does not substantiate his romance by the municipal virtues of justice, punctuality, fidelity, and pity. I hate the prostitution of the name of friendship to signify modish and worldly alliances. I much prefer the company of ploughboys and tin-peddlers, to the silken and perfumed amity which celebrates its days of encounter by a frivolous display, by rides in a curricle, and dinners at the best taverns. The end of friendship is a commerce the most strict and homely that can be joined; more strict than any of which we have experience. It is for aid and comfort through all the relations and passages of life and death. It is fit for serene days, and graceful gifts, and country rambles, but also for rough roads and hard fare, shipwreck, poverty, and persecution. It keeps company with the sallies of the wit and the trances of religion. We are to dignify to each other the daily needs and offices of man's life, and embellish it by courage, wisdom, and unity. It should never fall into something usual and settled, but should be alert and inventive, and add rhyme and reason to what was drudgery.
Friendship may be said to require natures so rare and costly, each so well tempered and so happily adapted, and withal so circumstanced, (for even in that particular, a poet says, love demands that the parties be altogether paired,) that its satisfaction can very seldom be assured. It cannot subsist in its perfection, say some of those who are learned in this warm lore of the heart, betwixt more than two. I am not quite so strict in my terms, perhaps because I have never known so high a fellowship as others. I please my imagination more with a circle of godlike men and women variously related to each other, and between whom subsists a lofty intelligence. But I find this law of one to one peremptory for conversation, which is the practice and consummation of friendship. Do not mix waters too much. The best mix as ill as good and bad. You shall have very useful and cheering discourse at several times with two several men, but let all three of you come together, and you shall not have one new and hearty word. Two may talk and one may hear, but three cannot take part in a conversation of the most sincere and searching sort. In good company there is never such discourse between two, across the table, as takes place when you leave them alone. In good company, the individuals merge their egotism into a social soul exactly co-extensive with the several consciousnesses there present. No partialities of friend to friend, no fondnesses of brother to sister, of wife to husband, are there pertinent, but quite otherwise. Only he may then speak who can sail on the common thought of the party, and not poorly limited to his own. Now this convention, which good sense demands, destroys the high freedom of great conversation, which requires an absolute running of two souls into one.
No two men but, being left alone with each other, enter into simpler relations. Yet it is affinity that determines which two shall converse. Unrelated men give little joy to each other; will never suspect the latent powers of each. We talk sometimes of a great talent for conversation, as if it were a permanent property in some individuals. Conversation is an evanescent relation, — no more. A man is reputed to have thought and eloquence; he cannot, for all that, say a word to his cousin or his uncle. They accuse his silence with as much reason as they would blame the insignificance of a dial in the shade. In the sun it will mark the hour. Among those who enjoy his thought, he will regain his tongue.
Friendship requires that rare mean betwixt likeness and unlikeness, that piques each with the presence of power and of consent in the other party. Let me be alone to the end of the world, rather than that my friend should overstep, by a word or a look, his real sympathy. I am equally balked by antagonism and by compliance. Let him not cease an instant to be himself. The only joy I have in his being mine, is that the not mine is mine . I hate, where I looked for a manly furtherance, or at least a manly resistance, to find a mush of concession. Better be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo. The condition which high friendship demands is ability to do without it. That high office requires great and sublime parts. There must be very two, before there can be very one. Let it be an alliance of two large, formidable natures, mutually beheld, mutually feared, before yet they recognize the deep identity which beneath these disparities unites them.
He only is fit for this society who is magnanimous; who is sure that greatness and goodness are always economy; who is not swift to intermeddle with his fortunes. Let him not intermeddle with this. Leave to the diamond its ages to grow, nor expect to accelerate the births of the eternal. Friendship demands a religious treatment. We talk of choosing our friends, but friends are self-elected. Reverence is a great part of it. Treat your friend as a spectacle. Of course he has merits that are not yours, and that you cannot honor, if you must needs hold him close to your person. Stand aside; give those merits room; let them mount and expand. Are you the friend of your friend's buttons, or of his thought? To a great heart he will still be a stranger in a thousand particulars, that he may come near in the holiest ground. Leave it to girls and boys to regard a friend as property, and to suck a short and all-confounding pleasure, instead of the noblest benefit.
Let us buy our entrance to this guild by a long probation. Why should we desecrate noble and beautiful souls by intruding on them? Why insist on rash personal relations with your friend? Why go to his house, or know his mother and brother and sisters? Why be visited by him at your own? Are these things material to our covenant? Leave this touching and clawing. Let him be to me a spirit. A message, a thought, a sincerity, a glance from him, I want, but not news, nor pottage. I can get politics, and chat, and neighbourly conveniences from cheaper companions. Should not the society of my friend be to me poetic, pure, universal, and great as nature itself? Ought I to feel that our tie is profane in comparison with yonder bar of cloud that sleeps on the horizon, or that clump of waving grass that divides the brook? Let us not vilify, but raise it to that standard. That great, defying eye, that scornful beauty of his mien and action, do not pique yourself on reducing, but rather fortify and enhance. Worship his superiorities; wish him not less by a thought, but hoard and tell them all. Guard him as thy counterpart. Let him be to thee for ever a sort of beautiful enemy, untamable, devoutly revered, and not a trivial conveniency to be soon outgrown and cast aside. The hues of the opal, the light of the diamond, are not to be seen, if the eye is too near. To my friend I write a letter, and from him I receive a letter. That seems to you a little. It suffices me. It is a spiritual gift worthy of him to give, and of me to receive. It profanes nobody. In these warm lines the heart will trust itself, as it will not to the tongue, and pour out the prophecy of a godlier existence than all the annals of heroism have yet made good.
Respect so far the holy laws of this fellowship as not to prejudice its perfect flower by your impatience for its opening. We must be our own before we can be another's. There is at least this satisfaction in crime, according to the Latin proverb; — you can speak to your accomplice on even terms. Crimen quos inquinat, aequat . To those whom we admire and love, at first we cannot. Yet the least defect of self-possession vitiates, in my judgment, the entire relation. There can never be deep peace between two spirits, never mutual respect, until, in their dialogue, each stands for the whole world.
What is so great as friendship, let us carry with what grandeur of spirit we can. Let us be silent, — so we may hear the whisper of the gods. Let us not interfere. Who set you to cast about what you should say to the select souls, or how to say any thing to such? No matter how ingenious, no matter how graceful and bland. There are innumerable degrees of folly and wisdom, and for you to say aught is to be frivolous. Wait, and thy heart shall speak. Wait until the necessary and everlasting overpowers you, until day and night avail themselves of your lips. The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one. You shall not come nearer a man by getting into his house. If unlike, his soul only flees the faster from you, and you shall never catch a true glance of his eye. We see the noble afar off, and they repel us; why should we intrude? Late, — very late, — we perceive that no arrangements, no introductions, no consuetudes or habits of society, would be of any avail to establish us in such relations with them as we desire, — but solely the uprise of nature in us to the same degree it is in them; then shall we meet as water with water; and if we should not meet them then, we shall not want them, for we are already they. In the last analysis, love is only the reflection of a man's own worthiness from other men. Men have sometimes exchanged names with their friends, as if they would signify that in their friend each loved his own soul.
The higher the style we demand of friendship, of course the less easy to establish it with flesh and blood. We walk alone in the world. Friends, such as we desire, are dreams and fables. But a sublime hope cheers ever the faithful heart, that elsewhere, in other regions of the universal power, souls are now acting, enduring, and daring, which can love us, and which we can love. We may congratulate ourselves that the period of nonage, of follies, of blunders, and of shame, is passed in solitude, and when we are finished men, we shall grasp heroic hands in heroic hands. Only be admonished by what you already see, not to strike leagues of friendship with cheap persons, where no friendship can be. Our impatience betrays us into rash and foolish alliances which no God attends. By persisting in your path, though you forfeit the little you gain the great. You demonstrate yourself, so as to put yourself out of the reach of false relations, and you draw to you the first-born of the world, — those rare pilgrims whereof only one or two wander in nature at once, and before whom the vulgar great show as spectres and shadows merely.
It is foolish to be afraid of making our ties too spiritual, as if so we could lose any genuine love. Whatever correction of our popular views we make from insight, nature will be sure to bear us out in, and though it seem to rob us of some joy, will repay us with a greater. Let us feel, if we will, the absolute insulation of man. We are sure that we have all in us. We go to Europe, or we pursue persons, or we read books, in the instinctive faith that these will call it out and reveal us to ourselves. Beggars all. The persons are such as we; the Europe an old faded garment of dead persons; the books their ghosts. Let us drop this idolatry. Let us give over this mendicancy. Let us even bid our dearest friends farewell, and defy them, saying, 'Who are you? Unhand me: I will be dependent no more.' Ah! seest thou not, O brother, that thus we part only to meet again on a higher platform, and only be more each other's, because we are more our own? A friend is Janus-faced: he looks to the past and the future. He is the child of all my foregoing hours, the prophet of those to come, and the harbinger of a greater friend.
I do then with my friends as I do with my books. I would have them where I can find them, but I seldom use them. We must have society on our own terms, and admit or exclude it on the slightest cause. I cannot afford to speak much with my friend. If he is great, he makes me so great that I cannot descend to converse. In the great days, presentiments hover before me in the firmament. I ought then to dedicate myself to them. I go in that I may seize them, I go out that I may seize them. I fear only that I may lose them receding into the sky in which now they are only a patch of brighter light. Then, though I prize my friends, I cannot afford to talk with them and study their visions, lest I lose my own. It would indeed give me a certain household joy to quit this lofty seeking, this spiritual astronomy, or search of stars, and come down to warm sympathies with you; but then I know well I shall mourn always the vanishing of my mighty gods. It is true, next week I shall have languid moods, when I can well afford to occupy myself with foreign objects; then I shall regret the lost literature of your mind, and wish you were by my side again. But if you come, perhaps you will fill my mind only with new visions, not with yourself but with your lustres, and I shall not be able any more than now to converse with you. So I will owe to my friends this evanescent intercourse. I will receive from them, not what they have, but what they are. They shall give me that which properly they cannot give, but which emanates from them. But they shall not hold me by any relations less subtile and pure. We will meet as though we met not, and part as though we parted not.
It has seemed to me lately more possible than I knew, to carry a friendship greatly, on one side, without due correspondence on the other. Why should I cumber myself with regrets that the receiver is not capacious? It never troubles the sun that some of his rays fall wide and vain into ungrateful space, and only a small part on the reflecting planet. Let your greatness educate the crude and cold companion. If he is unequal, he will presently pass away; but thou art enlarged by thy own shining, and, no longer a mate for frogs and worms, dost soar and burn with the gods of the empyrean. It is thought a disgrace to love unrequited. But the great will see that true love cannot be unrequited. True love transcends the unworthy object, and dwells and broods on the eternal, and when the poor interposed mask crumbles, it is not sad, but feels rid of so much earth, and feels its independency the surer. Yet these things may hardly be said without a sort of treachery to the relation. The essence of friendship is entireness, a total magnanimity and trust. It must not surmise or provide for infirmity. It treats its object as a god, that it may deify both.
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Good Example Of Essay On Friendship And Relationships
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Psychology , Love , Friendship , Emotions , Time , Friends , Relationships , People
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“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.” -Elie Wiesel, author of ‘Night’. I have this very beautiful passage from Goodreads about the definition of friendship. Contrary to romantic relationships, friendship is sharing all what you have. It is where you care for people genuinely without asking anything in return whilst love needs to be reciprocated for it to grow. Many people often confuse ‘friendship’ and ‘relationship’ as the same thing, these two worlds cannot merge as one. By definition according to Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, ‘Friendship’ means a ‘mutual regard cherished by kindred minds’. For me, Friendship is the affection we had for other people of both sexes without having a physical and emotional attachment to each other. Relationship, is two parties having a mutual sexual attraction, which involves deeper feelings. In addition, Love plays an important role in the relationship to survive, although friendship requires the same, the emotion is nothing than being kindred spirits. Friendship usually involves a certain concern for our friends, a concern that can be confused as a form of love. As quoted online in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ancient Greek philosophers traditionally have three notions for love namely: Agape, Eros and Philia. Agape is the love that does not have any responsive emotion from the object of its affections or in nonprofessional’s term, ‘selfless love’ that we feel for nature, and humanity. In contrast to this, Eros, means a passionate feeling or desire for one person based on looks, attitude and sometimes these affections can be sexually in nature. Philia is much different because this is the friendly regard towards our friends and in some cases on our family members. Both Eros and Philia receive the same affections from their objects. Based on the three definitions of love, ‘Philia’ best describes the emotion we feel for our friends whereas Eros is the driving force of relationships. People believe that when friendship between a man and a woman becomes stronger, this will lead to them having a relationship with each other. The misconception occurs because people often judge them based loosely on their actions, and because of this, many people suffer from heartbreak and disappointment. For example, I have this friend back in high school. He was a charming and kind lad and he is very dear to me, not in the romantic aspect but more on the kinship. I always hang out with him because we share the common sentiments, hobbies and attitudes. For over five years, we have been friends and I daresay that both of us are happy on that set up. Until one day after the graduation ceremony, he went to me to have a small talk. Gone was the face of a young lad I have known for my entire life. His expression was very serious and his eyes spoke a deeper though which I failed to analyze at that time. We excused ourselves from our classmates, ignoring their teasing. My friend Anthony and I went to the secluded spot in a garden of the stadium and sat on a bench. I felt weird and tensed at the same time because I am not used to his seriousness. Anthony was a cheerful and funny person. He hates being serious. I asked him "What is the problem?" but he just looked at me strangely. After ten minutes of quietly watching fanciful flowers in the garden, he held my hand and caressed it tenderly before he revealed his true intent. Anthony’s eager face is hopeful when he told me that he loves me and cares for me. I hate to see him sad, but I cannot lie to myself either. I love Anthony, but I only see him as the elder brother that I never had; I do not feel any attraction for him. I felt so sorry for him and I do not intend to break his heart or ruin the romantic mood or whatsoever. I told him what I truly feel about him and although he told me, it is okay if I do not reciprocate his love, as his friend I did not want to hurt Anthony by telling him that I will learn to love him later in our relationship. For me, it would be dishonoring his good nature and the friendship that we shared. I frankly told him that I cannot and will not be able to reciprocate the love he had for me because I only see him as a brother and we do not want to have a relationship with our brother. I knew I hurt him a lot, but I prefer to be true with what I say and I would rather hurt Anthony by the truth than to hurt him by a lie and after that summer, we are still best friends and I am happy with his newly found love. Friendship grows between two people until both of them becomes closer. Four different levels of friendship often begin with the simple ‘acquaintance’. An ‘acquaintance’ is the person we meet or interact occasionally or on a regular basis, but they are not your actual friends, e.g. a person of my acquaintance. ‘Close buddies,’ these are the people we hang out and play with, they might be your colleagues, classmates or neighbors. This type of friendship exists only for having fun and some people only hang out because they share common interests. The third level is called the ‘advisors’ are the people who gave you advise on anything like your love life, family issues and other whilst the fourth are your ‘dearest friends’. These people know you since your childhood and they are always with you in difficult times. To simplify, these people know us inside and out. Relationship also has different levels, which includes, romantic relationship, sexual or no strings attached relationship and blood relationship. Romantic relationship is a situation wherein a man and a woman express the same affections towards each other. No strings attached relationship is similar to Aristotle’s ‘friendship of pleasure’. This is only a romantic liaison between a man and a woman and not a romantic relationship because there is no commitment, love, trust and loyalty. The bond we feel from our family members is the one called as ‘blood relationship’ and this pertains to the relationship a person has within his own family. As argued by psychologist Frederic Neuman (2013) on the website ‘Psychology Today’ the three things we must know about ‘friendship’ enumerated below: - Friendships tend to grow up over for a long time and blooms when people are together, either in school, college and work. - Misunderstandings are the most common reason some friendships do not last, however, in other situations, friendship ends when one party transfer to another location thus making the communication difficult. - In adulthood, friends who are so close to one another might ask for the other party’s help when situations become difficult. Because of the romantic relationship contains the same elements similar to friendship, it has often misunderstood by many people which results in disappointment, heartbreak and others experience an emotional breakdown. As cited in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “sexual intimacy enters into romantic love through passion and one’s desire for physical union, however, friendship yearns more on psychological identification.” (Badhwar, 2003, p.65-66). Quoted on the same website again, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII, Aristotle classified the idea of ‘friendship’ into three: friendships of pleasure, utility and virtue. However, though it is difficult to understand these categories, simply he points out the reasons why we love our friend. “People love their friends because of the pleasure I acquire from her, their usefulness or rather we love our friends because of the virtuous character that they have.” ‘Friendships of pleasure’ prior to what Aristotle argued, suggests that people tend to love their friends based on the ‘pleasure’ they get from them. The context of pleasure does not imply only physical pleasure, but the ‘pleasure of company’ people receive from their friends. ‘Friendship of utility’ is the situation, in which people love their friends because of their usefulness whilst, on the other hand, ‘friendship of virtue’ is when people love their friends neither because of their usefulness nor because of pleasure of their company but based on their attitudes and virtue. As the saying goes, we cannot have both worlds. Friendship and relationship are two different things although it can merge into one, sometimes the problem occurs. Sometimes, persons who started as best friends and jumped into a relationship often ends up in failure because one of them realizes that they lack the ‘spark’ or ‘chemistry’ to make everything work out. Frigidity in women as said by men happens when there is no mutual affection or sexual desire formed within the romantic relationship and most of these cases ruin the friendship they have started. The lack of love is also one of the main factors why most of the relationships fail and the chemistry between a man and a woman often plays a great role in keeping the relationship strong. Although friends care about one another, the care in the romantic love is quite different too. Romantic love requires a much deeper understanding of other person’s thoughts and fears. When we interact with our friends, we are always open, uninhibited and conversational. We always say to them our failures, expectations, fears and goals without being too conscious. We always proceed on saying whatever we had on mind to our close friends. In short, we do not hesitate to tell and solicit advice from them. However, this is not the case for the people in an intimate relationship. For example in the nature, in order to get a mate, animals, display their best appearances and fight each other and do everything within their power to attract a mate which similar in masking their personality so the mate they wanted will be attracted to them. Like the animals, we often try to eliminate or somehow reduce the flaws we had by means of impressing our partners by hiding all of our failures, real attitudes and keeping secrets from them. Compared to friendship, one’s personality changes to attract a possible partner or mate. These particular differences sums to the conclusion that jumping from ‘friendship’ to ‘in a relationship’ status is impossible. As I have explained earlier, one cannot proceed from openness to secrecy. In an intimate relationship, people interact to their partner in a very calculated manner. They are not vocal to express opinions freely whereas the close friendship allows us to do everything we want without thinking of ruining each other’s feelings. Charles Lamb, an English writer and essayist also wrote a quote pertaining to this argument: “This is the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.” (qtd. in Goodreads.com, “The Life, Letters and Writings of Charles Lamb”) Love as I have mentioned earlier, is the driving force of all relationships to work. Love, is a complex emotion, and a combination of mutual understanding, and passion. Philosophical accounts for love and relationship by Solomon (1988), cited online in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, he argues that love is a union of two souls and lovers change their identities within a relationship. “Love defines the concentration and the intensive focus of mutual definition on a single individual, subjecting virtually every personal aspect of one's self to this process.” (Solomon, 1988, p.197) Relationships cannot be formed without love whilst Baier (1991) argues that, “Love is not just an emotion people feel toward other people, but a complex binding of the emotions of two or more individuals and it is a special form of emotional interdependence.” (qtd. in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Because of this, couples share common interests, and other from two separate individuals thus becoming a unified identity and because of this, to avoid relationship failures each of the parties within the relationship must allow each other to establish his own identity. Romantic relationship is unpredictable. The “love at first sight” phenomenon is when a person falls in love with someone else without going to the friendship stage first. Such unplanned bonding considered as ‘impulsive’ would be more prone to breakups later in life. In the discussion proper, the five important aspects of a romantic relationship listed in sequence according to the website, ‘Psychology Today’ from an article of Fredric Neuman (2013): - In today’s modern world, young people decide to get married at a later age because\ it is more likely these people will fall in love a number of times before settling down. These premises often imply a committed sexual relationship. If casual sexual relationships are included, the number is much higher. - “Friends with benefits,” which is the current euphemism for couples who sleep together without much emotional involvement with ‘no strings attached’ basis, and these people are not likely to end their relationship in good terms. - Whether or not a couple has sex very early in their relationship, this will not determine the hundred percent success of that relationship. - The intensity of a relationship measured not by the length of time the relationship will last. The fact that it has lasted for a long time is an indicator but does not assure couples that their relationship will last in the future. - Failure of many marriages usually creates negative thinking and depression to one or both parties. This causes bitterness in a person and possibly both partners. That bitterness tends to subside with time, and most former marital partners become indifferent to the actions, and even the welfare, of their former spouses. Some, however, end up friends. Friendship without the presence of physical union and can have a bitter or happy ending depending on the expectations of both parties. Having sex will make a people feel united both physically and emotionally although this often marks the expectations of one partner to his own. A possible breakup might happen because sex sometimes makes the relationship more fragile. The failure of the relationships is due to lack of communication and interests of each person and, therefore, psychologists recommend maintaining communication and transparency to each other. Trust comes first and physical bonding is just a matter of bonus included in a romantic relationship. Uncertainty is also one of the reasons why ‘relationship’ fails. People who are unconsciously has fallen into the sweet world of love has a tendency to lose his rationality as well as the mood change which makes the behavior difficult to predict. Honesty is always the best approach if one wants to break the ‘friend zone’ level. Vocalizing feelings is essential to avoid becoming heartbroken due to false assumptions. Trust, honesty and loyalty, which are an essential foundation of friendship, can help a person break through the limits of the friend zone. By using the three building blocks of friendship and with the addition of love, a relationship can last up to a very long time if both parties will agree to the terms laid by each other. In addition, one essential to the friendship and relationship premise is respect. Respect means accepting your partner or friend without ado regardless of flaws, both physical, emotional and sometimes the status on the society. If a romantic relationship failed, it depends on the couple if they will continue their friendship. Possibly, this situation will test the couple’s maturity in handling things like maintaining the friendship aside from the fact that both of them have a failed romance. Another source of misunderstandings between former friends turned to lovers is the concept of physical intimacy. Transitioning from the comforts of ‘friendzone’ to the excitement of being in a relationship is not an easy thing. There will be instances wherein two former friends will be uncomfortable holding hands so the best way to remove the anxiety is to give space to one another and wait until each of you are both comfortable with physical contact. While some people consider that rushing intimacy with a former friend-turned-into-lover can be disastrous as this might ruin the established connection or bond that is why psychologists and relationship experts advise their patients to take things slowly, one-step at a time. It is also important to savor the newly discovered affection and take time in rediscovering each other’s interests and personality. It does not matter how couples started becoming friends first or having a relationship, the latter will not succeed without trust and loyalty to your partner, love that is the principal emotion that binds you together and lastly, respect to each other’s opinion. Having time to talk is also essential for couples in relationship know each other. Talking to your partner increases not only each other’s trust but also the spirit of camaraderie within the relationship. Intimacy, communication, trust and love these are the main factors that build up a relationship. Intimacy does not imply sex alone. A couple can be intimate by means of cuddling, sleeping, kissing and embracing. Trust is the ability of one person to put his beliefs, on his or her partner without doubting the statement of the other. Love is not too similar to the intimacy. Many people want an intimacy because of their raw sexual desires and it would be more beautiful if couples put a respect with each other’s sexual preferences. On the other hand, other people in some relationship manipulate their partners for the sake of their own. Manipulating or controlling their partners is the biggest mistake one can ever do. Avoid controlling or dominating partners as this promotes happiness and good attitude from your partner. While being in a relationship, the issue about the third party is a big deal. Many people tend to forget the value of commitment and because of peer pressure, a relationship can fall when the other became weak and defenseless to it.
Helm, B. (2005). Friendship. [online] Retrieved from: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/friendship/ [Accessed: 25 Feb 2014]. Neuman, F. (2014). Friends and lovers?. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fighting-fear/201306/friends-and-lovers [Accessed: 25 Feb 2014]. Helm, B. (2005). Love. [online] Retrieved from: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/love/ [Accessed: 25 Feb 2014]. Goodreads.com. (2014). The life, letters and writings of Charles Lamb quotes by Charles Lamb. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/16484576-the-life-letters-and-writings-of-charles-lamb [Accessed: 27 Feb 2014]. Goodreads.com. (2014). Quotes about Friendship (2468 quotes). [online] Retrieved from: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/friendship?page=2 [Accessed: 27 Feb 2014].
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How, and How Often, Friendship Turns into Love
Dating apps and blind dates may not be the path to love..
Posted February 3, 2022 | Reviewed by Abigail Fagan
- Why Relationships Matter
- Find a therapist to strengthen relationships
- There are two main types of intimacy: friendship-based and passion-based (i.e. romantic). Sometimes one turns into the other.
- Research has largely ignored friends-first romance initiation, focusing instead on the romance that develops between strangers.
- A recent investigation finds friends-first initiation of romantic relationships is not only common but also frequently preferred.
When you imagine people falling in love , how do you see it happening?
Specifically, do you imagine two strangers falling in love after going out on a few dates? Or two friends gradually developing romantic feelings for each other? More generally, do you think the majority of people who become romantically involved started dating as strangers or after forming a friendship first ?
A recent study, by Stinson and colleagues from Canada, suggests popular journals and textbooks tend to “focus on romance that sparks between strangers,” but a large portion of romantic couples start out as friends, and many people looking for love prefer the friends-first route to romance.
The study , in press in Social Psychological and Personality Science , is detailed below.
Previous research on dating initiation
The authors searched online databases for studies on relationship initiation. They used terms like “ friendship ,” “friends with benefits,” “first date,” “relationship beginning,” and “ attraction .” The search was limited to 11 highly influential journals—for instance, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships , Archives of Sexual Behavior , Sex Roles , and Personal Relationships .
Analysis of data showed only 15 out of 85 or 18% of papers reviewed had focused on friends-first initiation. Simply put, the majority of studies emphasized romantic relationships formed between strangers .
The authors found similar results in their second investigation, which examined the cited literature in two commonly taught textbooks on intimate relationships. Specifically, only seven out of 38 or 18% of citations concerned friends-first initiation.
Do most romantic couples start out as friends?
To learn how common friends-first romantic relationships really are, the researchers performed a meta-analysis of seven studies (N = 1,897) conducted in their labs between 2002 and 2020.
Most romantic couples started out as friends, the results showed, with the percentage of the friends-first romantic couples varying from 40% to 73% (weighted average of 68%). The percentages of friends-first initiation were also higher in married couples (particularly those under 30 years of age) and in same- gender or queer relationships.
Lastly, 42% of friends-first married couples reported having had a friends-with-benefits relationship with the person they later married. Again, this was even more prevalent among queer and same-gender couples.
What is the best way to find a date?
To learn more about the nature of friends-first romantic initiation, a final investigation was conducted. Participants (N = 298; 50% men; 47% in a romantic relationship) were psychology students from one of the samples in the previous investigation. They were asked to indicate the best way to find dates by selecting from a list of options: blind dates, a friendship naturally turning romantic, mutual friends, school, parties, workplace, church, family connections, bar, social media, dating services, etc.
The top three most frequent responses regarding the best way to meet a potential romantic partner were the following: Friendships that turn romantic (47%), getting to know a potential partner through mutual friends (18%), and meeting at school, college, or university (18%).
To compare, only 0.3% chose going on a blind date as the best way to meet a future boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse. In fact, going on a blind date and using an online dating service were the least frequently endorsed responses.
Friendship as a relationship-initiation strategy?
Those in a romantic relationship who had been friends first also answered questions about the length of their friendship and their original intentions for initiating the friendship.
So, what had been the reasons behind friendship intentions in those in a romantic relationship who had been friends first? Only a small portion reported having been sexually attracted to each other from the beginning or intending to use the friendship as a romantic strategy:
- The respondent being attracted to the partner: 12%
- The partner being attracted to the respondent: 18%
- Neither (attraction developed later): 70%
In short, as the authors note, “the vast majority of these university students did not enter into their friendships with romantic intentions or attraction.”
Friendship and dating as a two-way street
To put the findings reviewed in context, let us recall a prominent view of how romance forms, which says:
Men’s passion and desire “sparks the initial interaction between potential romantic partners and then passion-based intimacy [i.e. romantic interest and sexual desire] and friendship-based intimacy [i.e. feelings of understanding, warmth, interdependence] continue to develop over time in tandem.”
However, the findings discussed here provide less support for this view and more support for another view that argues the relationship between the two types of intimacy (passion-based and friendship-based) is a two-way street .
This means that sometimes the spark of romance between two strangers later promotes friendship-based intimacy to develop, but quite often the opposite progression occurs: Friendship-based intimacy develops between two friends over months or years before they start to experience romantic interest and sexual desire for each other.
When two friends become romantically involved, some might argue these “friends” were always sexually attracted to each other; or becoming friends was simply a strategy or tactic to achieve a romantic goal.
However, the present data on participants’ intentions when forming friendships show 30% were motivated by romantic interest and sexual desire...but 70% were not.
Therefore, we need to question the view that the only way intimacy can develop is as a result of a man expressing his romantic attraction and sexual passion to a woman (in heterosexual relationships). Instead, friends-first romantic initiation, whether initiated by a man or woman, appears to be quite common. Perhaps more importantly, the data shows becoming friends first is often considered the best way to initiate a romantic relationship .
So, it is time researchers started to pay less attention to blind dates and more to how some platonic friendships turn into love and to why this is the path to romance that many people prefer.
Facebook image: novak.elcic/Shutterstock
Arash Emamzadeh attended the University of British Columbia in Canada, where he studied genetics and psychology. He has also done graduate work in clinical psychology and neuropsychology in U.S.
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500+ words essay on friendship.
Individuals come across numerous people throughout their life. Those who are near us become our companions. We may have a big group of companions in school and college, yet we realise that we can rely on only a few with whom we share genuine friendships. Here, we have provided an essay on friendship for students. By referring to this essay on friendship essay, students of Classes 5 to 8 can become familiar with essay writing skills. They can learn how to organise their thoughts in an effective way and put them in words. This essay will work as a sample for them. Practising Essays on different topics will enhance their writing skills and thus help them to score high marks in English exams.
We have different types of relationships with people around us. With a few of them, we share a blood bond, such as with our family and with others, we forge our own connections. Friendship is one such relationship which we choose by ourselves. God has given us this liberty to choose friends because they are, in most instances, for a lifetime. A friend is someone who is initially a stranger and then takes his/her place above all other relationships. Friendship is considered one of the treasures that anyone can have.
Friendship can exist between people, regardless of their age and gender. It can even happen between an old man and a small boy. Friendship can also exist between humans and their pet animals. Moreover, it can also be felt in familial relationships such as between father and son, mother and daughter etc. A simple bond of friendship can help uproot various prejudices and negative thoughts from society, such as religious conflict, violence, human rights abuse, poverty, illiteracy, etc. Friendship can generate passion among people to create a better world where all are united together.
Role of a Friend
Friends are an integral part of our life. To develop a strong, true friendship, we should treat friends with love and respect the way we would expect them to treat us. In this way, the friendship will last longer. Some of the ways that define the role of friendship in achieving success are:
- Encouraging and motivating
- Creating a comfort zone
- Listening to each other and providing truthful opinions
- Adding joy to life
- Sharing secrets and being reliable
- Caring and unconditional love
- Helping to grow individually
Best Qualities of a Good Friendship
There is a famous proverb, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. It means that though we may have several friends at the time of prosperity, many desert us at the time of adversity. We can examine the sincerity of a friend during our hard times. Only a sincere and faithful friend remains with us in times of trouble. All others abandon us.
Friendship is established over the sacrifice, love, faith, and concern of each other. Below we have mentioned some qualities that exist in a good friendship:
- Honest and trustworthy
- Accepting and loyal
- Inspiring and motivating
- Helpful and generous
Famous Examples of Friendship in Indian Mythology
In Indian Mythology, we can find various examples of true friendship. All of us have heard the story of Krishna and Sudama. Sudama was a poor brahmin. His condition became so impoverished that he could not afford food for his family. Then he decided to go to Dwarka to meet his childhood friend Krishna. When he reached Dwarka, he requested the gatekeeper to let him meet with Krishna. As he was dressed dirty, the gatekeeper did not allow him to enter. But, he requested several times and asked the gatekeeper to inform Krishna that his childhood friend was there to meet him. Finally, the gatekeeper showed mercy on him and sent the message to Krishna. On hearing the news of Sudama’s arrival, Krishna came running and welcomed him with an open heart. He also helped him financially by giving him plenty of wealth.
Similarly, there are various stories of friendship described in Indian Mythology. A few of them are the friendship of Karna and Duryodhana, Ram and Sugreeva, Krishna and Arjun.
Essays Topics for Students’ Practice
After writing an essay on friendship, students must practise essays on similar topics. To help them with this, we have provided a few essay topics as suggestions:
- Friendship Day Essay
- Essay on My Best Friend
- Essay on Memories of My Childhood Friends
- Essay on the Importance of True Friendship
Frequently Asked Questions on Friendship
Who is a true friend.
A true friend is one who stands for you and is always ready to help you. He/she understands you and values your feelings. Whose company makes you feel happy, and you can share your thoughts and emotions without any hesitation or fear?
Why do we need friends in our life?
Friends bring happiness into our life. They help in solving problems, whether personal or professional. By talking to them, our stress reduces, and we feel better. Friends improve our self-confidence and help us to find purpose in our life. They offer companionship and thus prevent loneliness.
When is Friendship Day celebrated?
Each year on the first Sunday of August, Friendship Day is celebrated in India.
This “Friendship Essay” must have helped students in improving their writing section for the English exam. Keep learning and stay tuned with BYJU’S for the latest update on CBSE/ICSE/State Board/Competitive Exams. Also, download the BYJU’S App for interactive study videos.
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500+ words essay on importance of friendship.
Friendship is the most beautiful relationship between two people. We cannot think of life without having someone whom we can call friends. Isn’t it? Making friends is based on how we want our friendship to be. It has to be filled with love, honesty, loyalty, and compassion towards each other. From a young age, we spend a lot of time with our friends. Friendship is something that has boundless love and care. The essence of friendship is that the mindset of people has to be the same in order to have a long-lasting relationship. In this friendship essay, let us know more about the benefits of friendship.
How well are you acquainted with the importance of friendship in your life? This feeling of friendship starts from an early age where you feel, share and care for your friend. Also, you will receive non-biased opinions and feedback from your friends. True friendship is when you stand with your friends through thick and thin. It is the moment where you need not express yourself and your friends totally understand what you’re trying to say. Moreover, there is no specific criteria to choose your friends. If your mind and heart match, that’s more than enough to become friends.
Benefits of Friendship
Friends are an essential part of your life. Good friends are hard to find, but if you have one then life is sorted. If you are confused or want to take advice from someone, you can just rely on friends. They will give the best advice and show the right path in taking important decisions in your life. Most importantly, they will be there for you no matter what. Sometimes, you might fight for silly reasons which is also a part of friendship. Healthy friendship has mutual love, care, and respect for each other. There is no one above or below in terms of friendship.
There are many people in your life but certain friendships can only touch your personal space. Kids especially are not always comfortable with any people they come into contact with. There are few people whom they like to spend time with and share their stories. There is authenticity in the relationships that you can eventually develop with your friends. It is filled with purity and love for the other person. Here are some reasons that underline the importance of friendship in your life.
- Becoming part of social life and removing loneliness.
- Reducing stress and other tensions in life when you have good friends around you.
- Providing emotional support.
- Helping you improve personally.
- Providing strength and helping in things that are difficult for you.
- Spending quality time with your friends.
- Sharing happiness and sorrows with friends.
Also read: Essay on school and essay on dog .
How to Maintain a True Friendship?
Humans being social creatures need someone to share their happiness and sorrows with. Who can be more trustworthy other than your friends? To grow your friendship, you need to maintain and protect the relationship forever. For that, you have to inherit some qualities that will help in maintaining your friendship for a longer period of time. Friendship increases happiness and gives more meaning to your life. We expect our friends to be there for birthdays, festivals, and all other occasions. Therefore, we tend to become stronger as a person when there are good friends around us. Needless to say, there is no age for friendship, you can make friends in every stage of your life. Here are a few things that you do to keep your friendship interesting and everlasting.
- Be available for your friends anytime.
- Be part of their happiness and sorrows.
- Spend time with your friends on a regular basis.
- Be loyal and honest to your friends.
- Respect your friends and their decisions in life.
- Show appreciation and give feedback for the things that they do.
We hope this friendship essay was useful to you. Check essays for kids to explore more topics.
Frequently Asked Questions On Friendship Essay
What is a friendship essay.
It is a write-up on the friendship between people and the importance of having friends in life.
What is the importance of a friendship essay?
Writing a friendship essay will enable you to express your thoughts and feelings about friends and the qualities of friendship.
What is the benefit of friendship?
Friendship teaches you to become compassionate and loyal to your friends. They will always be with you throughout your life in happiness and sorrow.
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