True Friendship

What do you think is the true meaning of friendship?

What do you think is the true meaning of friendship?

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Friends are the family we wish we had instead of the one we got." I heard somebody say that one time, and I think she had been having a pretty bad day! Seriously, though, we do pick our friends, choosing them from all other people. A friend can be a "true friend" for a while, then move on; relationships change as people and their circumstances change.

However, some friendships last as long as two friends live, and these are indeed precious. So what is a true friendship, one that lasts a lifetime? It is, I think, a relationship of mutual trust, respect, and admiration. Through a history of shared experiences, a genuine friendship gives us an anchor in an uncertain world. There is comfort and security in knowing that we are not alone, come what may, and there is joy in knowing that a couple of good friends will always find another adventure to share.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aristotle declared that "Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies."  It is the most unselfish of all loves, for it seeks only the happiness and good of the other.

If one would seek to understand what such love as friendship is, he need look only to the faithful dog.  For, a dog wants no more than to be with its friend, to lie near that friend, to laugh and romp with that friend, to see joy in that friend's eyes.  A dog will comfort its friend in sorrow, shelter its friend from the rain, cover its friend from the cold or other danger; a dog will wait loyally for its friend for hours, days, weeks, months.  A dog loves its friend whether he be rich or poor; he thinks of its friend first--always. A dog will lay down its life for its owner.  A dog is friendship personified.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The true meaning of friendship is when you consider the other person's well-being to be as valuable as your own.  If you feel this way about a person, you are truly their friend.

If you consider that another person's good is as important as your own, you will treat them the way friends are supposed to treat each other.  You will make sacrifices for them when, by doing so, you can help them.  You will make sure that you are behaving in ways that will not hurt them.  This is the essence of friendship.

If you are not friends with someone, you may care about their happiness, but not as much as you care about your own.  But if you are true friends, you will care as much for the other as you do for yourself.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Friendship is that relationship in which two people may share openly and equally with each other. A true friend will listen more than lecture; help more than criticize, pick one up when he falls, and share happiness, joys, griefs and fears. A real friend will not always tell one what one wishes to hear; but will always tell one what he needs to hear. A friend will be there for one when no one else will, and will always put your happiness above his own. A true friend laughs with one, not at one, and will always be there when needed. 

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that one element of friendship is one that can stand the test of time. But in addition, friendship should be somewhat fluid. As we grow and change, our interests, goals, and desires change. It would not be unreasonable to assume that our friends and friendships would change as a result. A friend is also one who does not necessarily accept us for who we are, but pushes us to be a better version of who we are. In other words aids us in becoming who we are meant to be.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

True friendship is unconditional. It is when you care for and love a person whatever their faults and failings, and they treat you in the same way. It is reciprocal: both parties consider the good of the other as equal to their own. True friends accept difference, but share commonalities. A true friend makes you happy, can criticise without hurting and is unafraid to tell the truth. True friends can accept truth from each other.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would actually add to the definition posted in #2 by arguing that true friendship is when you hold the needs and wants of your friend above your own, rather than being as important as your own. Friendship must have an element of sacrifice to it, because it isn't a challenge to be pleasant to someone when you are not actually losing anything.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As I have grown older I think that true friendship is one that stands the test of time. I have friends from my high school years that I have not seen for years at a time but when we do see each other we are able to pick up right where we were so long ago.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The true meaning of friendship is thaf you both give and take. However, you give without expecting anything in return.
crystaltu001 | Student

True friendship is when there is a person who is always there for you no matter what happens to you. True friends can trust each other and they feel like they can tell anything to the other person because they trust them that much. It takes time to build up trust in friends.

melissa1106 | Student

True friendship is being there for a person is every way and truly investing care and love into someone. A true friendship is built on love and trust. True friends are always there for each other, emotionally and psychically. whether its listening to each others problems or spending the day together, true friendship require work and effort. True friendship requires compassion and being there for someone to build a lasting bond.

maria-vivanco | Student

Friendship is being comfortable with someone and it's a bond that is built on trust. 

ik9744 | Student

The true meaning of friendship is helping each other out at hard time or just being friendly to each other.

Wiggin42 | Student

True friends are the ones that will be at your side and support you in your darkest hour.

They will encourage you in your endeavors while telling what they believe is the truth.

They are the friends that you might have a fight with but will make up in time.

True friends value you and regard you as highly as they do themselves.

And it goes without saying that they will be kind, compassionate, and loving.

zumba96 | Student

A true friend will stay with you in tough and good times and when things really start to fall apart for you they will be there for you. A good friend makes sure that you are happy and when you are sad can cheer you up. A good friend is always honest and criticizes you when needed but will always be there for you. 

giorgiana1976 | Student

A true friend knows your weakness but he'll emphasize your strong qualities.

A true friend feels your fears but he'll try to build your confidence in you, each day passing by.

A true friend knows all your worries but he'll free your spirit.

A true friend recognizes your faults but he'll make you aware of your possibilities.

A true friend is the one that wants all the best for us, even if nobody knows about this.

A true friend is the most precious gift that you can receive in your life.