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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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

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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

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Flirting With A Friend: Escaping The Friend Zone

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How To Friendzone A Girl

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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 or 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, whether that's in person or online, from volunteering, being on a sports team together, or something else. 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 or feel as though something is wrong with you if you haven't yet found a close inner circle of good friends or 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 a lot 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 humankind, 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 as though you are less than or 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 any obstacles you face and may even become closer as a result. It's also important to note that good or close friendships will look different depending on who the individuals within the connection are as people. It will also look different depending on your stage of life. As a working professional, for example, you might not have as much time as you used to and may see your friends less. However, it doesn't have to make you less close, and it doesn't mean that you're no longer good friends. You will value the time that you do have together, and it will continue to make the relationship strong. 

Reciprocal vs. one-sided friends 

In a reciprocal friendship, you will be there for each other. In a one-sided friendship, one person will be there for their friend, whereas the person that's being cared for isn't there when the person on the other side needs it. In a one-sided friendship, a person may be flippant or aloof when presented with a battle that their friend is going through. In a reciprocal friendship, a friend will make an effort to understand what their friend is going through even if they don't get it on an internal level. If your friendship is "all about" one person or the other and their needs or there is not an equal sense of give-and-take, 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, and become defensive or say nasty things to you that make you feel worse, repairing the friendship may not be a possibility. 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 that you're having with your friend and troubleshoot what you can do to either amend the relationship or distance from it in a healthy way.

Resolve conflict in friendships 

Communication is key in any relationship, including friendships. It is important to talk to your friend if a conflict arises. Make an effort to understand their side, and make sure that they are understanding of yours. Be candid, open, and honest. Close friendships develop out of understanding and aren't without problems, but you must face problems when they do arise so that neither of you holds a grudge and you can work through the issue. If you are having trouble with conflict resolution, making friends, or maintaining close friendships, a counselor or therapist can help. In therapy, you can talk about any issues you have relating to friends or friendships and can even talk about how social skills impact your interpersonal connections. Friendship is important, and you deserve to have strong, healthy friendships that last for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the 3 types of friendship?

Depending on how you look at it, there are three or more types of friendship or forms of friendship. There are lifelong friendships, close friendships, and casual friendships. If you’re in the process of making friends, you might have casual friendships with these people at first, but they might become close friendships over time. Forms of friendship that started out as casual connections may even become lifelong friendships where you’re in contact for the rest of time. The benefits of friendships are abundant; these are some of the most influential interpersonal connections we’ll have in our lives. 

What is friendship in simple words?

In simple words, friendship is a platonic, close connection between two people. The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “friendship” is, “the state of being friends.” 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 in each other’s lives 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 the potential kinds of family someone might have is a chosen family. Some people do not have positive family dynamics or may not even communicate with their born family, so it is essential to recognize the chosen family as a family type. 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 unavoidable pieces of our days such as work, school, and parenting. Making time for your friends is an essential characteristic of friendship. Especially with a life filled with commitments such as work, school, and caretaking, whether that’s for kids, older parents, or another loved one, spending time with friends is a valuable act of self-care and love for everyone involved. Even when things get busy and it doesn’t happen as much as you’d like, cherishing your time together is essential for strong friendships. 

What makes someone a special friend?

When it comes to friendship in general, if someone is close to you, you’re likely to regard them as special. A special friendship might be special for a variety of reasons. For example, if someone is a life-long friend or someone you’ve known for a very long time, it’s likely that your friendship is incredibly special and sacred to you. Another thing that makes for a special friendship is the sense that someone just gets you. Sometimes, you meet a person, and you experience a deep level of understanding for one another. 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, so you might not even realize it the first time you meet a new best friend. Over time, you’ll get to know each other better and will develop a close bond that’s referred to as a special friendship.

How can you tell a fake friend?

One characteristic of friendship that can help you determine if a friendship is real is how you feel around that person. 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 criticize you, whether that’s to your face or behind your back. They might manipulate you, cross your boundaries, share personal information without regard for your feelings, or use you by reaching out to you only when they need something. A fake friend may deny the truth of their behavior, so go with your gut, and spend time around people who display genuine care for you. The idea that friendship means staying silent or allowing yourself to get bullied is false. If someone leads you to believe the idea that friendship requires you to put yourself in a situation that 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. Other times, friendships end due to a specific instance, generally one that’s recurring. Say that your friend calls you names, gaslights you, invalidates your feelings, or teases you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. The first thing that you can do is bring it up with your friend. For example, you can say, “I know that you might’ve meant it as a joke when you teased me the other day in front of our friend group, but it hurt my feelings. Can you please stop?” Be sure to bring up the specific instance so that they understand what you’re talking about. A true friend will hear what you’re saying, apologize, and respect that boundary moving forward. If they invalidate your emotions by saying, “you’re overreacting” or brushing it off somehow, it might be time to end the friendship. Additionally, if a friend apologizes but continues to do something they said they wouldn’t do, that might be another reason to end a friendship. Healthy friendships require that both people feel safe and comfortable expressing their feelings to one another. Even if a person meant it “as a joke,” they need to understand that how you feel about it is valid. 

This is only one example of an unhealthy friendship. Good friendships lift you up. We love friendship and value it 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 friendship that makes you feel good. 

What is healthy friendship?

Healthy friendships will enhance your life. When a friendship is healthy, it will impact your life in a positive way. The general understanding of friendship is that, in a healthy friendship, you will lift each other up and will not put each other down. This is a given, but there are other aspects of a healthy friendship that should be present, too. Communication is a vital characteristic of friendship. 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 will feel cared about and understood, and you won’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. 

Making friends can be nerve-inducing for many people, but forming strong friendships is possible at any stage of life. You will build new friendships throughout your lifetime and will learn more and more about what a positive friendship looks like over time. 

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 friendship, after all, 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. Although it can hurt, making new friends after the fact is probable. 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 interpersonal relationships or have experienced pain that impacted your understanding of friendship, one option is to seek the help of a licensed mental health provider.

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