The Meaning of Friendship

We have people in our lives of whom we refer to as “friends” but what, exactly, does this mean? The nature of friendship exists on a wide spectrum but despite whether people are good friends, close friends, best friends, work friends or school friends, friendship can only exist by combining trust, support, communication, loyalty, understanding, empathy and intimacy.

Friendship is comfortable and relaxed and meets the needs of both friends.

Friendships occur when two people meet and develop a sort of chemistry – not a romantic connection but one that is based on similar interests and values.

Friendship Means Empathy

When friendships are mutually satisfying, both friends talk and both friends listen. Friendships are relationships and, as such, require effort from both parties. True friends give and take and never take advantage of the other.

Empathy within a friendship is important. Taking the time to acknowledge the other person’s feelings and points of views goes a long way to avoiding conflict and misunderstanding. Friendship means not just hearing, but listening as well. Friends focus on what the other has to say not only with their ears, but with their minds and hearts as well.

Friendship Means Trust

Friends are loyal and trustworthy, creating a safe space in which to open up about feelings and suffering. True friends keep promises and secrets, making it easier to freely communicate.

Being friends means you can tell the other when they do or say something hurtful and bothersome and trust that your words will be taken in consideration. It’s hard to be honest with someone who dismisses your concerns or turns your issues into your fault.

No friendship is perfect, but some so-called “friendships” may be toxic and damaging.

Signs of a Toxic Friendship

No friendship is perfect, but some so-called “friendships” may be toxic and damaging.

Some people wear the guise of “friend” in order to use and manipulate others. This person only maintains friendships as long as they fulfill a selfish purpose or goal. Once that person’s usefulness has expired, this toxic friend moves on.

Others maintain they are a friend, but betray your trust. They lie to you and talk about you. They may do it to satisfy a need for drama or perhaps to cushion their own low sense of self-worth. Whatever the reason, these friendships are hurtful.

Another sign of a toxic friend may be one who seems needy and clingy, relying on your friendship to satisfy their dependent needs. These friends often exhibit signs of jealousy and may attempt to control your life in order to keep you close.

Friendships Are Not Perfect

No friendship will ever satisfy the checklist of what constitutes a great friendship. Like any aspect of life, the nature of friendship will fluctuate and change.

At the end of the day, a good friend makes you feel good about yourself. They never make you doubt your self-worth and you always part company with a light heart.

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They help to soothe your soul and add positivity to your life. Anyone who makes you feel drained, used or poorly about yourself should never be considered a friend.

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