What true friendship means
Today we have lost the true meaning of friendship. We confuse it with many different types of relationships: people we see from time to time, those with whom we exchange chats, and “virtual” friends.
Especially the use of social media has helped create a fictitious concept of friendship. A “Friend” is one who puts a “like” to the messages we publish. He or she does not count the quality of the friendship but the number, and boasts about a social page with so many likes that he is automatically considered a person with many “friends”.
But friendship, the true one, is something else.
The meaning of “true friendship”
We can define friendship as the “mutual affection, constant and active, between person and person, born from a choice that takes into account the conformity of wills or characters and a prolonged custom.”
Friendship is a choice. A motivated preference that we accord to one person rather than to a thousand others.
Friendship is a similarity of character, of shared values, and of intentions.
Friendship is sharing that comes from similarity, it is comparison and commitment in pursuing common goals.
Friendship is a feeling, an aspect of inner life that falls within the sphere of affections and emotions, is not rational and is not controllable but is spontaneous and avoids reason.
It is an equal relationship, based on respect, sincerity, trust, esteem and mutual availability.
Why do we need a friend?
A friend is someone who stands by you, who understands you, who puts up with you and supports you. If it is true that even alone we can feel well, the risk is that our mind is entirely occupied by our thoughts isolating us from the rest of the world. A friend is a way to maintain contact with the outside.
How long does it take to become friends?
A study of the University of Kansas published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships quantifies:
- 50 hours is the time we need to spend with someone to have an occasional friendship,
- 90 hours is the time needed to talk about friendship, and
- 200 hours is the time to spend together to be able to say we have a true friend.
How to build a friendship
Building a true and lasting relationship of friendship will take time, interest, sincerity and nearness. Time to spend together, to dedicate to the other, interest in listening and sincerity in confronting, closeness to make projects and to give life to an intimacy that is typical of the relationships of deeper friendship.
How long does friendship last?
It’s hard to tell. Like any human experience, friendship responds to a need that we feel in a specific time of our life, dictated by circumstances, by specific needs. Evolutions in life involve changes in both our way of thinking and our needs. This can cause people who have shared with us an important part of our lives, at some point to become far away from us.
It will remain a good memory of a piece of the road made together, gratitude for the role played by the other in our lives. Maybe nostalgia. But they are natural stages of life.
When friendship is forever
If the idea of losing your best friend makes you sad, don’t worry! A very encouraging study from the University of Texas says that friendship can be eternal! The examination of 7600 couples of friends has shown that a friendship can be considered indestructible if it exceeds the duration of 8 years. From this moment, in fact, the “evaluation phase“ ends. There are clearly reduced clashes and friendship can be considered as definitely acquired.