The Story of Friendship
The story of friendship is almost the same story as that of love. As with any form of human relations, there are the myths and stereotypes of what is ideal and what is necessary for a relationship to grow and prosper. What are the ingredients of a truly lasting friendship? Why are friends a necessary component of human existence? Let us explore for a moment.
Dotting the ‘i’s
«Friendship» is defined, in the Oxford dictionary, as a relationship based on mutual trust, affection and common interests. Different definitions of the word draw out the most important features of friendship, like selflessness and a sincere affection for the other, bordering on love. Interestingly, the word «branch» comes from the ancient Greek term for friendly love. There is also the ability to sacrifice something, to do something for the sake of each other and mutual frankness.
Friends often act as our social «mirror» (the other «I») on the basis of similarities or contrasts.
Relationships with them help us to open ourselves up.
In contrast to the part of friendship that involves joy, mutuality and a good time without any unforeseen obligation, friendship also entails a number of consequences. Still, these obligations, in a true friendship, are rarely seen or perceived as a burden. Rather, there is a certain delight in pleasing the other person and further cementing the bedrock of friendship that exists. It is little different from taking care of their family members. We must remember that family and friends are not antonyms. On the contrary, for a normal couple, friendships are very much recommended as a cure for boredom and complacency.
Whether it is necessary
Psychological studies show that, yes, friendships are very necessary. People who communicate with friends receive a qualitatively different pleasure from life than those people who are completely lonely and only come into contact with their relatives. At the same time, in friendship (as in love), the heart can not command. Thus, if there is no one really close, looking for substitutes for friendship is meaningless. As a recommendation, it makes sense to work on openness and communication, especially at work, so that when you arrive at that social event or club, you will be better able to attract that person who could become a good and trustworthy friend.
How long can it last?
Some people believe that the lifespan of a friendship is about seven years. Family psychologist and director of the Centre «Assistance», Anna Khnikin, does not believe that friendships (like love) have any time limit. In fact, as long as people want and cherish their relationships, these relationships will continue to exist.
What are friends for?
The answer to this question will be as different as the answer to the question of what you most prefer for breakfast. The need depends on the friend’s temperament, character, personal experience, age (teenagers may have a hundred friends), gender (women are usually have more friends and girlfriends), the amount of free time and the desire to communicate and to invest in a relationship so that it will last.
However, as concluded by the results of nationwide surveys by American psychologist and researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in terms of happiness, if a person has five or more friends with whom he/she is willing to share important issues, he/she is significantly more likely (60%) to feel very happy. A British scientist, Richard Tunney, of Nottingham University estimated that those lucky enough to have ten or more friends are happier still than those who have five friends.
Finnish social scientists have concluded that more than 150 real contacts, at least online (or even offline), is simply impossible to support properly by any one person. However, the study took into account daily, periodic and quite rare communions and did not separate its data from the friends and relatives category.
I think it is, by and large, still not in quantity, but, of course, quality where true friendship is cultivated. If we talk about the «most real» friendship, comprising trust, sincerity, love and selflessness, it is unlikely to be a common thing in anybody’s life. Make every real friendship a diamond in your heart and a blossom in your soul. You will never regret it.