Friendship. Even the least social among us occasionally needs friendship. Aristotle said: “What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” Aristotle #quote Click To Tweet That is a tall order for a friendship. But, so often, through no fault of our own, we find that we are alone in life. Maybe because of a divorce, a break up, moving to a new city, or having your friends move or even pass away… suddenly you find you are alone.
Suddenly, you realize that you have no friends or few friends. As an adult, it is hard to admit to yourself or other people that you don’t have friends and it can be even harder to figure out how to make new friends because old strategies no longer work. For example, you cannot just walk up to another adult and say, “Hi. Wanna play?” Well, you can, but the results may not be what you hope for.
In this series of articles, I will explore these topics:
This article covers the topic of what is a friend? In the next articles, I will cover:
- How to Make Friends: Meeting People
- The Fundamentals of Meeting People and Where to Meet People.
- The Keys to Developing a Friendship after Meeting Someone You Like.
- The Secrets to Strengthening and Holding onto Friendships so that they Last.
What is a Friend?
Before you even begin looking for new friends, it is important to evaluate what you want and need out of a friendship as well as what you have to offer. It is also important to think about what friendship means to you. If you like, you can take a few minutes now and get a pen and paper (or open up a Word document or notepad) and write down ten qualities you look for and/or admire in other people. Then list ten positive qualities you possess (this part is usually harder, but I am sure you can do it!).
Another thing to consider is what you do not want in a friendship. What are some deal breakers for you? You can, if you like, take a few moments to list a few deal breakers. Everyone has faults and it is important not to dismiss people simply for being human, but you have the right to feel safe and secure in a friendship.
Qualities to Look For in a Friend
Here are some general qualities that are healthy to look for in a friendship:
- the person is someone you like, respect, and trust, and who also likes, respects and trusts you in return.
- someone who accepts you for who you are and allows room for you to grow and change
- someone who is genuinely happy when you succeed and sad when negative things occur in your life
- a person who is able to listen to you as well as talk to you, someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing both joy and sadness
- someone nonjudgmental, compassionate, and empathetic
- someone who does not take advantage of you
Friendships come in many different forms. Some people are people we find easy to get along with. Others might be people we share an interest with. In other cases we may share a cultural heritage or a shared experience. If you currently have few or no friendships, you may be tempted to become friends with people who actually are not a very good fit for you.
Sometimes, friendships like that can be okay for brief periods of time to fill the gap, but, ultimately, don’t settle. There are over seven billion people on this planet and rising. You may feel very alone and like you are the only one who feels that way, but, trust me, you are not. If you search, you will find people who are kindred spirits, who think like you or at least accept you as you are and warmly and compassionately encourage your growth and development while you do the same for them.