Before we get started, let’s start with the definition of friendship: the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends.
What does friendship mean to you? What has it meant in your life? What do you hope for your friendships in the future?
Friends make things better. They make a great time more fun. They make a sad time less miserable.
What kind of friend are you? What kind of friend would you like to be?
Identifying where we’re at and where we want to go are two key places to be aware of. They can help us set the intention of getting what we want out of life; and, in this case, friendships.
Our first two quotes are from Chinese philosopher and a Greek tragedian
“Friends are the siblings God never gave us.” -Mencius
“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” -Euripides
We’ve all heard the phrase “you can’t choose your family” and it’s true. We can choose our friends, and it’s important to not only choose wisely, but to continue choosing throughout our lives.
I’m sure you have friends from when you were a kid, friends from high school, friends from college, and friends you’ve made in your adult life. It’s possible and interesting how there’s not a lot of crossovers between friend groups, save big events like a wedding.
It’s also true that friends can become family.
Our next two come from an American writer and a German-born American actress
“It takes a long time to grow an old friend.” -John Leonard
“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” -Marlene Dietrich
Our friends and our friendships are immensely valuable. If you’re someone who makes friends easily, that’s a wonderful gift. Whether that’s you, or you feel making friends is more difficult, being mindful of the value of friendship and actively cultivating relationships is a wise practice.
Taking things for granted is a very human thing and often we don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone. So, in the spirit of getting ahead of that, be grateful for your friends and their friendship.
Moving on to our next two favorites from an American industrialist and a Greek philosopher
“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” -Henry Ford
“I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” -Plutarch
It’s been said we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So, it can be iron sharpening iron, or not.
Sometimes we outgrow friends, and that’s ok. Make sure you surround yourself with quality people you can learn from, and who can learn from you.
Our final two favorites come from an Irish poet and prolific, though secretive, writer
“True friends stab you in the front.” -Oscar Wilde
“True friends say good things behind your back and bad things to your face.” -Unknown
We’re searching for authentic relationships where we can be ourselves.
Great friends are people we can have fun with, give one another a hard time, call each other out on our BS, and advocate for when we’re not with them. Having friends you can do this with is priceless.
Can anyone be a good friend?
Emerson said “the only way to have a friend is to be one.” So an important first step in having better friendships is to focus on what you can do to be a better friend to others.
What can you do to be a better listener? What can you do to be more empathetic? How can you do a better job of keeping in touch with those most important to you?
Focusing on those areas will help you be a good friend!