A Definition of a Friend
Friendship is not simply a “relationship”, knowing someone, conversing with that person, or dealing with that person in business, school, or in casual acquaintance. True friendship is not just a “relationship”, but self-sacrificing love. A friend is also one who supports, sympathizes, and is a person in whom you can confide. There are unique qualities that a person must have to be considered a friend.
An acquaintance is not automatically considered a friend. Just because you know someone does not mean there is an instant friendship. This does not mean that an acquaintance cannot change into a valued friendship. There are qualities that a friend must have, but time is also a factor. A friendship can develop in as short as a day, or it could take as long as a few years for full development. In the end, if time is taken for full development, then a real friendship will develop. The main way that trust is built up is with time. When you and a friend have trust, there will usually be a strong friendship. When there is no time spent together, then there will be a lack of trust in the friendship, and it could weaken.
To have a friend you must be a friend. Friends should support each other at all times. In anything friends do, they should respect each other’s opinions and support each other. Not only must friends be supportive of one another, there should also be a sympathetic tone when needed. Friends should not only listen, but also understanding needs to take place, as well as help. When a friend is in need, you are waiting for him as he would be waiting for you. If a friend is not sympathetic and aware of your needs, then there is a weak friendship. Each should know his friend’s goals, needs, and wants. If these things are not known, then there is a weak relationship. Friends should set goals together to help develop a strong relationship. They can even help each other along the way. One person’s weakness could be another friend’s strength. A person needs to be loved, and that is what a friend does. A friend needs to be respected as well as loved. Not only should a friend’s needs be fulfilled, but also certain wants. A friend wants a person who will listen, love, and show respect, just as anybody would. A friend is also loyal and trustworthy. When friends talk to one another, it is known that the conversation should just be between them, especially if it is personal to either of them. Neither person should share any of the information with someone else. That is just like invading someone’s privacy when you repeat something that a friend tells you without permission. You should be able to confide in and trust your friend.
What is friendship? It is a reciprocal love of one person for another, which is disinterested. It is a love that does not look for anything in return for the love given, and finds happiness in promoting the interests and happiness of the other. Such a love warms the heart, thrills the mind, and urges the friend to give everything for the other, just as Christ does for us–and leads to happiness in this world while pointing to God, who, Himself, is Love.
The formation and maintenance of a satisfactory friendship is an interpersonal achievement built upon a foundation of interpersonal skills. Some of these skills are also skills that contribute to social success in the broader sense of peer acceptance; others are specific to the requirements of friendship. A friend should be trustworthy, loyal, courteous, kind, helpful, and friendly. These important qualities should be looked for in a friend. Though all the qualities are hard to find in one person, it is still possible to get a majority of them.