It is overwhelming to acknowledge that someone who is not part of your blood relations wants the best for you, offers a gentle haven where you can feel relaxed at the comfort of your safety, helps you to solve some of the challenges that life throws your way, and shares both your great and grief times. They stick with you without any pretense, cherish life with you through the traumas and joys of growth and changes, and are willing to forgive your mistakes a million times and more. From these expressions, we can deduce that friendship can be directly linked to two bodies, which constitute a single soul. Perhaps sincere friendship is the only relation that can overcome most tribulations and trials of time and remain unconditional.
Friendship is a deep relationship that entails communication, understanding, trust, loyalty, empathy, support and intimacy. All of us crave for these positive aspects of life. With this definition, friendship can be linked to a comfortable environment like home. When one gets home, they relax and sigh as they kick off their shoes; sit back in their comfy chair feeling emotionally protected and relieved. It is however essential to note that a healthy friendship can only be formed under the basis of meeting the needs of the other person and relating with them. Therefore, if you wish to have a friend, you must first be a friend to have one (Morimoto and Song, 2).
Friendship is however a broader topic that has existed since time immemorial and has several definitions to different individuals. The definitions are mostly based on the personal experiences they have encountered with their friends. Common stories have been shared across the globe concerning friends in mythologies of varying religions. Like for instance, according to psychologists; friendship is the mutual and dynamic connection between two people. Friendship is also based on mutual connection and should hence be constantly nurtured and developed by all the parties involved. The general traits of friendship entail a unique blend of unconditional acceptance, affection, strong attachment and mutual respect, loads of fun, loyalty and respect. Whichever your definition of friendship might be, if you find a faithful friend then you have found a priceless treasure.
Friendship is a beautiful but delicate relationship. Every day we are exposed to pressure, for instance, work overload and parental tension just to minimize the list. Friends come in handy to alleviate these pressures during such moments of tribulations. According to Hitler (1), “True friends are our pillars and strength, since they offer us the support and comfort we need in life”. According to medical research, individuals with friends tend to lead a healthier, happier and longer life than their counterparts who do not have friends. Personally am from the United Arabs Emirates, but came to the United States to study. I was far from my family and alone in the U.S country. Luckily, I found true friends in my new environment who became my second family. They were very supportive, understanding and offered me a shoulder to lean on when I needed one. I find friendship to be very important since through them I learnt a lot and overcame many things that were nearly impossible on my own. First, friends help us grow individually. Friends contribute in our personal growth either directly or indirectly. It is through friends that we learn lots of things that contribute to our success and support us through thick and thin. Second, friends boost our self-esteem and confidence. Whenever we lose our confidence, friends come to our rescue. Knowing us best, they motivate and boost our self-confidence. They encourage us and enhance our hopes and spirits; they cheer us up and even fight for us if our confidence is too low (Hiltner, 1).
Third, Smith states “friends offer us a fresh perspective to life.” Generally, the way people think and look at things vary and so are our friends, who are different from us. An issue or situation may have varying views and friends enlighten us with new ideas on how to tackle the issue, or their thinking might even be far beyond ours, hence assisting us to a greater extent. Moreover, we learn life lessons and respect our differences through friends. We spend most of our time in the company of our friends, and so most of the crucial moments in our life are engulfed with friends. We can therefore emulate important lessons in our life through the unique decisions and behaviors of our friends. Additionally, friends love and care for us unconditionally, they help and support us, they act as our confidants and give us honest opinions and offer us healthy fun and excitement. As smith would say “A friend in need is always a friend indeed”
However, friends can also bring pain in our lives. Some friends take advantage of our sincere trust and generosity for their selfish needs. Such friends are generally selfish and do not value the friendship but rather look out for what they can gain regardless of our feelings. We tend to spent most of our time around friends and as of such a stronger connection and familiarity is created. This familiarity however can result to impromptu soiree, which again will not be healthy in any friendship. Also in the event of break-ups, we suffer emotionally and we lose a precious shoulder to lean on. We also feel isolated and lonely especially if one was always in the company of friends.
It is rare to find yourself completely alone without a single person to call a friend, but sometimes it can happen; especially if you tend to move to a new city where nobody knows you. Also, as much as some people are lucky at making and sustaining friends, others are not so lucky when it comes to making friends. Some people find themselves alone without a single friend. These people normally lack social lives and they end up leading a sad and depressing lifestyle, and mostly keep pets as their only companion. They wake up, go to school or work, return back home, have dinner, play computer games, watch television and retire to bed. They do not look forward to any excitement or drama in their lives, making every day the same and predictable.
On the contrary, loners look forward to activities that regular people regard as chores. For instance, going to the mall is something they do for pleasure, not that they need shopping, but as an excuse to leave the comfort of their house and be surrounded by other people. On the other hand, a person with friends can find this to be a daily routine. Furthermore, they feel miserable since they are lonely and unhappy. According to Riley (2), “loneliness dominates their identity and self-confidence however much they try to affirm themselves.” They feel isolated because most of the time they are alone. Friendship is therefore very important since even those people in a romantic relationship or those in marriage still need at least one plutonic friendship (Riley, 2).
As I sum up this discussion, friends are very important in each and everybody’s life. We first have to be friendly if we have to make and sustain friends. We do not choose members of our family but we have the privilege to choose our own friends. It is therefore essential to wisely select our friends because at the end of the day they reflect who we are. Friendships are a gift to mankind and should be mutually nurtured by both parties. It feels good to know there is another human being in this world that understands us best, and in whom we can completely trust. Therefore, next time you feel depressed, in trouble or just need some healthy excitement, just reach out to that friend and you will definitely find time to bond despite the obstacles in life. Therefore, having known what friendship is, how important they are in our lives and what happens to people without friends; make friends with at least one trustworthy person and enjoy the joy of this wonderful gift.
Hiltner, Seward. “Role-playing and friendship.” Pastoral Psychology 18.2 (1967): 5-8. Print.
Morimoto, Shauna A., and Song Yang. “What Friendship Entails: An Empirical Analysis of Graduate Students’ Social Networks.” Sociological Spectrum 33.2 (2013): 99-116. Print.
Riley, Nico. “How to Maintain a Good Friendship.” Demand Media, 6 June 2008. Web. 18 June 2014.
Smith, Leonard. “More Than a Shoulder to Cry On: The Surprising Benefits of Friendship.” Oprah.com. Web. 18 June 2014.