What is the Definition of Friend?
The two persons who share an interpersonal bond of mutual affection and love, typically one with no boundation related to sexual or family relations, are known as friends. This bond is known as friendship. Friendship is a significant term in various subjects like communication, philosophy, social psychology, sociology, and anthropology. It is one of the most important aspects of relationship-building skills. We celebrate International Friendship Day on 30th July every year. This day is recognized by the United Nations to know the importance of friends and showing love to them. The main aim of this day is to reduce the differences like regional, religious, racial, etc., and bringing more peace in the world. Most people prefer to make friends of the same age, but anybody can be your friend like your parents, siblings, life partner, teacher, stranger, etc.
Qualities of a Good Friend
We learn a lot of things from our friends, whether it is building blocks, academics, facing problems of life, and many other things from childhood. They tell us about the importance of life and help us in living it happily. But do you ever think about what makes a person a good and true friend? It is a list of qualities that do such a thing. If you want to have a true friend in your life, then you may check the qualities which are listed here. On the other hand, if you want to be a true friend, you must also generate these qualities.
The qualities of a good friend are as follows:
- Telepathy: It isn't easy for someone to know what's going on in someone's mind. But this can be possible for a true friend. A friend must have the ability to read your mind before you utter the words. Not only your friend, but you must also read your friend's thoughts just by exchanging a glance.
- Honesty: In everyday life, you may meet many people who praise you a lot whether you did something right or wrong. But such people can never be true friends. The person who not only tells you about the perfection in you but also figures out your mistakes and weaknesses deserves your friendship. From a stuck piece of spinach in your teeth to taking a major decision in life, a true friend will always give you the honest and real opinion or advice. Sometimes, you may get hurt by their harsh but true opinion, you may dislike their choices, but your best friend will share their views without thinking about your reaction because they think only about your happiness.
- Humor: At present, the world is filled with a lot of tension and stress. In such a situation, everyone must have some moments of humor in life. A friend must have such ability to make their friend happy and bring a smile to their face. A person can get a belly-aching laugh only with friends. The personal jokes and sharing the funny experiences, a friend should know what can tickle the funny bone and make the environment full of laugh.
- Empathy: There is a huge difference between empathy and sympathy. Sympathy can be generated with anyone's conditions, but empathy is the inner feeling. It comes from the soul when you experience or feel the same pain that the other person is going through. Only a true friend may have the quality of empathy. Your feelings may touch the heart of your friend, which can generate their empathy towards you.
- Generosity: One of the feelings that generate naturally between two best friends is giving. They share not only their thoughts and emotions but all the things that they have. The abundance is the key to all the boundaries in a true friendship. There is nothing like favor in them. No one keeps any record of who gives and who receives. They both create a flow of sharing and caring between them.
- Trust: Every person wants somebody to share their thoughts and emotions. One to whom they can freely tell about their fears, secrets, and deep emotions. These feelings can be shared with a best friend because they know they will not leak their secrets and understand them perfectly. A true friend will never use those secrets and information to hurt you and never break the bridge of trust between them.
- Encouragement: Many times, it happens in life when we feel demotivated and surrounded by negativity. In this condition, we need a best friend who can pull our hand from the darkness to the brightness. One who can motivate us to cope with the problems boosts our morale and generates self believes. They will become your cheerleader to remind you how beautiful you and the world are. A true friend will introduce you to the joy in every moment and live life happily. They will be focused on bringing positive attributes into your life.
- Steadfastness: A true friend is a pillar for you who provides you support in all situations and problems. Whenever you got in trouble, your friend will be there to help you without making any excuses. They help you tackle any problem and facing them with courage.
How to Find a True Friend?
A true friend is one who laughs with you, who cries with you, who makes you happy, and sometimes irritates you also but can't see you sad and depressed. In today's world, it is not easy to make true friends. You may follow the given guidelines while want to make some friends:
- Meet New People: This is the first step to get a true friend. You can't get a true friend without meeting anybody. You have to meet new people as more as possible. Try to hang out with them. You may also meet with people online. You may prefer those who have the same interest and hobbies so that it'll not let you feel so much awkward and also support having the conversation
- Take the Initiative: You can't be lazy in starting the conversation. It is not a better option to wait to hope that the other person will come to talk to you. You have to be socialized and put yourself into the discussions.
- Start a Conversation: You can't know about the qualities of a person without talking to them. So you should always be included in the conversation. You may start it by commenting on the weather or may ask about their interests or background, etc. You only have to start an interesting topic for one time, and then the conversation will continue naturally.
- Don't be Oversensitive: It is not easy for everyone to make the first meeting interesting. Many people get hesitate in it. While in some cases, it may be possible that the other person doesn't want to be your friend or may not feel comfortable with you. So, you have to be ready for the rejections also without hurting yourself.
- Be Patient: It takes time to find a good friend. And if you find someone as your friend, then they must be the right person. If you do not keep patient, then you may choose the wrong person also. Good things take time to happen. You can make a lot of friends, but it will take some time to get connected with the true one.
- Don't be Narrow-Minded: You should be open-minded while searching for a true friend. Don't make pre-assumptions about anybody. Otherwise, you can't see the real personality of the people and can't decide whether they deserve your friendship or not.
- Give Them Some Space Also: You should not include in someone's personal life until they don't permit you. You should know your limits. Because a deep friendship takes time, and you can't be so much distinguisher in the beginning.
In many cases, it is found that the children feel hesitant to make friends. They want to talk and play with them, but because of some reasons, they don't feel free to do so. Such children feel insecure and thought that others would laugh at them. These conditions can be treated by the strong moral support of the family and society. Some of these developmental issues are given under:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Due to insufficient social skills, it is hard to form friendships with those children who are affected by this disorder. These children have limited observational learning and have a greater tendency to engage in behavior that makes it strange to others. There is not any identified treatment for such a condition. But you may take the help of a good psychologist to cure ADHD. The children may feel free to make friends and talk to others with the support of parents and a happy and healthy social environment.
- Down syndrome: It is not easy to make friends for those children who are suffering from this syndrome. This is due to the feeling of language delay. It is a condition in which a child fails to develop language abilities at the correct age. Because of this, they find it difficult to play with other children. Most of the suffering children prefer to watch other children or play alongside them but not with them. It is because such children can understand more instead of expressing it. These children can benefit from the classroom setting and environment where they don't have to be more dependent on any adult. Sometimes, the inclusive environment of the classroom can be a problem but making close friends can be helpful in social development. The disability can be treated by increasing the interaction of the children with adults and children.
Effect on Health
As per research, it is found that good and strong social support makes a person healthier. This is because it reduces loneliness which is one of the prime causes of heart disease, viral infections, depression, and cancer. According to the experts, friendship is a behavioral vaccine that improves a person's physical as well as mental health.
In studies, it is found that those people are at a high risk of suicidal ideation that doesn't have friends to share their problems and feelings with. If someone has no friends, then it may also generate mental disorder in the person. Friends help in creating self-esteem, self-confidence, and social development. As per the report of the World Happiness Database, those people are happier who have close friends instead of those who have an absolute number of friends.
Separation of Friend
Dissolution of friesndship or separation of friends may occur due to a personal rejection or other causes such as natural changes in behavior and choices over time. As time goes, the friends grow, which changes their likes, dislikes, preference, taste, etc., and led to the distance between them both physically and emotionally. Other than this, a pang of guilt, anger, depression, and even a highly stressful event in the past can also be a reason behind the disruption of friendship. However, this anger and negative effect can be reduced by converting the past friendship into another close relationship.
Demographics of Friendship
In most cases, it is found that people include the friend lists that are similar to them in terms of age, gender, behavior, thoughts, academic performance, etc. In ethnically diverse countries, it is highly found that friendship takes place between those who belong to the same race and ethnicity. Such mentality generates from childhood and may remain till death.
Gender Differences: As we can see, the friendship between two females is focused on mutual support and interpersonal connections. On the other hand, the friendship between two males is focused on social status and feels macho by discouraging the need for emotional expression. The level of physical victimization is found high in male friends in comparison to female friends. This is due to the more anxiety and jealousy in females. Regarding same-sex friendships, females have small friends circle and are more expressive and intimate. Males show this intimacy through physical experiences, while for females, it is the emotional ones. Males seldom share emotional feelings so that in the future, no one can use those feelings against them. But males feel free to share such feelings with a female friend. Their friendship with females is more meaningful, intimate, and pleasant. Male-male friendship is less emotionally upsetting, while female-female friendship is much more attachment-based.
Friends and friendship are not just the concepts of human beings. Animals of higher intelligence also make friends. Cross-species friendship can be noticed between humans and domestic animals. It can also be found between two non-human animals like dogs and cats.
Advantages of Friend
When we come to this world, all the relations we get already. But the only relationship that we set by ourselves is friendship. That's why this relationship has a beautiful and unique space in our hearts. Friends are one of the most precious gifts of God. Nobody likes to listen bad words for their friends, even not by their parents. Friendship improves our mental health by helping and supporting us in various situations of life. They work as the bridge to cross all the uncertainties. Here are so many advantages of having friends:
- Emotional Support: As we can see, the world is full of tension and loneliness. Most people have no one to share their feelings and problems with others. It is one of the major causes of the increasing suicide rate. In such situations, the person who helps us a lot is a friend. One can easily say anything to their friend without being hesitant. It often happens when we can't share our thoughts with our family members but with friends. In this way, friends play the role of an emotional pillar in our life. Just like pillars hold a big house from falling similarly, friends give us emotional support and save us from falling into depression.
- Motivators: Friends play the role of great motivators in one's life. They always support you and motivate you to fight with all circumstances that make hurdles in life. Friends try to find the solution to all our problems and make you feel happy. Spending time with your friends is the best way to reduce depression and stress. A true friend may pull your leg, make you fun but will always ensure that you are not in trouble, and if so, then they will be focused on filling your life with colors and removing all the anxiety. Friends not only motivate you to achieve something in your life but also help in forgetting the dark memories.
- Same Forever: As we can see, all relations, whether husband-wife, parent-child, etc. change with time, but the only relation that never changes and remains the same forever is the friendship. A true friendship remains equally joyful, enthusiastic, entertaining, funny, and loyal. That's why whenever you meet with your friend you always feel the same love and affection for them. Friendship is something that can't be affected by distance and time. Whether you and your friends are living far away or you meet after a long time but you both will enjoy the same vibes and treat each other in the same manner as you did before.
Disadvantages of Friend
As we learned here, friendship and friends have a great impact on our life. They make it more beautiful and joyful and remove all our troubles and tensions. We feel very happy and stress-free with friends. But psychologically and socially, there is also some negative impact of having friends and friendships. These impacts depend on which type of friends we make, our preference, what we expect from friendship, how we choose between two things, how we deal with family and friends together, and most importantly, what is the meaning of friend for us. Some of the disadvantages of having friends are as under:
- Bad Company can Spoil Future: In today's world of jealousy and cheating, it is a very arduous task to find a true and believable friend. If you become a friend of such a bad person who feels jealous of your happiness, always makes you in trouble, and feels jealous of your success, then it can spoil your future. If you are unable to differentiate between a true friend and a selfish friend, then it can make your life difficult. It can affect your mental health and can also hurt your loved ones. In many cases, it is found that a person gets trapped in a crime due to their friend.
- Hurdle in Career: Sometimes, it is also found that friendship can be a big hurdle in one's career. If you got admission to a renowned college, but your friend doesn't, or you got a job opportunity in another city, then it may be possible that you compromise with such opportunities only because of the emotional attachment with your friend. In this manner, you can't achieve something in your life without your friend and move ahead in your career. And survive only in some limited offers with your friends by ignoring your dream and passion.
- Disputes in Family Life: It is not a big deal to spend your whole day with your friends when you are teenagers. Because at this time you don't have too much pressure and responsibilities, you are free to enjoy your life by your own rules. But once you get married and have children, then friendship can affect your family life badly. You may get confused between friends and family, and it may not be easy to set a balance between them. It may be possible that you can't give equal time to your friends after marriage as you give before. It may lead to chaos between you and your friend. It is human nature that we can't easily share our loved ones with anybody else. And when your friend sees that you are giving more preference to your partner, they may get hurt, which can create distances between you and your friend or between you and your partner.