Symbols Of Friendship: What Are They And Why Do They Matter?
Updated August 03, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Nicole Gaines, LPC
Friendship is one of the most beautiful gifts of life, and much more than anything, having great friends fill our lives with so much beauty. The quality of our friendships marks the essence of every other relationship in our lives. Friends stay with us through difficult times and celebrate with us during the good times.
In every culture, friendship is considered an integral aspect of social life. The kind of relationship we have with our friends is believed to influence our physical health and mental health. Regardless of when and how it started, the intimate bond of friendship can be sustained through one’s entire lifespan, even when other relationships may no longer be available.
Sometimes, words may not be enough to express how we feel about our close friends. Symbols have been used by many generations and cultures across the globe as a sign of friendship and to celebrate the strength and beauty of love and friendship. They connote a long-lasting celebration and commitment to friendship and love, helping us show our friends how much we cherish them. These symbols come in different forms, shapes, and designs, from interlocked hearts, arrows of friendship, gemstones, flowers, and even letterings. They can be engraved on jewelry, worn as tattoo symbols, or colorful friendship bracelets.
Just like married couples would wear their wedding bands to publicize their commitment to one another, you and your best friend may decide to get a friendship symbol that shows the world how much you appreciate each other.
It is widely believed that communicating through symbols dates back to as far as the Victorian era- although many think it could be way farther. Expressing emotions with symbols has become popular through the decades and generations after. Men and women worldwide use different symbols to represent and communicate their unsaid feelings, either to a special friend or to the people they are in a romantic relationship with. Different cultures have different symbols that are peculiar to them, and they used these symbols in beautiful ways to communicate love, deep friendship, and affection. Whatever the kind of emotion is, there will always be a specific set of symbols that can express different levels of emotions.
Whether you are looking to appreciate a loved friend or just curious and want to understand the symbols of love better, we will be sharing some symbols below and help you understand their significance.
Arrows Of Friendship
Signs and symbols are commonly used by Native Americans from generation to generation to communicate their rich culture, history, ideas, and dreams. The arrow symbol of friendship is one of the most popular ways through which they do this. Depending on the positioning or arrangement, the arrow symbol can mean different things at different times- e.g., an arrow pointed to the left connotes warding off evil while an arrow pointing to the right connotes peace. However, two arrows crossed at the center are popularly used to represent friendship or the bringing together of two clans or two different people. It also symbolizes deep commitment. It is a friendship symbol commonly engraved as tattoos by two friends to show their strong will to retain and strengthen the bond of their friendship. It is also used in romantic relationships and even during weddings.
Symbols of friendship would definitely not be complete without tattoos, and a lot of the symbols mentioned in this article are used as tattoos to symbolize permanent commitment. As best friends, tattooing is a beautiful way to show off your bond to the entire world. It is said that tattoos last a lifetime, and it is used to celebrate our friendships with people who we hope would be our friends forever. Tattoos come in different shapes, sizes, symbols, designs, and written words or quotes.
Although the symbol is technically used to express the mathematical concept of infinity, today is known as one of the most beautiful, elegantly simple friendship symbols. It is a rich visual symbol to represent our hopes and dreams for our friendships and relationships. The symbol gets its name from the Latin word “infinity,” meaning “unboundedness,” and is mostly used by people in romantic relationships to represent an eternal, boundless, never-ending love. What makes this symbol of friendship even special is that it is quite easy to modify to suit the emotion you are trying to communicate, as one may replace the straight parts of the line with significant phrases, names, or words.
A friendship bracelet is a special kind of bracelet usually woven or braided using different colored embroidery threads or floss. It is arguably one of the world’s most commonly used friendship symbols. It finds its origin again in Native Americans and is used to symbolize a powerful bond of friendship. When a friend gives another a friendship bracelet, it is usually worn until the threads fray or break to show you honor the effort, hard work, and thoughtfulness put into making it. Some people go extra with these bracelets by embroidering their friend’s name on them. It is even commonly believed that when a dear friend ties a friendship bracelet on their friend’s wrist, and this friend makes a wish, the wish will come true if the bracelet falls off naturally.
Roses have always been known to convey beautiful heartfelt emotions of love. A yellow rose particularly expresses care and unconditional love (but not the romantic type) that words can’t fully convey. It is a great way to cheer your friends up and relay beautiful feelings of friendship and optimism.
Ese Ne Tekrema
This is an Adinkra symbol of friendship that literally connotes ‘the teeth and the tongue.’ It is a friendship symbol of the Asante (in Ghana) people that serves as a pictorial representation of the tongue and the teeth, which have different roles but are interdependent. They co-exist inside the mouth and sometimes come into conflicts, but they stick together regardless. The Ese Ne Tekrema, thus, symbolizes closeness, mutual support, and life-long commitment between friends.
The Claddagh Symbol
The Claddagh is an Irish symbol representing two hands holding on to a heart and has a crown on top of the heart. It is used in a Celtic friendship, and it is believed to mean “I give you my heart with my own two hands, and I crown it with loyalty to you.” This friendship symbol portrays excellent love, friendship, and loyalty, and it holds different meanings depending on how it is worn. For example, if worn on one’s right hand, the person is single with the crown turned inwards. When the crown is turned outward, it shows that you are in a romantic relationship with someone. If worn on the left hand with the crown turned outward, it means the person is engaged.
People in a Japanese friendship usually exchange these dainty flowers (otherwise called ‘Kikus’) to represent virtue and closely-knit friendship. They believe that as the flower grows and blossoms, so does the bond of their friendship. The Chrysanthemums bears beautiful petals and has a lovely yellow center, and is used to convey feelings of care and affection in a friendship between two people.
The two-character symbol, which spells friendship in Chinese, is a common Chinese symbol for friendship. Some people may choose to have it on as tattoos, with their best friend’s name written to give it a more personal touch. Some may choose to have it engraved on a piece of jewelry to always carry around with them.
This symbol for friendship represents fidelity and unflinching commitment to the people we call our friends. It is widely believed that people who run off when the going gets tough aren’t really your real friends in the first place. While every relationship and friendship is believed to have its own high and low times, faithful friends will stand by you every step of the way.
Two hearts interlocked with one another is a symbol that is commonly seen around, in different variants. It is believed that even when friends are apart, they hold a piece of each other’s hearts with them. This symbol of friendship is commonly made into drawings, worn as tattoos, or made into sophisticated jewelry. Each friend has a piece of the heart to symbolize that no matter how far apart they may be, they will always be bonded.
Friendship is one of nature’s most beautiful gifts to us. When formed with the right person, friendship can fill us with tremendous joy, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment. Good friends add beauty to our lives and fill us with sweet memories that stay with us forever.
However, as much as friendship is supposed to be a good source of joy, it sometimes seems like some friendships do quite the opposite. Reading this article may bring back bad memories and feelings of deep hurt instead of positive ones for you, which is very understandable. Being in a toxic friendship can be quite draining and is even worse when a very close friend hurts you.
If you need help in managing a friendship issue, deciding on how best to end a toxic friendship or tips on how to make and keep new friends, then speaking to a licensed therapist, like the ones at ReGain who have been trained to give helpful advice and compassionate support would help you a great deal.
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