What Does Friendship Really Mean?

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What it means to be a true friend and things we share with them.

What is friendship? According to the dictionary a friendship is a cooperative and supportive relationship between two or more people. What does it take to be a good friend and make everlasting friendships? There are many different types of friendships that we will encounter in our lives. There are best friends, acquaintances and people we just consider friends. What truly is a friendship, and what does it take to have friends that last a lifetime.

There are many factors in having a friendship, just like in a marriage. Without these factors, the relationship will not work. Friends are mostly connected because they share mutual interests. They want what is best for the other, show sympathy, honesty, don’t judge, offer advice, support and listen to the other person. When we share a friendship with someone we are sharing ourselves. We are now opening a part of ourselves that we may only open to our best or closest friends.

Friendships tend to sometimes even be more deep than family. The saying we can choose our friends but we can’t choose our family comes to mind quite often. When we make a connection with a person whom we enjoy talking to, confiding in and sharing our most inner thoughts we are deeply united in a way that we may never be with our family. To have a friend we must truly be a friend, but what does this mean? Friendships that are selfish are not going to last--no selfish relationships do. In order to be a true friend you must be able to think about someone other than yourself.

What would your life be like without your friends? When thinking back in time to when we were younger, what was it like when you had no one to play with?  Did you feel left out and feel as if you were missing something? Why were friends important when we were younger? Was it possibly because we wanted to be with people our own age that shared interest in playing what we did? Was this not a connection that we didn’t have with other people?

Our childhood friends that we have carried with us for many years share something with us that no one else in our lives will ever share. They share our childhood in a way that no new friendship ever could. This is not to say friends we meet when we are older are not still great friends, but those childhood friends were there and share in memories of growing up and going through all the issues we face in our younger years. Is there nothing more fun than going back in time with an old friend and remembering the things that were done together? This probably was that person who was there when you cried over your first break-up. This is also the person who didn’t judge when something was done that shouldn’t have been. These are the people who we entrust with secrets and they do keep them.

Those childhood relationships also were filled with sharing much more than feelings and stories. In some cases clothes and personal belongings were also shared. As grown-ups we don’t usually go into our friend’s closets and borrow clothes from them, yet as teenagers this is something quite common. Sharing personal items are things that we probably only will have done with our childhood friends.

Friendships would not survive without trust. Trust is one of the biggest issues that we are faced with throughout life. True friendships need trust on both sides. We must be able to fully trust this person and they must feel the same way about us. This person will be hearing our deepest feelings, listening to stories and sharing in feelings that we feel we can’t tell anyone else. If we do not feel safe about what we are exposing to them we will never be secure.

We share many things throughout our lives with many different people; we have our families, our co-workers, our children and our friends. The key to making all these different types of friendships something treasured is to remember the importance of all the different types we have in our life. There will probably be no one we will be quite as united with and special as our childhood friendships. These are the ones the most history is shared with. Friends can be met at any point in your life and if you are truly a friend to them and reciprocate then they will still help fulfill our happiness. There is nothing better than sharing something happy or sad with someone we trust with all our heart. Friendships and sharing is truly the core to everything in our life and with this will come a unity of souls.


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