What Is Friendship?

The older I get, the more life experiences I have been exposed to, the more I ponder upon the definition of friendship.  So what exactly is friendship?friendship-1

Definition of Friendship

Friendship may be defined as the relationship you have established with someone or a group of people that transcends time, space, social and economic status, gender, age and culture. My dear friend eloquently defines “friend” as: “The very definition of a friend is ‘a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard’. That definition also implies unconditional support”.

There is a long continuum on the scale of friendship from the casual acquaintance to soul mate.  Despite the above definition on transcendence of time and space, friendship does evolve and revolve with both elements.  I can’t recall how many friends I’ve lost due to the separation of time and space.  The contrary is also true.  I’ve bumped into my middle-school mate from China in a small Chinese grocery store in St. Louis after 15 years without knowing each other’s whereabouts.

I know I am one of the many people who casually lump acquaintances into friendship.  The best part is that whenever there is a major change in your life, tragic or comic, you will be able to crystallize and delineate the levels of friendship with unmistakable clarity.

Definition Revisited

Here is my revised definition of friendship:

  1. You laugh together.
  2. You cry together.
  3. You shop together (for those of you like me being a shop-alcoholic).
  4. You cook a meal together and eat till you are in a complete food coma.  All you can do is to lie down to make more room in your stomach.
  5. You have plenty of history and anecdotes to share, especially those hard times in life or at work.
  6. You would be thrilled by the success and happiness your friend has achieved as if they were your own.
  7. You would provide a shoulder for your friend to cry on when he/she is going through a tough time in life.
  8. You will challenge each other if there is a moral and ethical issue.
  9. You will share your hopes and dreams; disappointment and despair.
  10. You will encourage each other to grow professionally, emotionally and spiritually.
  11. You will let yourself be vulnerable in front of your friend.
  12. You will trust that a true friend will always have your best interest/welfare at heart.

How Could I Ever Repay You?

For those of you who laughed and giggled with me, who cried for me and with me, I owe you my heart-felt thanks.  I feel very privileged to have met and made so many friends throughout my life and you have made my heart incredibly full.

The question I’d like to challenge everyone to think about is:

Is it more difficult to build OR maintain friendship?

2 Responses to “What Is Friendship?”
  1. Lani Rae Garcia Says:

    If you’re a true friend, maintenance is a forgone conclusion. Building friendship, i.e. giving effortlessly more and more is more difficult.
    You need to keep reaching in yourself to keep giving. Giving is an
    endless beginning.

    Just My Humble Opinion

  2. Ann Says:

    I want to add that the definition may be different for different friends. I once had a friend tell me that I was not a good friend because she expected her friends to go shopping, go to the movies and various other activites. These are two things I absolutely hate. I thought about this for a long time if I was a bad friend. Then I thought that we have different friends for different reason and we should not expect each friend to satisfy all our needs.

    I have my friends I exercise with. I have my friends I scrapbook with. I have my friends I travel with. I have my friends that involve activities with our children or my husband and so on. I don’t expect my scrapbooking friends to go on a 30 mile bike ride or my scrapbooking friends to hang out with me and my son at the zoo. I cherish each friend for the reason we are friends.