Last modified on June 3, 2024, at 03:37

Friendship

Christian friends at Gateway Camp

Friendship describes the relationship between two people have a large degree of affection and respect for each other. Typically, friends will enjoy the company of each other on a regular basis, and provide assistance if one is in need. Friendships tend to be formed either as a result of an ongoing requirement for people to be in contact with each other (for example at church, work, and school) or as the result of common interests.

The Book of Genesis records God indicating “It is not good for the man to be alone." (Genesis 2:18). Friendships and other relationships such as family/romantic relationships are extremely important for one's well-being (See also, Physical and psychological effects of loneliness).[1]

Friendships often have different levels based on trust and the strength of the feelings between those involved. A casual friendship, in which participants usually do not feel great amounts of affection towards each other, is often known as an acquaintanceship. In contrast, a relationship involving great depths of trust and warmth, often developed over a long period of time, is referred to as a close friendship, and its participants may be known as "best friends" (this term is somewhat inaccurate, as in modern society someone is able to have many best friends, thus negating the comparative adjective). At its peak, a close friendship is akin to love, and indeed friendship is an important part of any monotonous relationship.

The importance of friendships on one's physical and psychological well-being

Friendship building skills

See also: Empathy and Agreeableness

People build friendships in both leisure and work situations.

Building strong personal relationships

Building strong work relationships

Loss of friendships and growing loneliness, social isolation and unhappiness in the United States

Loneliness has been linked to many physical and mental health problems.[2]

See also: Loneliness and Happiness

David B. Brooks in his 2023 book entitled How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen wrote about loneliness:

I’ve been writing as if we live in a healthy cultural environment, in a society in which people are enmeshed in thick communities and webs of friendship, trust, and belonging. We don’t live in such a society. We live in an environment in which political animosities, technological dehumanization, and social breakdown undermine connection, strain friendships, erase intimacy, and foster distrust. We’re living in the middle of some sort of vast emotional, relational, and spiritual crisis. It is as if people across society have lost the ability to see and understand one another, thus producing a culture that can be brutalizing and isolating.

The percentage of Americans who said they have no close friends quadrupled between 1990 and 2020. In one survey, 54 percent of Americans reported that no one knows them well. The number of American adults without a romantic partner increased by a third. More to the point, 36 percent of Americans reported that they felt lonely frequently or almost all of the time, including 61 percent of young adults and 51 percent of young mothers. People were spending much more time alone.

In 2013, Americans spent an average of six and a half hours per week with friends. By 2019, they were spending only four hours per week with friends, a 38 percent drop. By 2021, as the Covid-19 pandemic was easing, they were spending only two hours and forty-five minutes per week with friends, a 58 percent decline. The General Social Survey asks Americans to rate their happiness levels. Between 1990 and 2018, the share of Americans who put themselves in the lowest happiness category increased by more than 50 percent...

The effects of this are ruinous and self-reinforcing. Social disconnection warps the mind. When people feel unseen, they tend to shut down socially. People who are lonely and unseen become suspicious. They start to take offense where none is intended. They become afraid of the very thing they need most, which is intimate contact with other humans. They are buffeted by waves of self-loathing and self-doubt. After all, it feels shameful to realize that you are apparently unworthy of other people’s attention. Many people harden into their solitude. They create self-delusional worlds. “Loneliness obfuscates,” the interdisciplinary scientist Giovanni Frazzetto writes in his book Together, Closer. “It becomes a deceiving filter through which we see ourselves, others, and the world. It makes us more vulnerable to rejection, and it heightens our general level of vigilance and insecurity in social situations.” We see ourselves as others see us, and when we feel invisible, well, we have a tendency to fall to pieces...

Sadness, lack of recognition, and loneliness turn into bitterness. When people believe that their identity is unrecognized, it feels like injustice—because it is. People who have been treated unjustly often lash out, seek ways to humiliate those who they feel have humiliated them. Loneliness thus leads to meanness. As the saying goes, pain that is not transformed gets transmitted. The data I just cited about social isolation and sadness is, no surprise, accompanied by other sorts of data about rising hostility and callousness. In 2021, hate-crime reports surged to their highest levels in twelve years. In 2000, roughly two-thirds of Americans gave to charity; by 2021, fewer than half did. One restaurant owner recently told me that he has to ban somebody from his place for rude behavior almost every week these days. That didn’t use to happen. A friend of mine who is a nurse says her number one problem is retaining staff. Her nurses want to quit because the patients have become so abusive, even violent. As the columnist Peggy Noonan put it, “People are proud of their bitterness now.” The social breakdown manifests as a crisis of distrust. Two generations ago, roughly 60 percent of Americans said that “most people can be trusted.” By 2014, according the General Social Survey, only 30.3 percent did, and only 19 percent of millennials. High-trust societies have what Francis Fukuyama calls “spontaneous sociability,” meaning that people are quick to get together and work together. Low-trust societies do not have this. Low-trust societies fall apart. Distrust sows distrust. It creates a feeling that the only person you can count on is yourself. Distrustful people assume that others are out to get them, they exaggerate threats, they fall for conspiracy theories that explain the danger they feel.[3]

Liberals and friendship

See also: Liberals and friendship

Michael Medved observed that in Hollywood, "There are no movies in the recent past that send overt unapologetic conservative messages. Why? Because anybody who attempted to do that would be criticized [and] ostracized socially, if not commercially, in the Hollywood community."[4]

Liberals often make approval of liberal values a condition of friendship. Someone in a "liberal friendship" can expect loss of the friendship if he dares to express dismay or disapproval of the liberal values. For example, Nobel laureate Ronald Coase described how he was victimized by disparaging whispers at cocktail parties about his conservative economic positions.[5]

Atheism and loneliness

See also: Atheism and loneliness and Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence According to an international study done by William Bainbridge, atheism is common among people whose interpersonal social obligations are weak and is also connected to lower fertility rates in advanced industrial nations (See also: Atheism and fertility rates).[6] See also: Atheism and loneliness and Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence

Compared to religious cultures where an extended family and a sense of community often exists, secular countries are often lonelier societies. In addition, numerous studies and other data indicate that atheists often have lower emotional intelligence and lower social skills (see: Atheism and emotional intelligence and Atheism and social skills). The atheist activist Seth Andrews candidly admitted: "Religion does community and activism and it does it really well."[7]

According to an international study done by William Bainbridge, atheism is common among people whose interpersonal social obligations are weak and is also connected to lower fertility rates in advanced industrial nations (See also: Atheism and fertility rates).[8]

See also: Atheism and loneliness

The Filipino value of pakikisama

Flag of the Philippines

See also: Interpersonal skills

The Philippines is a country of many people. And one of the core values of Filipinos is having smooth interpersonal relations.

Pakikisama is a basic tendency for Filipinos, and is expressed in their private lives, their public workplaces, and in their relationship with their neighbors. According to the results of a survey, the Filipino trait most important to Filipinos is pakikisama. Pakikisama refers to an interpersonal relationship where people are friendly with each other. To be with someone and to get along with each other indicates basic human friendliness and affinity.

Journal articles on friendship

Books

  • How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen by David Brooks. Random House (October 24, 2023)

Quotes

Marcus Tullius Cicero

See also: Quotes on friendship

  • "Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief" — Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • "Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose." — Tennessee Williams
  • "The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "To friendship every burden's light." - Aesop
  • "Never leave a friend behind. Friends are all we have to get us through this life—and they are the only things from this world that we could hope to see in the next." - Dean Koontz
  • "Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything." — Muhammad Ali
  • "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." — Henry Ford
  • "Things are never quite as scary when you've got a best friend" — Bill Watterson
  • "The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by, the doubling of our joy, and diving of our grief;" — Joseph Addison
  • "Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves" — Vincent Van Gogh
  • "Friendship isn't a big thing--it's a million little things" — Paulo Coelho
  • "I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light." - Helen Keller
  • "For it would then be true friendship, such as no hope, no fear, no self-interest can sever. That is a friendship that stays with people until they die—and that people die for." — Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • "The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, 'What? You too? I thought I was the only one.'…But as long as each of these percipient persons dies without finding a kindred soul, nothing (I suspect) will come of it; art or sport or spiritual religion will not be born. It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision—it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in immense solitude." — C.S. Lewis
  • "What I realize now in hindsight is that there is a natural ebb and flow to friendships. There are times you think there's nothing left between you, that you've hit the bottom, but the special ones survive, find ways of restoring themselves." — Colette McBeth
  • “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” - C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
  • “Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead. Walk beside me… just be my friend.' - Albert Camus
  • “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” - Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
  • "Think about your high school alumni Imagine there is one girl who laughs and smiles all the time to everybody, is never down and always helpful to others. Another one is always making a sad face and hardly does anything good for other people. Years later, who will be remembered? When you want to make friends with that person, even though everything about you is bad, you try very hard to find something good in you and bring that to her. You bring your most precious secret that you never told another person, and tell it to her to make friends. True?" - Rev. Sun Myung Moon, In Yun and Encounter

See also

External links

Videos:

References

  1. Brooks, David. How to Know a Person (p. 97-101). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  2. Multiple references:
    • Gammon, Katherine (March 2, 2012). "Why loneliness can be deadly". Live Science website.
    • Booth, Robert (October 12, 2014). "Number of severely lonely men over 50 set to rise to 1m in 15 years", The Guardian.
  3. Brooks, David. How to Know a Person (p. 97-101). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  4. https://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,148108,00.html
  5. Thomas W. Hazlett. "Looking For Results". Reason January 1997.
  6. Bainbridge, William (2005). "Atheism" (PDF). Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 1 (Article 2): 1–26.
  7. Atheism, loneliness and depression, Examining Atheism
  8. Bainbridge, William (2005). "Atheism" (PDF). Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 1 (Article 2): 1–26.