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Acts of Friendship
For Ashley, it was like this: She was sitting with a big group in the school lunchroom when she accidentally knocked her drink onto her lap. As word spread that it looked like Ashley had wet herself, the laughter began to mount. Then she noticed her best friend doing something strange.
"She poured water on herself," Ashley said.
True friendship is hard to find, Ashley says. But she knows it when she sees it. And so do many of you. We asked our readers what it takes to be a good friend. More than 5,000 of you shared your thoughts on friendship.
For some, the defining moments of friendship were profound, such as the soulmate who helps you through the grief of losing a family member or camps out in your hospital room when you're sick. For others, it's smaller gestures that loom large — the friend who talks for hours when you're feeling alone, even if it means going over on his cell phone minutes; the one who helps you with your homework, even when she hasn't done her own; or the friend who helps you search for your retainer, even when it means going through the garbage from the school lunch.
What Friends Do for You
Big or small, it's actions that seem to count the most in friendship. In a time when we can chat effortlessly by text and IM, talk is getting cheaper. Many of you believe that the evidence of true friends is what they do to show their loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, or willingness to make a sacrifice when you need help.
Kaitlin, 14, told us about a friend who took the blame for her when she got in a fight at school. Her friend was suspended for 10 days. And Marissa, 16, said she discovered the difference between a close friend and casual friend on a school trip to California.
"I got sick, and my friend ran to the bathroom after me to hold my hair back as I became the Exorcist," Marissa said. "She stood by me, while my other 'friend' yelled at me to get off the floor and clean it up."
What You Do for Friends
It works both ways: Nearly three quarters of the people who wrote to us said they do as much for their friends as their friends do for them. Sometimes the most treasured acts of friendship are those for which you expect to get nothing in return, not even credit for a good deed.
"The nicest thing I ever did for a friend was when I let her date my ex — without ever telling her that I was against it," Rae'Johne, 14, said.
Elaina, 15, remembers the day she went clothes shopping with her best friend, who is overweight. The saleslady was being rude to her friend because there was so little in her size and nothing fit quite right.
Elaina is proud of how she helped her friend that day. "I had like an armful of clothes for myself (and may I add these clothes were to DIE for!) and I put all my clothes back and said, 'I don't like what they have in here, why don't we go somewhere with better clothes, not these cheap ones.'"
The One and Only
Many of the people who wrote us thought it was important to have a best friend, one who stood out from the rest.
"In reality, you are truly blessed to have one true friend to the backbone," Bizaflak, 14, said. "All the others are basically your acquaintances." That's what Rich, 17, meant when he described a person's friends being "like a pyramid" with one at the peak and others in supporting roles.
Some of you described the communication between best friends as being a perfectly clear connection, almost as if it's on a frequency only they can hear.
"A true friend understands you, even when you're not talking," Casey, 14, said.
"We practically finish each other's sentences," Kayla, 15, said.
The Wisdom of Friends
Often what you look for in your best friend is good judgment. Jackie, 14, said the nicest thing a friend did for her was to tell her mom a secret Jackie had told to her friend — that she was extremely depressed.
"My friend was scared and even though I told her not to tell anyone, she knew she had to," Jackie said. "She ended up saving my life, and I am grateful."
Not everyone thinks it's important to have one best friend. Molly, 14, said that together her friends make up all the aspects of what one "true friend' would be.
"I have friends who I would confide anything in and trust them to keep it all a secret," Molly said. "I have smart friends, funny friends, goofy friends, 'bodyguard' friends (a.k.a. the friends who will stick up for you no matter what), and just friends who are there on the weekends who want to hang out. So really, no one person can fill every void in your life."
"Friends Are Kind of Scary"
Friendship isn't easy. To hear many of you tell it, making a good friend is almost like adding a new family member. It comes with risk and responsibility.
"Friends are kind of scary," said Mary, 14, who has trusted some friends with secrets and regretted it. "Not them in person, but the thought of them in general. It's almost like you are investing in this one person, whoever it may be."
Sometimes what a good friend needs from you is brutal honesty, not a cheerleader. Gretchen, 15, said: "A true friend is a person who would really tell you how bad you look in that bright pink spandex suit, even though you really like it."
Friends aren't always forever. Angelica tells the story of a friendship that began in kindergarten. She remembers how close they were back in the days when she helped her friend cope with diabetes, sat with her after her appendix was removed, and listened to her as she struggled with family problems.
But her friend moved away recently and hasn't returned her calls. Angelica has heard that her friend now hangs out with kids who drink and do drugs. "I know what these things can do to you," Angelica said, "and I could help her again. But I feel too far away."
Romance, like distance, can complicate things. Many teens told of friendships that soured after their friend began seeing someone.
"I think the nicest thing a friend ever did for me was to decide that she would still be my friend this school year even after I dissed her to hang out with all these cute guys," 14-year-old Darilynn said. "I love her for that ... I've learned my lesson."
When Friends Move On
Many of you learned the true value of friendship after it was gone. Lots of you urged people to work at their most important friendships, rather than letting them fall apart after a fight or fade away.
Roxanne, 15, said her closest friend committed suicide recently. Her advice on how to treat your friends? "Cherish them like you only have one last day with them."
And for some, it was OK if good friends only accompanied them for part of their journey in life. People grow and change, and so do their friends. Lily, 14, said her best friend will be moving away this year. Lily will try to stay in contact, but she is realistic about the prospects.
"Friends come and go," she said.
What is friendship? It seems like everyone knows the answer, but when we try to express it in words there is almost nothing more difficult. There are so many essays on friendship, but you can never understand what it is if you do not experience it. Of course, friendship essays are useful, they give advice how to be good friend, how to distinguish true friendship from other kinds of relationships and son. They can help you to understand whether you do something right or wrong, what should you do to keep friendship, but anyway you should feel it yourself. If you have a best friend, you are very lucky. It means you managed to find a person who is ready to support you, help you and always be there for you. It could be best friend essay, but I decided it would be better to give you general idea of what friendship is. So I hope this essay about friendship will be useful for you. Read and enjoy!
What is friendship?
“Friend”, “Friendship”, “Make friends”. What do you mean by these words? Can you give an exact definition to these words?
Every person “faces” friendship in the life. When one has real friends, it influences greatly how much happy he or she feels. But unfortunately sometimes other kinds of relations hide under the guise of friendship, and sometimes as a result person feels deep disappointment. For each of us it is important to know how to distinguished friendship from other types of relations. For this purpose first of all you need to know what friendship is.
Besides, understanding of what friendship is will help you to be a good friend, to make good loyal friends and keep your friendship strong.
Friendship and its features
Friendship is close relationships based on mutual trust, affection, and common interests. Friendship is a deep connection between people that means not only loyalty and mutual help, but also inner closeness, frankness, love.
In the Bible the concept of friendship is expressed with the Greek noun “philia” and the verb “phileo”, which is translated as “to hold dear” (someone). This word means “warmness, closeness and affection”. “Philia” is warm friendly (brotherly) love based on mutual respect. Feeling that appears spontaneously in our hearts.
So we can see that friendship is a feeling, first of all, in particular friendly love. This is not something external, friendship is deep in heart. Second of all, friendship appears spontaneously. You can not make yourself be a friend to someone, or vise versa make someone be your friend. Thirdly, friendship is based on certain grounds that are necessary for its appearing and preservation. These grounds are the following:
- Mutual respect. What does it mean “respect your friend”? It means you should treat him or her respectfully, reckon with his / hers opinion and recognize his / hers positive traits. Respect is expressed in words and actions. A friend, who feels respect, feels that he / she is valued as a person, that his / hers dignity is respected and someone helps him / her not just because of mere sense of duty.
- Trust. Trust means confidence in the honesty and sincerity of a friend, that he / she will not betray or deceive intentionally. Trust does not mean confidence that your friend will never make mistakes, no one is perfect.
These are two basic and main conditions for friendship. Besides it is important for friendship, for example, to have common interests or common moral values. It will be difficult to stay friends for people who have different understanding of what is good and what is wrong. The reason is quite simple: can we show respect to a friend (and maybe trust) when we see that he / she commits acts immoral for us, and thinks there is nothing wrong in it?
Common interests, as we have already mentioned, also contribute to making friends. However for a friendship that lasts for many years and is time-tested, this factor is not very important.
The friendly feelings does not depend neither on the sex of the individual, nor on age. They can be very strong and influence greatly the person’s behaviour and emotional state. Nevertheless, these feelings never include sexual desire (it especially applies to friendship between man and woman).
Distinctive features of friendship (brotherly love)
- it is affection;
- stable (friendly relationships last long and feelings are stable);
- may appear between people of any sex and age;
- can be felt towards a couple of people (but still not many);
- does not have any connection with sexual desires.
Personal qualities useful for friendship
- Sincerity and openness;
- Ability to listen;
- Interest to your friend’s life and feelings;
- Willingness to help and be there in time of need;
- Willingness to forgive;
- Ability to admit your mistakes;
- Ability to take advice;
- Ability to keep secrets.
Develop these qualities and try to show them in everyday life. Insularity, insensitivity, and especially arrogance, indifference and betrayal kill friendship nullifying its base – mutual respect and trust.
What is not friendship
Fellow relationships. One of the most common misbelieves about what friendship is and who friends are is an idea that our friends are those whom with spend much time with, whom we have fun with and have something to talk about. And friendship is a process of such a communication. However, as it follows from the above mentioned, this is not true. Remember: friendship is not communication, not a process and in general not something external. As it was said, real friendship is a feeling that is deep in the heart, it is “filia” or brotherly love towards another person.
It is not necessary at all for a friendship to be directly connected with personal communication or dependent on it. Real friends always stay friends regardless of the circumstances.
Unlike friendship fellow relationships depend on communication, are not connected with feelings and do not raise any mutual responsibilities or affection. Although with fellows we communicate most (and sometimes even share secrets), but “there are fellows who are ready to tear each other apart”. What kind of friendship can be there?
Considering fellow relationships as a friendship may lead to disappointment and deep mental trauma, because as a result of such a relationship you get what you do not expect (or do not get what expect). That is why making fellows do not rush to conclusions that these are your friends for entire life.
Romantic passion. Though there can be both, romantic and friendly relationships between two people, sometimes the first mistaken for the second. In other words sometimes person thinks that he / she has friendly feelings while in fact these are the feelings of desire to get other person’s attention.
Rule 1. Belief in friendship
Belief in friendship means that you should accept friendship as it is without demanding any proof and evidence. This belief is the base of real friendly relationships, on which trust, mutual understanding, mutual help and other essential components of friendship will be built.
Rule 2. Positive qualities development
If a person believe that he / she is able to have friends, he should develop such qualities as courage, fortitude, willpower, stamina, and many others. All together these and other qualities form a strong, stable and integrated personality. If man managed to become such a personality, you can always trust and rely on him / her, what is one of the most important signs of friendship.
Rule 3. Help
Whatever happens, a true friend just has come to the rescue of his friend and help in any possible way. It should not depend on location, busyness, mood or desire. If you know that your friend is in need or needs serious help, you do not have other choice except of helping him in spite of any difficulties.
Rule 4. Self-sacrifice
This rule is perhaps the most important. Partially it deals with the issue of mutual help that we have talked about. But in this case it has other more extend meaning. Self-sacrifice means that a true friend appreciates friendship and other person’s life even more than his own. So in extreme cases, when a friend’s life is in danger, other friend is ready to do everything possible to safe him / her.
These rules and qualities should be followed, let’s say, subconsciously. It means you realize or do not realize them. It can not be like this: “Since today I am a good friend, I will believe in friendship, develop positive qualities, always help and sacrifice my life for a friend”. A person should have all these features, because in such a way he / she expresses attitude towards other people, especially those whom he / she considers to be friends.
So let’s sum up. Real friendship requires mutual efforts. People if they are friends should correctly treat each other, feel mutual liking and desire to help and support each other. In addition such relationships should be kept from both sides. It is very important to feel need in communication, call each other, meet and make some common plans.
However there are cases of unusual friendship. People can make perfect friends having met on the Internet and without seeing each other in real life. Some people keep their friendship on distance. Such friends may not see each other for several months but still their friendship is very strong.
Always remember about your friends wherever you are and wherever they are. Keep in touch with them, let them know that you appreciate them. And the most important is: be ready to be there in any expected and unexpected situation.
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