Friendship Articles

We all want to be better people to those we trust and admire. Yet, despite our best efforts, we sometimes find that we drive people away without meaning to. Everyone makes mistakes now and again, but falling into a pattern that prevents us from enjoying the company of others can have serious ramifications for a person's overall happiness.

Symbols Of Friendship: What Are They And Why Do They Matter?

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"I Love My Best Friend": Quotes To Show That You're In A Relationship With Your Soulmate

The term “soulmate” is in the lexicon in virtually everyone in the United States. For some, it is a nonsense term that belongs in the annals of poetry and sentimental song...

From One Relationship To Another: Boyfriend / Best Friend Quotes

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“I Can’t Make Friends”: Tips To Overcome Common Social Issues

Making friends is vital to maintaining your mental health, but connecting with others can be more difficult as you continue to get older. In fact, there are a number of reasons why...

Can An “Are We More Than Friends With Benefits Quiz” Be A Good Starting Point To Learn More About Your Casual Relationship?

Having a friend with benefits relationship with another person can take quite a bit of the pressure off when it comes to trying to find someone to have sex with regularly...

How To Make Having A FWB Fun

Having friends with benefits seems like the best of both worlds: friends you like to hang out with all the fun of sex but without the entanglement of a relationship. What...

12 Signs He Wants To Be More Than Friends

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How To Establish FWB Rules And Set Boundaries

What Is FWB? You may have heard the abbreviation “FWB,” but what does it mean? An FWB, which stands for “Friend With Benefits,” is someone that you hook up with or have sex...

I Started Sleeping With A Friend--Now What?

Friendships are wonderful things. It has been said that friends are the family you choose, rather than the family fate or biology bestow upon you. Friends are there for you...

Is She Interested In Me Or Just Being Friendly: 10 Ways To Tell

There are many advantages to being single, but it also carries its share of disadvantages. The hardest concept of single life for most is overcoming the challenges of dating...

Flirting With A Friend: Escaping The Friend Zone

Attraction is an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes it’s present from the very beginning, immediately when you meet someone. Other times, attraction grows over time and...

How To Friendzone A Girl

The friendzone is often a dreaded place. A cursory scroll through an internet search reveals countless articles and sites dedicated to instructing you how to take a break...

Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA

Friendship 

What is friendship? 

Friendship is an interpersonal connection between two or more people that is platonic. When you are friends with someone, you care about each other. There is a difference between close friends, good friends, and acquaintances. Acquaintances are people that you are friendly with and interact with casually, whereas close friends or good friends are people that you know on a deeper level. A very close friend would be considered a best friend. You may become so close with a best friend or multiple best friends that you feel like they're family members. 

How do you make new friends? 

There are many places that you can make friends. Often, people make friends at school, their workplace, in clubs or groups that they are a part of. Someone might start as an acquaintance and become a close friend. Close friendships take some time to develop. Over time, you will get to know each other well and will share memories with one another that lead to a close friendship. Not everyone will be your friend, and that's okay. The right people for you are out there, so don't stop looking for them if you haven't yet found close friends. Social skills come more naturally to some than others. However, you can learn and develop social skills over time that will help you to make new friends. Putting yourself in a setting where you are around other people is a good way to develop social skills and make friends. You can also talk to a counselor or therapist if you struggle with these things. 

What are the benefits of friendship? 

For obvious reasons, friendship is good for your mental health, but did you know that it's also good for your physical health? It's true! Studies show that physical health is enhanced by social relationships. Social interaction is necessary for the wellbeing of people, and it's always positive to have someone to rely on when you need it. 

What makes a good friend? 

A good friend will make an effort to understand you. They will respect your needs and boundaries, and you will feel as though they "get" you. A good friend or a close friend should never make you feel like you are not good enough. Instead, they should raise you up. A close friend will be receptive to your feelings and will listen to what you have to say. No one is perfect, and even close friends or good friends have fights. In close friendships or good friendships, though, you will be able to work through the obstacles you face and may even become closer as a result. It's also important to note that close friendships will look different depending on who the individuals are as people. It will also look different depending on your stage of life. As a working professional, you might not have as much time to see your friends. However, it doesn't mean that you're no longer good friends. You value the time that you have together, and continue to make the relationship strong. 

Reciprocal vs. one-sided friends 

In a reciprocal friendship, you are there for each other. In a one-sided friendship, one person is invested, while the other isn't there when the person on the other side needs it. In a one-sided friendship, a person may be distant when friend is going through a tough time. In a reciprocal friendship, a friend will make an effort to understand what their friend is going through. If your friendship is "all about" one person, you are likely in a one-sided friendship. 

How to know when to end a friendship 

Ultimately, if a friendship isn't good for you, it might be time to end it. Sometimes, people grow apart, and that's okay. Ending a friendship doesn't have to mean having a massive fall out. People change, and so do their lives. However, in the case of a toxic friendship, there might be a more painful ending. If a friend is bullying you or negatively impacting your mental health, it's time to have a conversation with that person. If they're receptive to that conversation, you can likely repair the friendship. If they are not receptive to that conversation, however, repairing the friendship may not be possible. At the end of the day, it's important to do what's right for you and your mental health. If you are thinking about ending a friendship and aren't sure, talking to a mental health professional might be an option for you. A counselor or therapist will serve as an objective third-party that will help you look at the situation and troubleshoot what you can do to amend the relationship.

Resolve conflict in friendships 

Communication is key in any relationship. It is important to talk to your friend if a conflict arises. Make an effort to understand their side, and make sure they understand yours. Be candid, open, and honest. Close friendships develop out of understanding and aren't without problems. You should face problems when they arise so that you can work through the issue. If you are having trouble with maintaining close friendships, a counselor can help. In therapy, you can talk about any issues you have with your interpersonal connections. Friendship is important, and you deserve to have strong, healthy relationships that last a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is friendship in simple words?

In simple words, friendship is a close connection between two people. In healthy friendships, people feel loved and accepted by their friends. One characteristic of friendship is sharing good times with your friends, but that’s not all that friendship entails. When you think of a close friendship, you likely have a lot of happy memories with that person, and you’ll likely have memories of not-so-good times when you were there to support each other, too. 

What is a good friendship quote?

There are a lot of different friendship quotes you could choose from, but one is, “friends are chosen family.” There are many different kinds of familial relationships that operate outside of the nuclear family paradigm, and one of those is a chosen family. Some people do not have positive family dynamics with their biological family, so it is essential to recognize the chosen family. If you consider your friend to be a part of your family, you most certainly have a close friendship with that person. 

Another good friendship quote is “Make time for friends.” Many of us have busy lives and are focused on work, school, and parenting. Making time for your friends is an essential characteristic of friendship. Spending time with friends is a valuable act of self-care and love for everyone involved. Even when things get busy, cherishing your time together is essential for strong friendships. 

What makes someone a special friend?

Many of us have felt misunderstood in the past, so when we meet someone who sincerely understands us, it makes for a remarkable friendship. Friendships don’t form overnight. Building a friendship takes time, and you might not even realize it the first time you meet a new best friend. Over time, you’ll get to know each other and develop a bond that’s referred to as a special friendship.

How can you tell a fake friend?

If someone is a fake friend, you likely won’t feel great after spending time with them. Friendship in general should lift you up. The nature of friendship is that it’s a positive relationship between two or more people. You should feel better after you see your friends, not worse. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself every time you’re around someone, ask yourself why. A fake friend might manipulate you, cross your boundaries, share personal information without regard for your feelings, or use you. The idea that friendship means staying silent or allowing yourself to get bullied is false. If someone affects your physical or emotional health negatively, they’re a fake friend. 

When should you end a friendship?

If a friendship is harming your emotional wellbeing, you have every right to end it. Sometimes, people grow apart naturally. Healthy friendships require that both people feel safe and comfortable expressing their feelings to one another. Good friendships lift you up. We love friendship because it brings us joy, closeness, shared experiences, knowledge, and care. If someone ridicules you or shares aspects of your life that you told them to keep private such as those related to your relationship or family issues, it’s time to have a serious conversation with that person. Also, know that there’s nothing wrong with ending a friendship that’s toxic for you. In fact, there’s something very right about it. You deserve the kind of friendships that makes you feel good. 

What is healthy friendship?

Healthy friendships enhance your life. The general understanding of friendship is that, in a healthy friendship, you lift each other up and don’t put each other down. Friendship demands communication because, without it, one or both of you may feel unseen or unheard. Another vital characteristic of friendship that isn’t talked about as frequently is to have boundaries. Having boundaries is an essential and healthy characteristic of friendship because it allows you to understand each other’s needs. In a healthy friendship, you feel understood. You don’t feel exploited, betrayed, or like your boundaries don’t matter. Your network of friends should make you feel comfortable, respected, and as though you can be yourself. Strong friendships can involve hurdles, but working together to solve them can make your friendship even closer. Having the skills to solve problems and express your thoughts calmly is an important part of sustaining a friendship. 

How do you fix a friendship?

When it comes to fixing or sustaining a friendship, both parties have to want to do so. The fundamental nature of a friendship is that it’s mutual. The best way to fix a friendship is to have a respectful, candid conversation about the issue that disrupted your friendship in the first place. When you have this discussion, you must listen to one another and work to understand each other’s perspectives. The ability to do this is the reason why communication is such a fundamental characteristic of friendship. It’s also important to understand that sometimes, friendships end. The friendships you make now might even become lifelong friendships, so put yourself out there, and don’t be afraid to meet new people. Even when you’ve been hurt in the past, the close friendship you deserve is out there. If you are having trouble with your relationships, one option is to seek the help of a licensed mental health provider.

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