True Friendship Essay

500 words true friendship essay.

Friendship is an essential part of everyone’s lives. One cannot do without friends, we must have some friends to make life easier. However, lucky are those who get true friendship in life. It is not the same as friendship. True friendship is when the person stays by you through thick and thin. Through true friendship essay, we will look at what it means and its importance.

true friendship essay

Importance of True Friendship

Friendship has a significant value in our lives. It is responsible for teaching us a lot of unforgettable lessons. Some are even life-changing so we must cherish friendship. It is not common to find true friendship in life.

But when you do, make sure to hold on tightly to it. True friendship teaches us how to love others who are not our family. Ultimately, our friends also become our family. A true friendship makes life easy and gives us good times.

Thus, when the going gets tough, we depend on our friends for solace. Sometimes, it is not possible to share everything with family , that is where friends come in. We can share everything with them without the fear of being judged.

Moreover, true friendship also results in good memories. You spend time with friends and enjoy it to the fullest, later on, the same moments become beautiful memories. Only a true friendship will cheer on you and help you do better in life.

Through true friendship, we learn about loyalty and reliability. When you have a true friend by your side, nothing can stop you. Your confidence enhances and you become happier in life. Thus, it changes our life for the better and keeps us happy.

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Maintaining True Friendship

While it is lucky to get true friendship in life, it is also important to maintain this friendship so that one does not lose out on it. A time comes when we separate from our true friends, but one shouldn’t let distance act as a barrier.

It is essential to keep in touch with your friends so they know you are there for them. Most importantly, we must give our friends the love and respect they deserve. It is essential to treat them nicely so they never forget their worth.

Further, we must also remain honest with our friends. If you do not offer them all this, your friendship may begin to fade. Thus, make sure to pour equal shares of love, respect and honesty.

Conclusion of True Friendship Essay

Thus, we must never rush to make friends. Remember, true friendship cannot be faked. It will need a good foundation. So, a true friendship accepts the person for who they are instead of changing them. A true friendship will never have an ulterior motive, it will always offer selflessly.

FAQ on True Friendship Essay

Question 1: What are the signs of true friendship?

Answer 1: The signs of a true friendship are that they will accept you for who you are instead of trying to change you. Similarly, they will be there for you in good and bad times. They will celebrate your achievements and push you to do better if you fail. Most importantly, they will tell you the truth even if you don’t like it.

Question 2: Who is a true friend?

Answer 2: A true friend is someone who is always completely honest. Moreover, even if we don’t talk to them every day, we know they will be there for us. Thus, silence never gets awkward with them. We may not talk to them or see them for a long time, but when we meet them, it will be like old times.

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Essays About Friendships: Top 6 Examples and 8 Prompts

Friendships are one of life’s greatest gifts. To write a friendship essay, make this guide your best friend with its essays about friendships plus prompts.

Every lasting relationship starts with a profound friendship. The foundations that keep meaningful friendships intact are mutual respect, love, laughter, and great conversations. Our most important friendships can support us in our most trying times. They can also influence our life for the better or, the worse, depending on the kind of friends we choose to keep. 

As such, at an early age, we are encouraged to choose friends who can promote a healthy, happy and productive life. However, preserving our treasured friendships is a lifelong process that requires investments in time and effort.

6 Informative Essay Examples

1. the limits of friendships by maria konnikova, 2. friendship by ralph waldo emerson, 3. don’t confuse friendships and business relationships by jerry acuff, 4. a 40-year friendship forged by the challenges of busing by thomas maffai, 5. how people with autism forge friendships by lydia denworth, 6.  friendships are facing new challenges thanks to the crazy cost of living by habiba katsha , 1. the importance of friendship in early childhood development, 2. what makes a healthy friendship, 3. friendships that turn into romance, 4. long-distance friendship with social media, 5. dealing with a toxic friendship, 6. friendship in the workplace, 7. greatest friendships in literature, 8. friendships according to aristotle .

…”[W]ithout investing the face-to-face time, we lack deeper connections to them, and the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones.”

Social media is challenging the Dunbar number, proving that our number of casual friends runs to an average of 150. But as we expand our social base through social media, experts raise concerns about its effect on our social skills, which effectively develop through physical interaction.

“Friendship requires that rare mean betwixt likeness and unlikeness, that piques each with the presence of power and of consent in the other party.”

The influential American essayist Emerson unravels the mysteries behind the divine affinity that binds a friendship while laying down the rules and requirements needed to preserve the fellowship. To Emerson, friendship should allow a certain balance between agreement and disagreement. You might also be interested in these articles about best friends .

“Being friendly in business is necessary but friendships in business aren’t. That’s an important concept. We can have a valuable business relationship without friendship. Unfortunately, many mistakenly believe that the first step to building a business relationship is to develop a friendship.”

This essay differentiates friends from business partners. Using an anecdote, the essay warns against investing too much emotion and time in building friendships with business partners or customers, as such an approach may be futile in increasing sales.

“As racial tensions mounted around them, Drummer and Linehan developed a close connection—one that bridged their own racial differences and has endured more than four decades of evolving racial dynamics within Boston’s schools. Their friendship als­o served as a public symbol of racial solidarity at a time when their students desperately needed one.”

At a time when racial discrimination is at its highest, the author highlights a friendship they built and strengthened at the height of tensions during racial desegregation. This friendship proves that powerful interracial friendships can still be forged and separate from the politics of race.

“…15-year-old Massina Commesso worries a lot about friendship and feeling included. For much of her childhood, Massina had a neurotypical best friend… But as they entered high school, the other friend pulled away, apparently out of embarrassment over some of Massina’s behavior.”

Research debunks the myth that people with autism naturally detest interaction — evidence suggests the opposite. Now, research is shedding more light on the unique social skills of people with autism, enabling society to find ways to help them find true friendships. 

“The cost of living crisis is affecting nearly everyone, with petrol, food and electricity prices all rising. So understandably, it’s having an impact on our friendships too.”

People are now more reluctant to dine out with friends due to the rapidly rising living costs. Friendships are being tested as friends need to adjust to these new financial realities and be more creative in cultivating friendships through lower-cost get-togethers.

8 Topic Prompts on Essays About Friendships

Essays About Friendships: The importance of friendship in early childhood development

More than giving a sense of belonging, friendships help children learn to share and resolve conflicts. First, find existing research linking the capability to make and keep friends to one’s social, intellectual, and emotional development. 

Then, write down what schools and households can do to reinforce children’s people skills. Here, you can also tackle how they can help children with learning, communication, or behavioral difficulties build friendships, given how their conditions interfere with their capabilities and interactions. 

As with plants, healthy friendships thrive on fertile soil. In this essay, list the qualities that make “fertile soil” and explain how these can grow the seeds of healthy friendships. Some examples include mutual respect and the setting of boundaries. 

Then, write down how you should water and tend to your dearest friendships to ensure that it thrives in your garden of life. You can also discuss your healthy friendships and detail how these have unlocked the best version of yourself. 

Marrying your best friend is a romance story that makes everyone fall in love. However, opening up about your feelings for your best friend is risky. For this prompt, collate stories of people who boldly made the first step in taking their friendship to a new level.

Hold interviews to gather data and ask them the biggest lesson they learned and what they can share to help others struggling with their emotions for their best friend. Also, don’t forget to cite relevant data, such as this study that shows several romantic relationships started as friendships. 

Essays About Friendships: Long-distance friendship with social media

It’s challenging to sustain a long-distance friendship. But many believe that social media has narrowed that distance through an online connection. In your essay, explain the benefits social media has offered in reinforcing long-distance friendships. 

Determine if these virtual connections suffice to keep the depth of friendships. Make sure to use studies to support your argument. You can also cite studies with contrasting findings to give readers a holistic view of the situation.

It could be heartbreaking to feel that your friend is gradually becoming a foe. In this essay, help your readers through this complicated situation with their frenemies by pointing out red flags that signal the need to sever ties with a friend. Help them assess when they should try saving the friendship and when they should walk away. Add a trivial touch to your essay by briefly explaining the origins of the term “frenemies” and what events reinforced its use. 

We all know that there is inevitable competition in the workplace. Added to this are the tensions between managers and employees. So can genuine friendships thrive in a workplace? To answer this, turn to the wealth of experience and insights of long-time managers and human resource experts. 

First, describe the benefits of fostering friendships in the workplace, such as a deeper connection in working toward shared goals, as well as the impediments, such as inherent competition among colleagues. Then, dig for case studies that prove or disprove the relevance and possibility of having real friends at work.

Whether it be the destructive duo like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, or the hardworking pair of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, focus on a literary friendship that you believe is the ultimate model of friendship goals. 

Narrate how the characters met and the progression of their interactions toward becoming a friendship. Then, describe the nature of the friendship and what factors keep it together. 

In Book VIII of his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle writes about three kinds of friendships: pleasure, utility, and virtue. Dive deeper into the Greek philosopher’s mind and attempt to differentiate his three types of friendships. 

Point out ideas he articulated most accurately about friendship and parts you disagree with. For one, Aristotle refutes the concept that friendships are necessarily built on likeness alone, hence his classification of friendships. Do you share his sentiments? 

Read our Grammarly review before you submit your essay to make sure it is error-free! Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead.

real friendship essay

Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.

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125 Friendship Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

When you have a good friendship topic, essay writing becomes as easy as it gets. We have some for you!

📝 Friendship Essay Structure

🏆 best friendship topic ideas & essay examples, 💡 good essay topics on friendship, 🎓 simple & easy friendship essay titles, 📌 most interesting friendship topics to write about, ❓ research questions about friendship.

Describing a friend, talking about your relationship and life experiences can be quite fun! So, take a look at our topics on friendship in the list below. Our experts have gathered numerous ideas that can be extremely helpful for you. And don’t forget to check our friendship essay examples via the links.

Writing a friendship essay is an excellent way to reflect on your relationships with other people, show your appreciation for your friends, and explore what friendship means to you. What you include in your paper is entirely up to you, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t structure it properly. Here is our advice on structuring an essay on friendship:

  • Begin by selecting the right topic. It should be focused and creative so that you can earn a high mark. Think about what friendship means to you and write down your thoughts. Reflect on your relationship with your best friend and see if you can write an essay that incorporates these themes. If these steps didn’t help – don’t worry! Fortunately, there are many web resources that can help you choose. Browse samples of friendship essays online to see if there are any topics that interest you.
  • Create a title that reflects your focus. Paper titles are important because they grasp the reader’s attention and make them want to read further. However, many people find it challenging to name their work, so you can search for friendship essay titles online if you need to.
  • Once you get the first two steps right, you can start developing the structure of your essay. An outline is a great tool because it presents your ideas in a clear and concise manner and ensures that there are no gaps or irrelevant points. The most basic essay outline has three components: introduction, body, and conclusion. Type these out and move to the next step. Compose an introduction. Your introduction should include a hook, some background information, and a thesis. A friendship essay hook is the first sentence in the introduction, where you draw the reader’s attention. For instance, if you are creating an essay on value of friendship, include a brief description of a situation where your friends helped you or something else that comes to mind. A hook should make the reader want to read the rest of the essay. After the hook, include some background information on your chosen theme and write down a thesis. A thesis statement is the final sentence of the first paragraph that consists of your main argument.
  • Write well-structured body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should start with one key point, which is then developed through examples, references to resources, or other content. Make sure that each of the key points relates to your thesis. It might be useful to write out all of your key points first before you write the main body of the paper. This will help you to see if any of them are irrelevant or need to be swapped to establish a logical sequence. If you are composing an essay on the importance of friendship, each point should show how a good friend can make life better and more enjoyable. End each paragraph with a concluding sentence that links it to the next part of the paper.
  • Finally, compose a conclusion. A friendship essay conclusion should tie together all your points and show how they support your thesis. For this purpose, you should restate your thesis statement at the beginning of the final paragraph. This will offer your reader a nice, well-balanced closure, leaving a good impression of your work.

We hope that this post has assisted you in understanding the basic structure of a friendship paper. Don’t forget to browse our website for sample papers, essay titles, and other resources!

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  • Friendship in the Film “The Breakfast Club” The main themes which can be identified in the storyline are crisis as a cause and catalyst of friendship, friendship and belonging, and disclosure and intimacy in friendship.
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  • The Importance of Friendship in “The Epic of Gilgamesh” At the beginning of the story, Gilgamesh, the king of the Sumerian city of Uruk, despite achievements in the development of the town, causes the dislike of his subjects.
  • Trust Aspect of Friendship: Qualitative Study Given the previous research on preserving close communication and terminating it, the authors seek to examine the basics of productive friendship and the circumstances that contribute to the end of the interaction.
  • Analysis of Internet Friendship Issues Despite the correlation that develops on the internet, the question of whether social media can facilitate and guarantee the establishment of a real friend has remained a key area of discussion.
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  • What Is the Meaning of True Friendship
  • A Literary Analysis of Friendship in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Factors Contributing to the Ups and Downs of Friendship in Knowles’ A Separate Peace
  • Friendship and Love in the Little Prince
  • Confidantes, Marriage, and Friendship in Pride and Prejudice
  • What Makes A Successful Friendship
  • Understanding Friendship Through The Staircase Model
  • An Analysis of Friendship and Rejection in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • A Discussion on the Different Types of Friendship
  • An Analysis of Friendship in Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • A Literary Analysis of Friendship in a Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • An Analysis of the Concept of Friendship in A Separate Piece by John Knowles
  • A Separate Peace and Of Mice and Men – Real Friendship
  • The Theme of True Friendship in the Book of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • The Value of Friendship in Great Expectations
  • What Makes A Good Friendship
  • The Theme of Friendship in Separate Ways by Higuchi Ichiyo and Uncanny Stories by SongLing
  • Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism
  • The Waltz Of Sociability : Intimacy, Dislocation And Friendship
  • The True Meaning of the Word Friendship
  • A Description of Impartiality, Beneficence and Friendship According to Lawrence Blum
  • Aristotle ‘s Views On Friendship
  • Friendship and Courage in The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • An Analysis of Friendship and Loyalty in the Film The Deer Hunter
  • Turning Away from True Friendship
  • Different Types of Friendship and The Need for Friends
  • An Analysis of the Dangers of Friendship
  • The Victorian Female Friendship and Homosexual References in Emily Dickinson’s Work
  • What Is Friendship And How Is God Man ‘s Best Friend?
  • The Venerable Kassapa Thera: A Living Symbol of Dedication, Courage, Altruism and Intimate Friendship
  • “The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds” by Michael Lewis
  • Building from Happiness to Friendship
  • What Do You Think Steinbeck Says About the Theme of Friendship in of Mice and Men
  • Distributive Justice and the Problem of Friendship
  • How Does Shakespeare Demonstrate That Love and Friendship Can Overcome Greed in the Merchant of Venice?
  • Does Borrowing Money From Friends Harm Friendship?
  • Can Friendship Be Defined by Any Scientific Criteria?
  • How Can Enduring Happiness Arise From Friendship?
  • Does Campus Diversity Promote Friendship Diversity?
  • Is There Any Objection to the Teacher Establishing a Friendship Relationship With the Students?
  • How Do Children Cope With Friendship and Death After Reading Charlottes Web?
  • Does Ragging Develop Friendship?
  • How Does Shakespeare Create Friendship?
  • Should Becoming Friends With Benefits Ruin Your Friendship?
  • How Does the Nature of Children’s Friendship Change With Age?
  • Do Friendships Vary Across Countries?
  • What Are Friends for and How Can a Friendship Be Tested?
  • How Does the Theme of Loneliness Affect the Friendship and Relationships in “Of Mice and Men”?
  • What Are the Elements That Build a Strong Friendship?
  • How Does Friendship Help Students Succeed in the University?
  • What Does Friendship Mean?
  • How Does Friendship Help With Your Mental Health?
  • What Does True Friendship Require?
  • How Do Friendship Network Characteristics Influence Subjective Well-Being?
  • What Was Aristotle’s Thought on Friendship?
  • How Do Friendship Networks Work in Online P2P Lending Markets?
  • Why Is Friendship Important?
  • How Has Friendship Changed Because of the Spread of Social Networking?
  • Why Does Friendship End?
  • How Do Society and Culture Affect Friendship?
  • Can Everything Be Bought for Money?
  • How Do Gamers Take the Gaming Experience, Elements Such as Friendships Outside the Game Context?
  • Do Friends Generally Have Similar Educational Interests?
  • What Individual and Country-Level Factors Might Interact With Friendship Importance to Predict Health and Well-Being?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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The Importance of Friendship

Friendships are a crucial part of living a fulfilling life..

Posted July 26, 2021 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

  • Friendship makes life more enjoyable and enriches one's everyday experiences.
  • Finding friends can be challenging but can be often achieved by approaching others with mutual interests.
  • The first criteria one should look for in a partner is someone who is ultimately a good friend to them.

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As we move through life, we find that there are many things out of our control. We can’t choose our parents, our genetics , or control the things that happen in the world around us. One thing that we can control is who our friends are, and this decision can either make our lives so much richer and beautiful, or more stressful and disappointing. Today we’ll focus on how to choose friends who enrich our lives and make them more beautiful.

Why friends are so important

Having solid friendships is important for two main reasons. First, they make life more enjoyable. We get to share the beautiful aspects of life with people who we love, which can enrich our everyday experiences. Second, our friends help us through the difficult times. Having friends to support us through hard times can make unimaginably difficult situations seem more tolerable.

The most beautiful part about pouring our time and energy into friendships is that not only do friends help enrich our lives, but we enrich theirs too! Friendships get us through the tough times in life, make things more fun and enjoyable, and all-around make our lives better. I urge you to take stock of your friendships and ask yourself if your current friends people build you up and support you, or is the friendship more one-sided?

As we explore friendships today, these are also inclusive of our partners. I believe that the foundation for any healthy relationship is friendship. So it’s important to group our romantic partners into this conversation too.

So, where do we find friends? This might sound silly, but finding friends can be challenging! When I first moved to California for my Ph.D., I didn’t have any friends out here. There were quite a few people in my program that I enjoyed spending time with. But, towards the end of school, they became very busy and were no longer able to dedicate time to hang out anymore. Thankfully, through the help of a very good therapist, I learned that it was important to enjoy life instead of striving for excellence all of the time. As a result, I learned how important it was to carve out time in my life for friends.

Unfortunately, the people I had dedicated time to thus far were achievement-oriented and were pouring their time into work and not our friendships. This forced me to seek out other ways to form connections with people. I ended up finding a local hiking group with the hopes of meeting people with similar interests. During one of these hikes, I met Jim, one of my best friends to this day.

We became instant friends. We have continued to support each other over the years, and even more importantly, we always make time for one another. We both view the friendship as one that makes each other’s lives better, therefore it’s always worth the time and energy. The backbone of any successful friendship is one where both sides put in equal effort and support.

Both Jim and I were forced to put in more effort when he moved across the country to the East Coast. Because we already had such a strong foundation, this didn’t impact our friendship. We talk all of the time and see each other several times a year. We make the relationship a priority no matter what coast each other is on. Like anything in life that is valuable to us, we must work at it and put time and effort into it.

When it's time to move on from a friendship

The second part of the friendship discussion can be a difficult one — reassessing your current friendships and potentially moving on from friends who don’t add value to your life.

Two of my best friends from high school went down different paths from me. We still keep in contact, but I don’t spend too much time with them anymore. The supporting, loving part of our relationship wasn’t there anymore, so it was no longer worth putting energy into maintaining a friendship that had changed so much.

This may be a story you can relate to. What I hope you take away from this post is this — friendships take energy, time, and commitment. And if you’re putting your time and energy into someone who isn’t enriching your life and giving you the support you need, it may be time to reevaluate that friendship.

real friendship essay

If you find yourself in the market for friends (who isn’t?) I recommend you find groups or activities that you genuinely enjoy. This way you’ll have the opportunity to connect with people who have similar interests. And once you’re there, take a risk! Talk to people, exchange contact information, and follow up with them. It may feel scary at first, but the reward outweighs the momentary uncomfortable feeling you may have.

Friendship and dating

In many ways, the most important friendship in our lives is the one we have with our romantic partners. The first criteria we should look for in this partner is someone who is ultimately a good friend to us, meaning that they are kind, positive, loving, and supportive. If we’re dating someone and they’re a jerk, it’s probably safe to assume that they’re not a good friend. To avoid this, I recommend seeking out someone who is a good friend first, i.e. before the romance and sexual stuff gets in the way.

When there are bumps in a friendship or a romantic relationship , it’s important to work through those tough times. The tricky part is that it will take two people to fix that issue. We can only control our actions and hold ourselves accountable, but we cannot control our friend or our partner's reaction. In addition to our own actions, we have control over the friends or partners that we choose in the first place. If we prioritize choosing good people who we can trust will work through issues with us, then we can work through anything.

Friendships are a crucial part of living a fulfilling life. It’s so important that we surround ourselves with people who we have fun with, who support us, and people who make us better. You may already have beautiful friendships in your life, but if you’re still in the market for friends, it’s never too late to cultivate new relationships that will make your life even more magnificent.

Robert Puff Ph.D.

Robert Puff, Ph.D. , is host and producer of the Happiness Podcast, with over 16 million downloads.

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How to make the lasting friendships you want, a new book sheds light on how important friends are for our well-being and gives advice on how to cultivate more, deeper friendships..

When I was a young adult, I loved the song “Did I Happen to Mention” by Julia Fordham. In the song, Fordham laments the potential loss of her lover and sings, “I need another good friend like I need…a hole in my head”—a sentiment I probably agreed with at the time. After all, I had lots of great friends. But compared to a romantic partner, they seemed less important somehow.


That kind of thinking may be common, but it’s very wrong-headed, writes psychologist Marisa Franco in her new book, Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends . Our friends are important to our happiness and well-being, she argues, and they often fulfill us even more than other relationships can.

“We choose our friends, which allows us to surround ourselves with people who root for us, get us, and delight in our joy,” she writes. “Through friendship, we can self-select into some of the most affirming, safe, and sacred relationships of our lives.” The benefits of having close friends in our lives are multiple, says Franco. They make us feel whole, increase our ability to be empathic, and help us to figure out who we are. Friendships are important for healthy aging , too. And they benefit society as a whole, as friendships increase trust and cross-group friendships can decrease prejudice .

real friendship essay

Yet some of us make friends more easily than others, depending partly on our “attachment style”—how secure or insecure we’ve learned to feel in relationships. If we assume we are worthy of love and trust friends to provide it (a secure attachment style), it’s likely we’ll have many warm, supportive friendships. But, if we fear abandonment from others, we may act clingingly (anxious attachment style) or act as if we don’t care and withdraw from others (avoidant attachment style). Franco helps people identify their own attachment style (or that of their friends) and gives wise advice for how to prevent an insecure attachment style from torpedoing promising relationships.

If you’re unsure how to make friends or deepen intimacy, Franco has lots of tips for you that can help. 

Take the initiative

It’s obvious that you won’t make friends if no one takes the initiative to connect. But it can seem daunting to do that, especially if you assume friendships need to happen organically, without effort (an attitude likely to stymie friendship) or people won’t like you if they get to know you (a fear that is likely overblown ).

Friendship takes effort, but it can happen in a number of ways. Franco suggests that if you’re more introverted, reconnecting with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while may work well. Or, if you’re more extroverted, you can pay attention when you experience moments of connection with new acquaintances and take a step toward building friendship—maybe asking if they’d like to get coffee sometime.

“We have to put ourselves out there and try. It’s a process of reaching out over and over again,” writes Franco.

To that end, it can be good to join groups or classes that meet more than once, so that you have multiple opportunities to take the initiative. Anticipating more regular contact with someone can be important for building friendships, too.

Increase your willingness to be vulnerable

This is an important part of friendship that too many people ignore. We feel closer to people when we are vulnerable with them, sharing our fears, insecurities, or regrets. And we can grow in intimacy by responding well when others divulge their own foibles to us.

“Understanding and feeling attuned to others’ vulnerability is a key to developing and deepening friendships—and missing those cues can jeopardize them,” says Franco.

People may be fearful that others will judge them if they share things they feel ashamed of. But research suggests the opposite —you endear yourself to others when you share intimacies with them, as long as you don’t overshare or use vulnerability to manipulate someone. This may help explain why the famous “Fast Friends” exercise, where two strangers ask and answer 36 increasingly personal questions , works so well .

One warning, though, says Franco: If you are vulnerable with someone who is avoidant, they may not react as well as you’d like. “Since they are more uncomfortable with emotion, when others are vulnerable, the intimacy, trust, and love inherent to the interaction may be eclipsed by their discomfort with feelings.”

Let people see your authentic self

Being your own authentic self, writes Franco, is when “we aren’t triggered, when we can make intentional, rather than reactive, decisions about how we want to show up in the world.” In other words, it’s not about “telling it like it is” or being brutally honest even if it means putting others down. It’s feeling safe enough to access our higher self and being congruent with our values.

For achieving more authenticity with others, Franco suggests practicing mindfulness, which helps you to access and accept your moment-to-moment experiences. In this way, you can know your inner self better and be less prone to acting defensively when you feel uncomfortable, and more resilient if someone rejects you.

However, while being authentic can build friendships, it may be difficult to be yourself when faced with prejudice. “In a perfect world, we would all be loved in our most authentic form, but in the real world, privilege plays into whose authentic self is welcomed and whose is rejected,” writes Franco. It’s important to “decouple rejection from self-condemnation” and, when necessary, to vet people before bringing your whole self to the relationship.

Be productive with your anger, when it’s needed

All close relationships can involve conflicts or hurts that need repair . So, it’s important to use anger wisely in these situations. Franco recommends letting a friend know when you’re upset with them and why, but with a focus on preserving the relationship (anger born of hope) rather than lashing out with blame or punishment (anger born of despair).

“Anger of despair is the destructive force we typically associate with anger. Anger of hope, however, is a healing force that can deepen friendships, one that we should embrace,” she writes.

That means not letting things fester, but expressing upsets by saying how much you value the friendship, using “I” statements, and admitting fault for your role in creating the conflict. Friends who work through conflict are closer because of it and have more satisfying relationships.

Act with generosity

Generosity can be the social glue that ties people together, and the same goes for friendship. People who are kind and generous are more likely to have many friends and have greater well-being.

Franco recommends performing acts of kindness to cement friendships—like sending a hand-written card, baking a treat, offering to pick up someone from the airport, or letting someone borrow a jacket. Just be sure that you aren’t sacrificing yourself by offering too much generosity to too many people. Otherwise, you may burn out—or cause your relationships to suffer .

Giving with an agenda—to make someone love you, for example—or having generosity only go in one direction probably won’t result in friendship. In those cases, it may be best to cut ties or set your expectations lower for that friendship.

On the other hand, Franco says, you do need to show up when a good friend is in crisis—even when it’s a sacrifice.

“For friendship to flourish, we need to know if we call a friend crying because we got fired from our job at the nuclear power plant, they won’t text back, ‘I am currently unavailable,’” she writes.

Show affection

As James Taylor once sang, “Shower the people you love with love. Show them the way that you feel.” That includes your friends. Showing affection is a sure way to make someone feel valued.

Yet some people may fear expressing affection for a friend, worrying that it will be unwanted or misconstrued. This may be especially true for men in cultures where homophobia is rampant or where men are raised not to feel their feelings for other men—or even women.

Still, research shows that outward expressions of caring are an important ingredient in friendship for everyone. You may need to tailor your affection to your friend’s tolerance for closeness—physical or emotional. But people like people who like them, and showing affection communicates that you like someone—while withholding it can be a relationship killer.

“The more you show affection, the more likely you are to not just make friends, but also deepen the friendships you already have,” writes Franco.

All in all, Franco’s central message is that we have the power to strengthen friendships, if only we invest in them. And it’s worth it, because when we value our friendships, we can transform our lives for the better.

“Don’t wait for a calamity to rock you into realizing friendship is priceless,” she writes. “Engrave friendship on your list. Make being a good friend a part of who you are, because a deep and true core that needs to belong lies within us all.”

About the Author

Jill suttie.

Jill Suttie, Psy.D. , is Greater Good ’s former book review editor and now serves as a staff writer and contributing editor for the magazine. She received her doctorate of psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1998 and was a psychologist in private practice before coming to Greater Good .

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What Is True Friendship?

Friendship is often defined as a relationship of mutual affection, platonic intimacy, and care between individuals. Like other relationships we have, including with family or romantic partners, friendship may have challenges. “Real” or "True” friendship can be terms used to describe healthy relationships between two or more friends. As healthy relationships contribute to mental health, many individuals may wonder how to cultivate this type of friendship.  

Healthy friendships may be long-term bonds between those with healthy boundaries, mutual respect for one another, and positive intentions. Unhealthy friendships might be formed from a desire for money, status, or another external reason. For the most part, a healthy friend is someone who respects your boundaries, remains trustworthy, and shows you empathy.

True Friendship Explained

What is true friendship? Several factors might go into a healthy friendship connection, including the following. 

True friends can show empathy to each other. Empathy is an experience of feeling the emotions of others or being able to put yourself in their shoes. By empathizing with someone, you can see why a particular situation or subject may matter to them. In a friendship, empathy might look like offering moral support during difficult times, actively listening when someone talks about their feelings, or understanding when a friend makes an honest mistake. 

Someone seeking friendship with others for impure motives might struggle to feel empathy. Friends who end connections with others due to minor mistakes or inconveniences may also see friends as disposable.

Trustworthiness

The more you spend time with someone, the more you might get to know them. Over time, you'll often learn their behavioral patterns or how they treat you and other people. Being trustworthy is one of the important qualities of a good friend . A true friend will likely not betray you, disregard your limits, or make you question yourself. They may support you when they're able, try to remain open in communication, and stick to their word.

Mutual Respect

Real friends are usually ones that have mutual respect for one another. Although both parties may not always agree, they could still admire each other and believe they're both doing their best and acting out of positive intentions. Close friends may argue or disagree at times. However, disrespect might include behaviors like: 

  • Disregarding one friend's boundaries
  • Being passive aggressive or giving the “silent treatment”
  • Abandonment
  • Making light of physical illnesses
  • Cruel jokes
  • Being late to most scheduled hangouts
  • Peer pressure 

Elements Of Friendship 

In most cases, true friendship requires empathy, trustworthiness, and mutual respect. How someone acts when they see someone else succeeding or failing can indicate how they feel about the relationship. True friends may continue to be in your life through struggles and gains as long as the relationship is healthy. 

When you're in the company of a real friend, you might feel comfortable and at ease. Frequently unpleasant emotions in the company of a specific individual could indicate an underlying issue. 

Healthy friends might also allow you to have other friends and connections. Although possessiveness might be associated with unhealthy romances, friends could also demand complete fidelity. However, connecting and building friendships with more than one person can be normal.

How Friends Behave Around Others In Their Lives 

How one behaves around the people in their life might show how they would act as a friend. An individual who gossips, spreads rumors, or complains about friends in their absences might do the same with you. In many cases, it can be unhealthy to simply accept this behavior or continue associating with that individual.

How To Find Healthy Friends

Finding trustworthy and safe friends can feel challenging if you have previously experienced unhealthy relationships. However, it may be possible. There are a few ways you can try to make healthy friends, including: 

  • Attending a social group at school, on campus, or at work 
  • Talking to coworkers at your place of employment
  • Connecting with like-minded individuals in an online social group
  • Talking to those who seem to have made healthy efforts in their lives
  • Avoiding those who seem to discard friends often 
  • Going to a platonic blind dating event 
  • Meeting people at an event like pride, the farmer's market, or a fair 
  • Asking your current friends for recommendations 
  • Attending university
  • Joining a volunteer organization 
  • Going on a group trip 

You may find unhealthy people in any situation. However, set boundaries and use your judgment to determine who might be a healthy choice to connect with. You do not have to stay friends with someone hurting you or acting unhealthily with others in their life.

Therapy Options 

Speaking with a counselor or therapist may be beneficial if you want to determine whether your friendship is healthy or learn how to make new friends. A therapist may be able to give you advice regarding your friendships or other relationships you are confused about. If you live with social anxiety or struggle to make time to meet with a therapist, you might also benefit from online therapy, which allows you to choose a schedule that works for you. 

Online therapy has been proven to be as effective as in-person therapy for many symptoms, mental health conditions, and concerns. You can choose whether to meet with your online counselor via video, phone, or live chat sessions, and you can message them after sessions if you have any questions. 

Online platforms like BetterHelp can be beneficial if you struggle to find a therapist in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is real and true friendship? What are the signs of true friendship? What is the value of true friendship?

What is the foundation of true friendship? What makes a good friendship? Does true friendship last forever? What is the most important thing in friendship? What makes a relationship a true friendship? What are 3 signs of a toxic friendship? How do you keep a friendship strong? What causes friendships to end? When to end a friendship? What is true friendship? And the top 6 secrets of making friendships even stronger.

What is loyalty in friendship? How do you express true friendship in words?

Our Complete List: Relatable Songs About Friendship

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The myths and reality of modern friendship

Has modern friendship changed? (Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, I watched how my children responded to the fact that they couldn't see their friends in person. No face-to-face conversations. No playdates. No visiting friends. If the lockdown had happened a couple of decades earlier, any contact with people we didn't live with would have taken place via phone calls, email or letter-writing.

But in the 2020s, things are different. My daughter and her friends played a game on their phones while discussing their strategy in a WhatsApp group. My son, who is yet to reach the developmental milestone of smartphone ownership, chatted with his classmates via Google Classroom. Both kids grew noticeably shy during lockdown, but their nervousness about speaking to friends they hadn't seen for a while was cured by using video-calling platforms with built-in games: after a few minutes of wordless, giggling competition in which they became unicorns and caught donuts on their virtual nose-horns, they had loosened up to discuss serious matters like Pokémon and Mario Kart. 

None of this technology existed a generation ago. When I was their age, non-face-to-face, real-time interactions with friends would take place over the phone in the downstairs hallway at home, where everyone could hear what I was saying and where I could talk for no longer than 10 minutes before an agitated parent started muttering about phone bills and "blocking the line". There were no donut-catching unicorns, although I was free to challenge my wits by attempting to untangle the spiral cable that linked the phone to the handset. Phone calls with friends were an occasional treat, not an everyday occurrence. Lockdown in my childhood would have been a very different social experience.

Kids may seem lost in their screens, but often they are socialising (Credit: Max Mumby/Getty Images)

Kids may seem lost in their screens, but often they are socialising (Credit: Max Mumby/Getty Images)

How different, though? Are the differences in the ways we interact with our friends today versus a generation ago merely superficial, comparable to the difference between writing a letter to a friend on lined versus unlined paper? Or is there something about contemporary friendships that is fundamentally different to the friendships of yesteryear – and if so, how might friendship continue to change in the future?

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It's common these days to complain that friendships aren't what they used to be. That restaurants are filled with people staring at their phones instead of talking. That selfie culture has turned us into narcissists who care more about managing our own PR than about being present with each other. That today's friendships are somehow more conditional than they were in the past, as we organise ourselves online into "echo chambers" of like-minded individuals and reject differing views. Even the word "friend" has been transformed by social media: there's a new sense in which being friends with someone just means having clicked "accept" on their friend request, without ever saying hello. There's a pervasive anxiety that true friendship is in decline, and that technology is to blame. Headlines like " The Era of Antisocial Social Media " and " Your Smartphone is Making You Stupid, Antisocial and Unhealthy " are familiar fare.  

Anxiety about the dystopian effects of new technology on friendship is as old as the written word

Pessimists might wonder where this is all going to end. Perhaps we'll find ourselves in a cynical world where we interact only with people who serve us, where we don't recognise our friends without their Snapchat filters, and where we don't form genuine connections with anyone. But are these concerns really justified?

Anxiety about the dystopian effects of new technology on friendship is as old as the written word. Older, in fact: for Socrates, the written word was itself part of the problem. Well over 2,000 years ago, Socrates supposedly expressed scepticism about letter-writing as a route to wisdom, favouring face-to-face interaction with peers. And at the beginning of 20th Century, concerns were raised that landline telephones would dilute interaction, or foster unhealthy social behaviours.

From our contemporary perspective, in which letters or telephones are about as benign as it's possible for technology to get, such concerns strike us as quaint. Of course they don't undermine friendship. On the contrary, they promote it: letters and phone between distant friends are exactly the sorts of wholesome institutions that hand-wringers about social media are afraid will die out. 

Letter-writing seems old-fashioned, but is it so different to technologically mediated social relationships? (Credit: Getty Images)

Letter-writing seems old-fashioned, but is it so different to technologically mediated social relationships? (Credit: Getty Images)

So, does social media threaten friendship, or promote it? In a 2012 paper, Shannon Vallor considers whether the sorts of friendships people have on Facebook can be real friendships , and she concludes that yes, they can. Her argument does not rest upon new-fangled ideas about friendship. Rather, she uses Aristotle's conception, which is over 2,000 years old. For Aristotle, friendship requires having certain virtues, including those of reciprocity, empathy, self-knowledge (in the sense of understanding our place in the world, including our place in our relations with others), and participating in a shared life.

Could scepticism about social media's impact on friendship be biased? It is, after all, often expressed by people whose early friendships were not formed around social media, which may make them more likely to ignore the positives.

People like us

Even if interacting through a screen is not destroying friendships, many people fear that the way in which we use digital technology to choose and nurture our friends encourages low-quality social connections. One such fear relates to echo chambers: those groups of like-minded individuals into which we sort ourselves, with the result that cross-fertilisation of ideas is reduced and people become more polarised and entrenched in their views. Some scholars claim that online echo chambers have serious implications for liberal democracy . But from a friendship point of view, they are nothing new. Long before the internet, people's social interactions were largely confined to like-minded others. Communities would spring up around places of religious worship, the marketplace, sports teams, workplaces and educational establishments, and along class, gender, and ethnic lines.

It's simply not true, then, that in the days before digitally-mediated friendship, people drew their friends from all walks of life. Perhaps we are all missing out as a result. But even if we are, the fact that the internet enables us to connect with similar people has some great benefits for friendship. It enables us to tap into support and solidarity that might not otherwise be available, either because people with the right sort of shared experiences would be difficult to find offline, or because the shared experiences in question are so intimate that we're reluctant to discuss them – a reluctance that is eased by interacting online . I rely heavily on this sort of community myself: for several years I've belonged to a private Facebook group of single mothers working in academia. The friendships I've made – which are spread across the world – along with the support I've given and received, have been hugely positive additions to my life.

Friendships forged in youth will change over a lifetime (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Friendships forged in youth will change over a lifetime (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

It seems plausible that the view that echo chambers are bad for friendship is based partly in a view that friendship is – or ought to be – deeper than shared interests and experiences. We have long been moved by stories of friendships and romances between people from diverse, often conflicting, groups. Perhaps the most iconic romantic couple, Romeo and Juliet, belonged to feuding families. The friendship between Nelson Mandela, while imprisoned for conspiring to overthrow South Africa's apartheid government, and a young, initially pro-apartheid, white prison guard captured the public's attention and was the focus of a film, Goodbye Bafana. In 2014, Arab-American journalist Sulome Anderson tweeted a photo of herself kissing her Jewish boyfriend, Jeremy, while holding a sign reading "Jews and Arabs REFUSE to be ENEMIES". The photo went viral.

These examples illustrate that we are captivated by the idea of looking beyond our friends' (perhaps unpalatable) views and interests, and loving the person behind them. It's certainly true that the best friendships don't stand or fall with shared interests. If you initially connected with your oldest friend over your shared love of 90s American boy bands but parted ways when one of you lost interest in Boyz II Men, it would be hard not to conclude that your friendship didn't run very deep. But this doesn't entail that there is anything wrong with seeking out connections based on shared interests. A deep, loving, supportive friendship of many years is not made any less deep, loving, and supportive because the friends in question initially connected through their boy band obsession.

Friendships, friendships, everywhere …

What about the idea that we now live in a world in which friendship is debased? In which social media encourage us to value quantity over quality, and to project images of glossy perfection at the expense of forming deep, intimate connections?

The concern that quantity of friendships comes at the expense of quality is – like the other concerns we've discussed so far – not at all new. In an essay entitled "On Having Many Friends", the 1st-century Greek philosopher Plutarch wrote:

"What then is the coin of friendship? It is goodwill and graciousness combined with virtue, than which nature has nothing more rare. It follows, then, that a strong mutual friendship with many persons is impossible, but, just as rivers whose waters are divided among branches and channels flow weak and thin, so affection, naturally strong in a soul, if portioned out among many persons become utterly enfeebled."  

A couple of millennia later, Abba sang, "Facing 20,000 of your friends / How can anyone be so lonely?" in their 1980 single, "Super Trouper". And in 2009, Eoghan Quigg – a former contestant on the British talent show The X Factor – released a single, "28,000 Friends", with the lines, "You and your 28,000 friends / YouTube, Facebook, Myspace, IM" and "How does it feel to be alone? / So many friends that you don't know".

Is it possible to have more than 150 friends? (Credit: Getty Images)

Is it possible to have more than 150 friends? (Credit: Getty Images)

According to our digital timescales, Quigg's reference to Myspace is its own brand of ancient – but we might wonder whether the technology that has emerged over the past couple of decades encourages us to spread our friendships more thinly than ever. Does Quigg have more reason to gripe about this than Plutarch did? The answer is that, while empirical evidence supports the claim that we are incapable of having a great many close friendships, it’s far from clear that social media's capacity to multiply our social connections is reducing the quality of our friendships. 

The anthropologist Robin Dunbar studied social groups over the centuries and found that the number of stable social connections that individuals can maintain has remained fairly constant, at roughly 150 . This figure – which has come to be known as Dunbar’s Number – denotes, more or less, "the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar". There are subdivisions within this. We each tend to have three to five people who constitute "the small nucleus of really good friends to whom you go in times of trouble", and a "sympathy group" of 12-15 people "whose death tomorrow would leave you distraught" – but, Dunbar argues, we simply lack the cognitive capacity to inflate these groups. "[I]f a new person comes into your life," Dunbar explains, "someone has to drop down into the next level to make room for them". Since the number of friends we can have is limited by our cognitive capacity, not even the ease of making online connections can enable us to expand it. Commenting on social media, Dunbar remarks that "there is an issue about what really counts as a friend". Those who have very large numbers – that's to say, larger than about 200 – invariably know little or nothing about the individuals on their list," he adds.

Perhaps we might one day be able to maintain close friendships with significantly more people

The fact that Dunbar's Number is – as Dunbar sees it – limited by our cognitive capacities points to a possible way in which friendship might look different in the future. Cognitive capacities – including attention, memory, perception, and decision-making – relate to the mental processing of information. We use various strategies and tools to help us improve these capacities. We drink coffee to help us focus, wear glasses to improve our vision, write lists to help us remember things, and so on. The improvements we make as a result are relatively modest, and often short-lived. However, many believe that, in the near future, we will be able to make far more drastic improvements to our cognitive capacities using technologies like drugs, transcranial electrical stimulation, brain implants, and genetic engineering. The results could see human cognitive capacities far exceed anything we've seen before.

In that case, perhaps we might be able to maintain close friendships with significantly more people. But given that even cognitively enhanced versions of ourselves would be constrained by the number of hours we have for socialising, increasing our number of close friends would need to involve wringing more intimacy from the time we spend with each friend. Or, it could be that a cognitively enhanced world would come with other changes, such as a reduction in working hours, which could free up more time for friends. 

On the other hand, even with the cognitive capacity to have more close friendships, perhaps many would value having fewer friends. Romantic relationships provide an analogy: having the capacity to maintain multiple partners apparently does not result in most people wanting to live non-monogamously. So, a cognitively enhanced future of friendship might end up looking different to the way friendship looks now – but equally, it might not.

Could technological and cognitive change in the future allow us to maintain more friendships? (Credit: Drew Angere/Getty Images)

Could technological and cognitive change in the future allow us to maintain more friendships? (Credit: Drew Angere/Getty Images)

It might seem that, by encouraging us to use the term "friend" to refer to hundreds or even thousands of people with whom we have only very superficial connections, social media is (to use Plutarch’'s metaphor) devaluing the coin of friendship. Facebook friends are, after all, often friends in name only – especially for those users whose friends run into the hundreds or thousands. But using "friend" to refer to people one does not know particularly well is nothing new. In her study of social connections in 18th-Century England , Naomi Tadmor explains that a few centuries ago, a person would count as friends not only those with whom they had relatively intimate emotional relationships, but also family, household staff, employers, and so on. She points to the term "Society of Friends"  – still used to today as a term for Quakers – as an example of this wider use of the term.

Despite changes over the years in whether certain people with whom we have relatively loose social connections count as friends, there has remained a stable core. The handful of people who constitute Dunbar’s "small nucleus" and the dozen or so who make up the "sympathy group" have always counted as friends. But changes in our views about what we owe our friends hint at what might become of these smaller, intimate groups. Consider our views about loyalty. It's good to be loyal to our friends – but in professional contexts, we use terms like "cronyism" and "nepotism" to condemn loyalty to friends. Tadmor explains that things were different in the past. In the 18th Century, serving one's friends was viewed as a virtue, even in politics . Just as giving one's friends a shoo-in for a job in politics was virtuous three centuries ago but objectionable today, perhaps some practices that today count as virtuous will one day be viewed as objectionable. Today, nobody raises an eyebrow at a lawyer who gives out free advice to friends (but not strangers) or a hairdresser who styles his friends' hair (but not strangers' hair) for free. Providing strangers, free of charge, with the sort of help that they would otherwise have to pay for is kind, but not expected or required. Things might change in the future. Perhaps giving friends the benefit of one's skills while denying it to strangers will be viewed as cronyism in the centuries to come.

Perhaps some friendship practices that today count as virtuous will one day be viewed as objectionable

What would a future world with different ideas about what we owe to our friends look like? Well, probably not that different to today's world. It's also not like contemporary friendship is the same thing all over the globe. Friendships in individualist cultures – typical of English-speaking countries and much of Western Europe – differs in several important ways from friendships in Arab, East Asian, African, and Latin American countries where there is a more collectivist culture. For example, reciprocity between friends is typically valued more in individualist than in collectivist cultures. Individualists don't like to be indebted to friends by not returning favours; collectivists don't view such interactions in terms of favours and instead view those who resist accepting help from friends as aloof and egotistical. Behaviour between friends that, in individualist cultures, is seen as inappropriately interfering – like correcting a friend's class notes – is deemed considerate and caring in collectivist cultures. Those in collectivist cultures tend to be confident that their close friendships will endure without nurturing by saying positive things; as a result, they speak to their friends with a frankness that would be viewed as cold in individualist cultures. As the psychologist Roger Baumgarte – from whose survey of cross-cultural friendship research I've drawn these observations – remarks, these cultural differences reveal that even what it means to be a close friend varies by culture.

The future of friendship

What should be our lesson from all this? The mediums and technologies that enable friendship may change, but much stays the same. The phonecalls and handwritten letters of a few decades ago might seem more wholesome than today's WhatsApp texts, but their function is similar. This can be jarring: when I see my children poring over their iPads, I have to remind myself that although they may look withdrawn and solitary, most of their screen time in fact centres around interacting with friends. Tempting as it is to lock away their electronics forever and send them outside with a skipping rope, doing that would likely result in their being excluded from an important community – and while spending every waking hour hunched over a smartphone is not a recipe for a fulfilling life, neither is spending every waking moment writing letters. The kids are all right.

* Rebecca Roache is a philosopher at Royal Holloway, University of London and host of The Academic Imperfectionist podcast . This article is adapted from an essay in Future Morality (ed. David Edmonds), published by Oxford University Press.

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Essay on Friendship

List of essays on friendship, essay on friendship – short essay for kids (essay 1 – 150 words), essay on friendship – 10 lines on friendship written in english (essay 2 – 250 words), essay on friendship – for school students (class 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) (essay 3 – 300 words), essay on friendship – for students (essay 4 – 400 words), essay on friendship (essay 5 – 500 words), essay on friendship – introduction, benefits and qualities (essay 6 – 600 words), essay on friendship – essay on true friendship (essay 7 – 750 words), essay on friendship – importance, types, examples and conclusion (essay 8 – 1000 words).

Friendship is a divine relationship, which is defined by neither blood nor any other similarity. Who is in this world does not have a friend?

A friend, with whom you just love to spend your time, can share your joys and sorrows. Most importantly you need not fake yourself and just be what you are. That is what friendship is all about. It is one of the most beautiful of the relations in the world. Students of today need to understand the values of friendship and therefore we have composed different long essays for students as well as short essays.

Audience: The below given essays are exclusively written for school students (Class 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Standard).

Introduction:

Friendship is considered as one of the treasures that anyone can possess. God has given us the liberty to choose friends because they are for our lifetime. It is quite normal for our parents and siblings to love us because they are our own blood but a friend is someone who is initially a stranger and then takes his/her place above all the other relations. Friendship is nothing but pure love without any expectations.

Role of a Friend:

True friends share and support each other even during the toughest of times. A true friend is one who feels happy for our success, who feel sad for our failures, fight with us for silly things and hugs us the next second, gets angry on us when we do any mistakes. Friendship is all about having true friends who can understand us without the need for us to speak.

Conclusion:

Friendship is very essential for a happy life. Even a two-minute chat with a friend will make us forget our worries. That is the strength of friendship.

Friendship is a divine relationship, which is defined by neither blood nor any other similarity. Friends are those you can choose for yourself in spite of the difference you both have from each other. A good friend in need will do wonders in your life, whenever you are in need of self-realization, upbringing your confidence and more.

Friendship serves you best not only in your happiest moments but also when you feel low in emotions. A life without a good friend is not at all complete and an emptiness will be felt all the time you think of sharing your emotion that can’t be told to anyone else.

Honesty and Patience in Friendship:

To maintain and keep going with a good deep friendship, honesty is the most important factor. You should choose a person who can be cent percent honest with you in all perspective like emotions, decision making, etc. Trustworthy friendship will help you to take better decisions and choose a better path for your future well-being.

Tolerance and patience with each other are another important characteristics of long-lasting friendship. Accepting the differences, friends should be able to be with each other in all situations. As a friend, the person should lead the other to success by being a motivation and criticize the person if they choose the wrong path.

Friendship will give you sweet and happy memories that can be cherished for a lifetime and if you succeed in maintaining that precious relation, then you are the luckiest person in this world. Love and care for each other will cherish the relationship and helps the person to appreciate each thing done without any fail.

Of all the different relations which we indulge in, friendship is considered to be the purest of them all. Friendship is the true confluence of souls with like minded attitude that aids in seamless conversation and the best of times. It is believed that a person who doesn’t have any friend lives one of the toughest lives.

The Desire to Belong:

Each one of us have been so programmed that we need a companion even if it’s not romantic, someone just to tag along. There are several definitions of friendship and it is upon you as to how you believe your relation to be. Friendship can happen when you are simply sharing a bowl of food with a person day after day. It can be expressed in the way you silently care for someone even when they may not be aware of your existence.

The Little Moments that Matter:

It is giving up the little things you love dearly for the sake of someone you cherish a great deal. Friendship often refers to the little moments of senseless laugh you two share when the rest of the world starts to look bleak. It is to know what your friend needs and being there for them even when the rest of the world has turned their back towards them.

Friendship is the kind of relation which sometimes even exceeds the realms of love because it is all about giving without even once bothering to sense what you shall get back. Every time spent is special because when you are with friends, you don’t feel the blues!

The Bottom-Line:

Of course the definition of friendship is going to vary a great deal from one person to another. But, remember one thing, when you are friends with someone, be prepared to put your heart on the line for their happiness because friendship often manifests into love, even if it is not romantic, it always is true!

Friendship is the most valuable as well as precious gifts of life. Friendship is one of the most valued relationship. People who have good friends enjoy the most in their live. True friendship is based on loyalty & support. A good friend is a person who will stand with you when times are tough. A friend is someone special on whom you can rely on to celebrate a special moment. Friendship is like a life asset and it can lead us to success. It all depends on our choice how we choose our friends.

The quality of friendship is essential for happiness. The benefits of healthy friendship remains long-life. In addition, having a strong friend circle also improves our self-confidence. Due to the strong relationship, we get much emotional support during our bad times. True friendship is a feeling of love & care.

Real friendship cannot be built within limited boundaries like caste or creed. It gives us a feeling that someone really needs us & we are not alone. This is true that man cannot live alone. True friends are needed in every stage of life to survive. A true friend can be an old person or a child. But it is generally believed that we make friend with people who are of the same age as ours. Same age group can give you the freedom to share anything.

The selection of a true friend is also a challenging task. We have to carefully make our friend selection. Friends might come & go. They will make you laugh & cry. Wrong selection can create various problems for you. In the modern world, many youngsters become a social nuisance. The reason behind it is wrong & bad friendships.

But if we successfully choose the right person as a friend then our life becomes easier. It doesn’t matter who you are, what type of clothes you wear. The most important thing is trust because the relation of friendship stands on the pillars of trust.

Friendship is a relation which can make or break us in every stage of life. But in other words, friendship is an asset which is really precious. Obviously, it is also not so easy to maintain friendships. It demands your time as well as efforts. Last but not the least, it is hard to find true friendship but once you succeed in this task you will have a wonderful time. In exchange for that a friend will only need your valuable time and trust.

The idea of friendship is either heartwarming or gives cold feet depending on individuals and the types of friendships. In the current world, friendships have had different definitions based on the morality and civilization of the society. Ideally, friendship is defined as the state of mutual trust between individuals or parties. Trust is an important component of friendship because it determines the reliability and longevity of the friendship. Trust is built through honest communications between the individuals and interested parties.

Once trust has been established, mutual understanding and support being to form the resulting in a friendship. This friendship can be broken through lack of trust. Trust can be breached through deceit and/ or some people, it differs with the frequencies. There are people who will break friendships after only one episode of dishonesty whereas some people give second chances and even more chances. Friendship types determine the longevity and the causes of breakups. The importance of friendship in the lives of individuals is the reason why friendships are formed in the first place.

Types of Friendships:

According to Aristotle’s Nichomachean ethics, there are three types of friendships. The friendships are based on three factors i.e. utility, pleasure and goodness. The first type of friendship is based on utility and has been described as a friendship whereby both parties gain from each other.

This type of friendship is dependent on the benefits and that is what keeps the friendship going. This type of friendships do not last long because it dissolves as soon as the benefits are outsourced or when other sources are found outside the friendship. The friendship was invented for trade purposes because when two people with opposite things that depend on each other re put together, trade is maximized.

The second type of friendship is based on pleasure. This is described as friendship in which two individuals are drawn to each other based on desires of pleasure and is characterized by passionate feelings and feelings of belonging. This type of friendship can ether last long or is short-lived depending on the presence of the attraction between the two parties.

The third type of friendship is based on goodness. In this friendship, the goodness of people draw them to each other and they usually have the same virtues. The friendship involves loving each other and expecting goodness. It takes long to develop this kind of friendship but it usually lasts longest and is actually the best kind of friendship to be in. the importance of such a friendship is the social support and love.

In conclusion, friendships are important in the lives of individuals. Trust builds and sustains friendships. The different types of friendships are important because they provide benefits and social support. Friendships provide a feeling of belonging and dependence. The durability of friendships is dependent on the basis of its formation and the intention during the formation. Friendships that last long are not based on materialistic gain, instead, they are based on pure emotion.

Friendship is an emotion of care, mutual trust, and fondness among two persons. A friend might be a work-mate, buddy, fellow student or any individual with whom we feel an attachment.

In friendship, people have a mutual exchange of sentiments and faith too. Usually, the friendship nurtures more amongst those people who belong to a similar age as they possess the same passions, interests, sentiments, and opinions. During the school days, kids who belong to the similar age group have a common dream about their future and this makes them all of them get closer in friendship.

In the same way, employees working in business organizations also make friends as they are working together for attaining the organizational objectives. It does not matter that to which age group you belong, friendship can happen at any time of your life.

Benefits of Friendship:

Sometimes friendship is essential in our life. Below are a few benefits of friendship.

1. It’s impossible to live your life alone always but friendship fills that gap quickly with the friend’s company.

2. You can easily pass the rigidities of life with the friendship as in your distress period your friends are always there to help you.

3. Friendship teaches you how to remain happy in life.

4. In case of any confusion or problem, your friendship will always benefit you with good opinions.

True and Dishonest Friendship:

True friendship is very rare in today’s times. There are so many persons who support only those people who are in power so that they can fulfil their selfish motives below the name of friendship. They stay with friends till the time their selfish requirements are achieved. Dishonest friends leave people as soon as their power gets vanished. You can find these types of self-seeking friends all around the world who are quite hurtful than enemies.

Finding a true friendship is very difficult. A true friend helps the other friend who is in need. It does not matter to him that his friend is right or wrong but he will always support his friend at the time of his difficulty.

Carefulness in the Selection of Friendship:

You must be very careful while choosing friends. You should nurture your friendship with that person who does not leave you in your bad times easily. Once you get emotionally attached to the wrong person you cannot finish your friendship so soon. True friendship continues till the time of your last breaths and does not change with the passing time.

Friendship with a bad person also affects your own thoughts and habits. Therefore, a bad person should not be chosen in any type of circumstances. We must do friendship with full attention and carefulness.

Best Qualities of Good Friendship:

Good friendship provides people an enormous love to each other.

The below are the important qualities of good friendship:

1. Good friendship is always faithful, honest, and truthful.

2. People pay attention and take note of others thoughts in good friendship.

3. Persons quickly forget and let off the mistakes of the other friend. In fact, they accept their friend in the way they are actually.

4. You are not judged on the basis of your success, money or power in it.

5. Friends do not feel shy to provide us with valuable opinions for our welfare.

6. People always share their joyful times with their good friends and also stay ready to help their friends in the time of need.

7. True friends also support others in their professional as well as personal life. They encourage their friends in the area of their interest.

Friendship is established over the sacrifice, love, faith, and concern of mutual benefit. True Friendship is a support and a blessing for everybody. All those males and females who have true and genuine friends are very lucky really.

Friendship can simply be defined as a form of mutual relationship or understanding between two people or more who interact and are attached to one another in a manner that is friendly. A friendship is a serious relationship of devotion between two or more people where people involved have a true and sincere feeling of affection, care and love towards each other devoid of any misunderstanding and without demands.

Primarily friendship happens between people that have the same sentiments, feelings and tastes. It is believed that there is no limit or criteria for friendship. All of the different creed, religion, caste, position, sex and age do not matter when it comes to friendship even though friendships can sometimes be damaged by economic disparity and other forms of differentiation. From all of these, it can be concluded that real and true friendship is very possible between people that have a uniform status and are like-minded.

A lot of friends we have in the world today only remain together in times of prosperity and absence of problems but only the faithful, sincere and true friends remain all through the troubles, times of hardships and our bad times. We only discover who our bad and good friends are in the times where we don’t have things going our way.

Most people want to be friends with people with money and we can’t really know if our friends are true when we have money and do not need their help, we only discover our true friends when we need their help in terms of money or any other form of support. A lot of friendships have been jeopardised because of money and the absence or presence of it.

Sometimes, we might face difficulty or crises in our friendships because of self-respect and ego. Friendships can be affected by us or others and we need to try to strike a balance in our friendships. For our friendship to prosper and be true, we need satisfaction, proper understanding and a trustworthy nature. As true friends, we should never exploit our friends but instead do our utmost best to motivate and support them in doing and attaining the very best things in life.

The true meaning of friendship is sometimes lost because of encounters with fake friends who have used and exploited us for their own personal benefits. People like this tend to end the friendship once they get what they want or stab their supposed friends in the back just to get what they think is best for them. Friendship is a very good thing that can help meet our need for companionship and other emotional needs.

In the world we live in today, it is extremely difficult to come across good and loyal friends and this daunting task isn’t made any easier by the lie and deceit of a lot of people in this generation. So, when one finds a very good and loyal important, it is like finding gold and one should do everything to keep friends like that.

The pursuit of true friendship Is not limited to humans, we can as well find good friends in animals; for example, it is a popular belief that dogs make the best friends. It is very important to have good friends as they help us in times and situations where we are down and facing difficulties. Our true friends always do their best to save us when we are in danger and also provide us with timely and good advice. True friends are priceless assets in our lives, they share our pains and sorrow, help provide relief to us in terrible situations and do their best to make us happy.

Friends can both be the good or the bad types. Good friends help push us on the right path in life while on the other hand, bad friends don’t care about us but only care about themselves and can lead us into the wrong path; because of this, we have to be absolutely careful when choosing our friends in this life.

Bad friends can ruin our lives completely so we have to be weary of them and do our best to avoid bag friends totally. We need friends in our life that will be there for us at every point in time and will share all of our feeling with us, both the good and bad. We need friends we can talk to anytime we are feeling lonely, friends that will make us laugh and smile anytime we are feeling sad.

What is friendship? It is the purest form of relationship between two individual with no hidden agenda. As per the dictionary, it is the mutual affection between people. But, is it just a mutual affection? Not always, as in the case of best friends, it is far beyond that. Great friends share each other’s feelings or notions which bring a feeling of prosperity and mental fulfillment.

A friend is a person whom one can know deeply, as and trust for eternity. Rather than having some likeness in the idea of two people associated with the friendship, they have some extraordinary qualities yet they want to be with each other without changing their uniqueness. By and large, friends spur each other without censuring, however at times great friends scrutinize do affect you in a positive manner.

Importance of Friendship:

It is very important to have a friend in life. Each friend is vital and their significance in known to us when certain circumstances emerge which must be supported by our friends. One can never feel lonely in this world on the off chance that he or she is embraced by true friends. Then again, depression wins in the lives of the individuals who don’t have friends regardless of billions of individuals present on the planet. Friends are particularly vital amid times of emergency and hardships. On the off chance that you wind up experiencing a hard time, having a friend to help you through can make the change simpler.

Having friends you can depend on can help your confidence. Then again, an absence of friends can make you feel lonely and without help, which makes you powerless for different issues, for example, sadness and drug abuse. Having no less than one individual you can depend on will formulate your confidence.

Choosing Your Friends Wisely:

Not all friends can instill the positivity in your life. There can be negative effects as well. It is very important to choose your friends with utmost wisdom. Picking the right friend is somewhat troublesome task however it is extremely important. In the event that for instance a couple of our dear friends are engaged with negative behaviour patterns, for example, smoking, drinking and taking drugs, at some point or another we will be attracted to their bad habits as well. This is the reason behind why it is appropriate to settle on an appropriate decision with regards to making friends.

Genuine friendship is truly a gift delighted in by a couple. The individuals who have it ought to express gratitude toward God for having genuine pearls in their lives and the individuals who don’t have a couple of good friends ought to always take a stab at better approaches to anchor great friends. No organization is superior to having a friend close by in the midst of need. You will stay cheerful in your one-room flat on the off chance that you are surrounded by your friends; then again, you can’t discover satisfaction even in your estate in the event that you are far away from others.

Types of Friends:

There is variety everywhere, so why not in friends. We can see different types of friends during our journey of life. For instance, your best friend at school is someone with whom you just get along the most. That friend, especially in the case of girls, may just get annoyed even if you talk to another of your friend more than her. Such is the childish nature of such friendships that at times it is difficult for others to identify whether you are best friends or competitors.

Then there is another category of your siblings. No matter how much you deny, but your siblings or your elder brother and sisters are those friends of yours who stay on with you for your entire life. You have a different set of friendship with them as you find yourself fighting with them most of the times. However, in times of need, you shall see that they are first ones standing behind you, supporting you.

There is another category of friends called professional friends. You come across such friends only when you grow up and choose a profession for yourself. These friends are usually from the same organisation and prove to be helpful during your settling years. Some of them tend to stay on with you even when you change companies.

Friendship Examples from History:

History has always taught us a lot. Examples of true friendship are not far behind. We have some famous example from history which makes us realise the true value of friendship. The topmost of them are the Krishna and Sudama friendship. We all must have read or heard as to how after becoming a king when Krishna met Sudama, his childhood friend, he treated him with honour even though Sudama was a poor person. It teaches us the friendship need not be between equals. It has to be between likeminded people. Next example is of Karna and Duryodhana, again from the Mahabharat era.

Despite knowing the fact that the Pandavas were his brothers, Karna went on to fight alongside Duryodhan as he is his best friend and even laid down his life for him. What more example of true friendship can one find? Again from the same era, Krishna and Arjun are also referred to as the best of the friends. Bhagavad Gita is an example of how a true friend can guide you towards positivity in life and make you follow the path of Dharma. Similarly, there are numerous examples from history which teach us the values of true friendship and the need to nourish such for own good.

Whether you accept or deny it, a friend plays an important role in your life. In fact, it is very important to have a friend. However, at the same time, it is extremely important to choose the friends wisely as they are the ones who can build you or destroy you. Nonetheless, a friend’s company is something which one enjoys all through life and friends should be treated as the best treasure a man can have.

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Why virtual friendship is no genuine friendship

  • Original Paper
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  • Published: 06 January 2012
  • Volume 14 , pages 201–207, ( 2012 )

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  • Barbro Fröding 1 &
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Based on a modern reading of Aristotle’s theory of friendship, we argue that virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. By ‘virtual friendship’ we mean the type of friendship that exists on the internet, and seldom or never is combined with real life interaction. A ‘traditional friendship’ is, in contrast, the type of friendship that involves substantial real life interaction, and we claim that only this type can merit the label ‘genuine friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable. The upshot of our discussion is that virtual friendship is what Aristotle might have described as a lower and less valuable form of social exchange.

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Introduction

In the last few years, social community sites such as Facebook, MSN, and Hyves have gone from being driven by special interest groups to becoming basic social necessities of everyday life. If you do not exist online you simply do not ‘exist’. The average user of Facebook in Europe has 139 friends, and it is not uncommon to have two or even three hundred online friends. Footnote 1 Although concerns have been raised about the lack of privacy, hacking, and the potentially tempting opportunity for service providers to use information stored on their sites for business purposes, many people seem happy to continue living their social lives online.

In this article we argue that social community sites are, contrary to what many users seem to think, not a key to meaningful social relationships. To be more precise, we argue that if we understand the notion of friendship in a broadly Aristotelian manner, virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. In our view, virtual friendship is what Aristotle might have described as a lower and less valuable form of social exchange. Further to this point, we argue that virtual friendship is analogous to certain, questionable, forms of alternative medicine: social community sites are potentially harmful since what is described as a route to social success may in fact turn out to be a toxic substance leading to isolation, just as some alternative medical substances harm rather than cure the patient. Furthermore, by opting for the alternative ‘medicine’ the individual may forego proven and functioning methods for achieving meaningful social interaction. In other words, what is flagged as a fast-track to meaningful social relationships and social inclusion is in fact an illusion as these relationships, whatever else they may be, do not contain the necessary components that go into genuine friendship.

In an early and attention-grabbing article on virtual friendship, Cocking and Matthews argue that, ‘within a purely virtual context the establishment of close friendship is simply psychologically impossible’. Footnote 2 Cocking later developed this claim further and argued that, ‘certain features of text-based online contexts largely rule out the development of close friendships exclusively in those contexts’. Footnote 3 However, in a comment on the original article by Cocking and Matthews, Briggle claimed that ‘Cocking and Matthews are … wrong about the possibility of friendship—as defined according to their own criteria—flourishing wholly online’. Footnote 4 Briggle’s conclusion is, in opposition to Cocking and Matthews that, ‘[t]he increased distance and slowed pace of Internet relationships can foster friendships of equal or greater closeness than those in the offline world’. Footnote 5

Although we agree with many of the views put forward by Cocking and Matthews, as well as with some of Briggle’s criticism, there are also important differences between the claims we make in this article and theirs. First of all, in contrast to Cocking and Matthews, we do not argue that virtual friendship is impossible . Our claim is a more narrow claim about the moral value of virtual friendship; we do not question that virtual friendship counts as a form of friendship. All we seek to show is that from an Aristotelian point of view, virtual friendship is less valuable than other friendship relations. This also highlights an important difference between our view and that of Briggle: While he maintains that virtual friendships are not merely possible, but are often more valuable from a moral point of view, we of course deny this positive appraisal.

However, the main difference between our position and those mentioned above is that we explicitly relate our normative conclusion to Aristotle’s theory as it is presented in the Nicomachean Ethics, and we do so on a relatively detailed level. Footnote 6 Cocking and Matthews briefly mention Aristotle’s theory of friendship, but their main concern is their own analyses of various types of friendship relations. Our point of departure is thus different from theirs, as is the scope of our conclusion: All we believe to show is that given Aristotle’s theoretical framework, virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship, as defined above.

On the Aristotelian analysis, for a friendship to count as morally valuable, and hence virtuous, it must contain the following elements: it must be mutually recognised, the friends must engage in theoria (i.e., the contemplation that takes place between virtuous agents), and the love and admiration they feel for each other must be based on virtue. Our main thesis is that because virtual friendship cannot fully meet these criteria it does not qualify as genuine friendship. By ‘virtual friendship’ we mean the type of friendship that exists on the internet, and seldom or never is combined with real life interaction. To contrast this, we reserve the term ‘traditional friendship’ for the type of friendship that involves substantial real life interaction. The latter are the only type that we claim merit the label ‘genuine friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable.

All this said, we by no means object to initiating or maintaining friendships through social community sites. Nor do we have any general concerns about social community sites as such. Interaction on these sites can indeed be valuable in an instrumental sense. In the case of friendship, for example, the people that you first meet online can later turn into genuine friends or even life partners in the traditional sense. Our point is that for a relationship to qualify as genuine friendship it is not enough to merely interact online. Whatever goes on in the virtual world must always be supplemented by a substantive element of real life interaction.

The Aristotelian theory of friendship

Aristotle argues that friendship ( philia ) is key to human happiness. He claims that for any human to be happy she needs friends and other people close to her. Footnote 7 Generally speaking, the shared life is always superior and, as human wellbeing and social activity cannot be separated, it is better to engage in practical activities with a friend than to do it on one’s own.

The paradigm case of friendship for Aristotle is a relationship that is mutually recognised and taking place between two adults of equal standing. While all other relationships are inferior to this one, Aristotle agrees that relationships between e.g. the non-virtuous may also be called friendship but of a lesser kind, as pointed out above. The most important aspect of friendship is spending time together, preferably engaging in theoria as this is the hallmark of the good friendship. Footnote 8

Broadly speaking friendship helps us grow and become more virtuous as our friends inspire and help us. Both parties gain self-knowledge, ‘we are able to observe our neighbours more than ourselves, and to observe actions more than our own’. Footnote 9 Further to that point Cooper writes that, ‘the presumption is that even an intimate friend remains distinct enough to be studied objectively; yet because one intuitively knows to be fundamentally the same in character as he is, one obtains through him an objective view of oneself’. Footnote 10 So by watching our friend, our ‘other self’, we discover ourselves. Notably, this is an ongoing process: we change when going through life and therefore we must maintain our friendships not to lose track of ourselves. As Sherman succinctly puts it, ‘friendship creates a context or arena for the expression of virtue and ultimately for happiness’. Footnote 11

Good and true friends do things for one another and even though it might not be about counting and taking turns it is nonetheless vital that there is an overall balance which both parties are aware of. But what you do for your friend is not done to secure advantages for yourself, it is done simply because you see your friend as another self. Your friend is an extension of you in the sense that your happiness is to an extent dependent on him and, thus, that part of your fate lies in the hands of your friend(s).

A comprehensive definition of Aristotle’s notion of philia is, ‘the mutually acknowledged and reciprocal exchange of goodwill and affection that exists among individuals who share an interest in each other on the basis of virtue, pleasure or utility’. Footnote 12 In addition to voluntary associations of this sort, Aristotle also includes among friendships the non-chosen relations of affection and care that exists among family members and fellow citizens. Footnote 13

Based on the above-mentioned definition of philia , Aristotle argues that there are three main qualities that determine whether someone qualifies as a friend: excellence, pleasantness and usefulness. He then moves on to saying that these translate into three types of friendships, which often overlap. Footnote 14

friendship based on mutual admiration

friendship based on mutual pleasure

friendship based on mutual advantage

Aristotle claims that the first type of friendship is superior to the other two because it is based on excellence. What the two friends admire is the virtue of the other. It thus deals with the inner qualities of a person. In these situations we love our friend for intrinsic reasons and not solely as a road to pleasure and utility. You must not choose your friend because he makes you laugh or buys you expensive chocolates or has the right connections to secure you the best seats at the opera opening-nights. When you only love that which is useful and pleasant your friend becomes instrumental to securing those goods for you. Footnote 15

Evidently, such behavior is not fitting for the virtuous agent. These intrinsic qualities are stable (contrary to e.g. fame, beauty and wealth) so even if your virtuous friend falls on hard times he will still have those personal qualities you admire and love. The foundations of such a friendship are good without qualification. Your friend and you like each other, share basic values and you admire each other for the right reasons. You see the virtue in one another and you are drawn to it and you wish each other good only for the sake of good. Footnote 16

Although the three types of friendships overlap, it must always be the case that you see your friend as useful and pleasant because you love him and not the other way around. Footnote 17 That said, Aristotle also recognises that friends are important as instruments of happiness. He writes that, ‘happiness also evidently needs external goods to be added, as we said, we cannot, or cannot easily, do fine actions if we lack the resources. For, first of all, in many actions we use friends, wealth, and political power just as we use instruments’. Footnote 18 In addition to this, friends are also intrinsic, necessary components of happiness: ‘For we do not altogether have the character of happiness if we look utterly repulsive or are ill-born, solitary, or childless; and we have it even less, presumably, if our children or friends are totally bad, or were good but have died’. Footnote 19 In many cases people are friends in both senses because even the finest of friendships include pleasure and utility aspects and this does not taint them in any way.

It is worth stressing that the Greek term philia tends to be used in a broader sense by Aristotle and others than the English term ‘friendship’. Aristotle’s theory of friendship covers all the relationships we have with people around us, ranging from our family to our fellow statesmen. In addition to our modern notion of friendship, it includes a substantial chunk of all the other the members of society, for example the local cobbler Footnote 20 and one’s political or business contacts. Footnote 21 Indeed, Aristotle writes that we even have a certain philia with all of mankind and that there is an ever so small element of care among all humans. Footnote 22

Pakaluk claims that, ‘since Aristotle uses the term [ philia ] for any affection that expects reciprocation, or that expects and finds reciprocation, no matter how extended or attenuated that affection, he applies it very widely: to families, clubs, clans, and even to reciprocal affections of loyalty and patriotism among citizens’. Footnote 23 A slightly more conservative approach can be seen in e.g. Price, Walker and Cooper who all (to various degrees) argue that the lesser kinds of friendship and relationship do not qualify as friendship proper. Footnote 24 We shall return to this idea about different kinds of friendships and its implication for virtual friendship towards the end of this article.

At this point it could perhaps be objected that since philia is used in such a broad sense by Aristotle, it seems that his theory of friendship does not imply any particular intimacy. If true, this could in turn be taken to speak against our claim that virtual friendship is no genuine friendship. If, for instance, business contacts count as friends, in the broad Aristotelian sense, it seems odd to maintain that a virtual friendship cannot count as genuine friendship. Our reply to this objection is that the Aristotelian theory of friendship emphasises the importance of mutual admiration and love among friends. A major problem with online friendship is that this is often not the case. Both parties have to be aware of the relationship, they must both harbour similar feelings for each other and there must be an overall balance. Footnote 25 This is one of the many reasons why virtual friendship is problematic. For the internet user it is often more difficult to ensure that the love and admiration is mutual, as we explain in the next section.

Friendship on the internet

In this section we analyse the difference between virtual and traditional friendship from an Aristotelian perspective. As explained above, there are three different types of friendships. While all qualify as worthwhile to some extent, the most valuable one is friendship based on mutual admiration. Aristotle maintains that for this kind of friendship to exist the following three conditions need to be satisfied. Footnote 26

the friendship is mutually recognised and takes place between two adult humans of equal standing;

the friends spend time together, principally engaging in theoria ;

the admiration and love the friends feel for each other is based on the virtues they recognise in the other.

We concede that (i) can be satisfied in a virtual friendship and will therefore not discuss this condition any further. As for (ii), it is of course possible for the agents to engage in theoria in virtual reality. However, it is a mistake to assume that theoria only involves advanced or lofty ideas relating to the nature of science and the like. In fact, theoria requires the contemplation of a mixed bag of topics involving both the high and the low. Footnote 27 Arguably, agents sometimes withhold what they perceive as less than perfect character traits in themselves when given the practical opportunity to do so. This is problematic as this opens the door to pre-meditatated censorship with regard to the information one discloses about oneself. This threatens to compromise the variation required for theoria. Even base matters could, and sometimes should, feature in theoria . An excellent example of this is the passage about Heraclitos in the kitchen in Animals I.5. Here we meet a Greek philosopher and hero who does not only suggest that such lowly entities as animals are suitable material for philosophical contemplation of the higher orders but, also that this discussion should take place in a kitchen:

So one must not be childishly repelled by the examination of the humbler animals. For in all things of nature there is something wonderful. And just as Heraclitus is said to have spoken to the visitors who wanted to meet him and who stopped as they were approaching when they saw him warming himself by the oven he urged them to come in without fear, for there were gods there too so one must approach the inquiry about each animal without aversion, since in all of them there is something natural and beautiful. Footnote 28

Two persons that spend time together in real life are more likely to face a wider spectrum of different situations, and consequently, encounter a larger range of topics meriting contemplation. This indicates that traditional friendship is more conducive to theoria than its virtual counterpart. In real life we stumble on situations that are both novel and unexpected and we have to deal with them in promptu . This seldom happens on the internet. In the online sphere agents can choose when to engage each other and are thus likely to select situations where they are in control, e.g. when they are in a good mood, not stressed, able to be private and so on. The result of this is that virtual interaction, by being subject to control, is too restricted and unlikely to bring about theoria as defined in the NE.

We concede that it might be possible to solve the problems detailed above through technological advances. Our concerns with respect to (ii) and the pursuit of theoria in a virtual friendship are based on empirical assumptions relating to the limits of our current technology. These limitations might be overcome in the future, and if so, these concerns would be silenced.

However, our main concern with virtual friendships pertains to (iii). Genuine admiration and love requires honesty. Both parties must tell the truth about themselves and, equally, be able to see the other as she is without embellishing or idealising the friend. Assuming that we are dealing with virtuous agents (or at the very least, agents who aspire to virtue, so called continent agents), blatant lying is less of a concern. Although it is easy to deceive people on the internet, those who aspire to virtue would simply not be tempted to provide false information about themselves or others. That said, this does not take care of the control element discussed in relation to (ii), which risks introducing another, and more subtle, form of vicious behaviour. Because social community sites allow friends to be selective as to the ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘for how long’ aspects of the interaction in a different way to real life, they can (even unintentionally) choose to communicate only in certain situations. The price they pay is that they miss out on important, potentially problematic and complex, aspects of the friends’ personality. Therefore the agent ends up admiring and loving parts of the friend rather than the whole of her. Of course the unknown parts can be just as virtuous as the known traits (although this seems somewhat implausible) but the mere fact that the friendship is based on limited information disqualifies virtual friendship from meeting (iii). Further to this point, this displays a lack of proper judgement and practical wisdom in the agent proving that she does not have a fully virtuous character.

To spell the problem out in even more detail, the novel possibilities for the agent to choose how they depict themselves online can give rise to two kinds of mistaken beliefs. Firstly, one or both of the agents may sometimes end up having less than full knowledge about the other, and thus poor foundations for her perception about the character and persona of her online friend. Secondly, each party would be unaware of this. Note here that the problem is not necessarily conditioned on the actual lack of virtue in either party but that the belief (about the goodness of the other) is based on incorrect or incomplete information. Withholding this type of relevant information is in itself vicious. The character traits hidden might well be exemplary and virtuous, but the fact that they are unknown to the friend is enough to give rise to problems for the Aristotelian. The complete and excellent friendship can only obtain when both agents are fine, noble and excellent in every aspect, and this is incompatible with the withholding or manipulation of relevant information.

To illustrate the problem, consider the following scenario. Alice and Betty met online and hit it off immediately. They now chat more or less every day and feel that they have become quite close. They have, for example, shared intimate secrets, laughed together and even exchanged holiday pictures. After a couple of months of intense communication, however, Alice begins to notice that Betty never seems to be available on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Unfortunately this coincides with Alice’s only free afternoons during the week, time which she would like to spend chatting to Betty. When asked about this Betty becomes evasive and snappy and Alice ends up confused and hurt. The following Wednesday afternoon when Alice is in town she swings by the Community Pool for a swim. As she is about to go in, she spots Betty, immediately recognising her from the pictures. Just as she is about to call out her name she sees that Betty is not alone. She is with her physiotherapist fully engaged in a session of rehab water gymnastics. It turns out that she suffers from an impairment caused by a traffic accident. Her condition is very painful and greatly restricts her ability to e.g. visit clubs, bars, restaurants and other social venues. She is very sad and embarrassed about this and did not want Alice to think of her as ‘different’ from any other woman their age and thus kept it secret. This is of course understandable from a human perspective, yet it is telling as it shows how Alice’s love and admiration for Betty in fact was based on incomplete information. Regardless of what Alice would have made of the truth, the point is that she, unbeknownst to her, did not have access to all the relevant information. The judgment Alice reached about Betty was ill founded and, consequently, their friendship failed to meet condition (iii). This example shows that increased opportunities to withhold or distort information is in fact an element intrinsic to online life, and is as such morally problematic.

The internet and the possibility of lesser friendship

The highest form of friendship cannot be enjoyed solely by interacting online, as argued above. This type of friendship requires a real life component. However, as explained earlier, Aristotle recognises that friendship can come in more than one form and, further to that, be worthwhile even though it might to a limited extent only. What could be called the ‘lesser versions’ are neither useless nor without value. Consequently, they could indeed be worthwhile to pursue given that the agents involved do not confuse their relationship with the highest form, i.e. the genuine form, of friendship. This raises the following question: how ought we to think about the pros and cons offered by virtual ‘lesser forms’ of friendships.

To make the discussion concrete, consider the distinction between professional network sites (such as LinkedIn) and social community sites (such as Facebook and MSN). We believe that there is an important moral distinction to be made here. While the former offers a clear benefit to the users, e.g. in the way of mutually beneficial business relationships which the agents would not have been able to establish otherwise, the promise of the social network sites rings more hollow. Here the user is made to believe that she is likely to gain genuine friends and form meaningful and deep social relationships with other people. We showed in one of the earlier sections that this is false. However, that is not to say that social community sites are entirely without value, in all possible scenarios. If managed properly, they can of course offer very concrete benefits, in an instrumental sense. For example, a social community site might indeed be a very good place to meet people with whom you could become the friend of at a later stage as you advance from interacting online to meeting in real life. Further to this, it is a useful way to maintain already existing relationships, both when the friends are short on time or are geographically separated. None the less, there is an important moral distinction to be drawn between professional network sites and social network sites. Professional network sites, being of mutual advantage to the users, may well qualify as a good vehicle for establishing the ‘lesser forms’ of friendship, at least as long as no one using the professional network sites is led to believe that there is more to it than that (we take this to be a fairly uncontroversial claim and will thus not account for it in detail). The social network sites, on the other hand, do not even meet the criteria for ‘lesser friendship’. Although we concede that these sites can sometimes be of mutual advantage to their users, our moral objection is that some users of social network sites are led to form false expectations and judgements about the true nature of their virtual (social) friendships.

Let us illustrate our argument in an example. Alice has two friends both of whom she has met online: Claudia and Daniella. Claudia and Alice first started talking in a chat forum on the professional networks site LinkedIn. They keep in touch regularly and as both are lawyers it has happened that they have recommended each other’s services to potential clients. For all intents and purposes this is a mutually beneficial relationship and is thus a prime example of a valuable lesser friendship.

Alice’s second friend, Daniella, shares Alice’s keen interest in plants and Alice derives a lot of pleasure from discussing gardening on Facebook with her several times a week. On occasion Alice posts pictures of her garden on her Facebook wall. She is especially pleased about the compliments and positive feedback she receives from Daniella. Unbeknownst to Alice, however, Daniella’s only motive for posting those comments is to encourage Alice to share gardening secrets with her. The information Daniella gleans has had a significant positive impact on Daniella’s own garden, and allowed her to grow plants she would otherwise not have been able to.

From an Aristotelian point of view, there is a clear moral difference between the two cases. In the gardening scenario, Alice is deeply mistaken about the nature of her and Daniella’s relationship. Alice thinks that Daniella’s compliments are sincere and without agenda, something that is not the case. Our conclusion is that Alice’s friendship with Daniella has no moral value what so ever, and may even be harmful to Alice, whereas her friendship with Claudia has at least some value, in virtue of being honest and mutually useful.

A metaphor might help to clarify the difference further. Alice’s friendship with Daniella is like certain questionable forms of alternative medicine: The friendship is potentially harmful to Alice, since what she believes is a route to deep and meaningful interaction with Daniella in fact is a toxic substance leading to a feeling of betrayal, i.e. the friendship does harm to her rather than cure her social isolation. Furthermore, by opting for the alternative ‘medicine’ Alice also foregoes proven and functioning methods for achieving meaningful social interaction. In other words, what is flagged as a fast-track to meaningful social relationships and social inclusion is in fact an illusion as these relationships, whatever else they may be, do not contain the necessary components that go into genuine friendship.

To conclude, based on a modern reading of Aristotle’s theory of friendship, we have shown that virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. Virtual friendship exists on the internet and is seldom or never combined with real life interaction, whereas traditional friendship involves substantial real life interaction. We have shown that only the latter type can merit the label ‘genuine friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable. This supports the idea that virtual friendship is what Aristotle might have described as a lower and less valuable form of social exchange.

Metro, The Netherlands, 1 December 2010.

Cocking and Matthews ( 2000 :224).

Cocking ( 2008 :124).

Briggle ( 2008 :72).

Ibid ., p 73.

We do not claim that our view is the ‘true’ or ‘correct’ exegetical analysis of Aristotle’s position. All we claim is that it is a possible reading that is in line with the overall structure of his theory.

NE 1169b10-15.

NE 1157b19-24.

NE 1169b33-35.

Cooper ( 1977 , p. 322).

Sherman ( 1989 :128).

Cf. NE VIII.9, VIII. 12, IX. 6. See also Sherman ( 1989 : 124).

NE 1156a6-8.

NE 1156a14-19.

NE VIII.3-6.

NE 1138a3-8, NE 1156b18-24, NE 1170a5-6, NE 1236b27-32 and NE 1237a26-33.

NE 1099a31-1099b2.

NE1099b2-6.

NE 1163b35.

NE 1158a28.

See Book 8.1 of the NE.

See Pakaluk ( 1998 :264).

See e.g. Cooper ( 1977 , p. 316).

NE 1155b26-56a5.

NE 1157b25-30.

See for example the passage on Heraclitus in the kitchen in Parts of Animals I.5.

PA i 5.645a15-23.

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Fröding, B., Peterson, M. Why virtual friendship is no genuine friendship. Ethics Inf Technol 14 , 201–207 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-011-9284-4

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50 Friendship Quotes to Appreciate the Value of a Real Friend

Every friendship can be unique in its own way, but true friendships have a few common traits. Here are 30 true friendship quotes that reveal them all.

Having a best friend is a rare and awesome gift, one that keeps giving over the course of a lifetime. And while in many cases a best friend can be your partner – or even your dog or cat – there is something unique and amazing about building up a human connection outside your family. 

Friendship brings you up when you’re down, inspires you when you’re in a rut, and best friends offer you more than support; they also provide an opportunity to give as well as to receive. Indeed, sometimes, there’s nothing better than a friend who needs your help! 

Many of us have treated our best friend the way we want to be treated ourselves, a habit that can enrich your life in incredible ways. Best friends can seem to hold the world together for us, and in a way they are like a four leaf clover: hard to find, and a sign of good fortune! 

Your best friend is someone you should support through thick and thin, no matter what. And because a best friend is something hard to find in this world, if you’ve got one or more in your life, hold on tight! 

So how do you tell your best friend how much you love them? How do you express your gratitude to a good friend? How do we let them know that they make our souls blossom, and they are the someone in our lives that make it all seem okay? With some friendship quotes, of course!

A good friend is like the light in the darkness, so scroll down below and get inspired by the friendship quote that is perfect for your special human.

Appreciate Your Best Friend With the Following Friendship Quotes

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. SENECA ( more Seneca quotes )
True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable. DAVID TYSON
Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great. MARK TWAIN ( more Mark Twain quotes )
True friendship ought never to conceal what it thinks. ST. JEROME
True friends are those rare people who come to find you in dark places and lead you back to the light. UNKNOWN
There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. THOMAS AQUINAS
True friends stab you in the front. OSCAR WILDE
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another. RALPH WALDO EMERSON
A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success! DOUG LARSON
A true friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else. LEN WEIN
In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. ANTHONY ROBBINS
A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably. WILLIAM PENN
Friendship is a pretty full-time occupation if you really are friendly with somebody. You can’t have too many friends because then you’re just not really friends. TRUMAN CAPOTE
You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job. LAURENCE J. PETER
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ELISABETH FOLEY

Best Friends: Your Chosen Family

While friendship is often completely original, most possess a few common traits. For example, best friends are very loyal. They don’t switch sides when it is convenient. A true friend never gets jealous, and a real friend will never bail on you because they have something more interesting to do. 

A best friend becomes your go-to person because you know you can trust them. You feel comfortable enough around them to act silly or say whatever you want to say, and there’s never any need to pretend with a good friend because in their company you can be whoever you want to be. 

A best friend knows the real you, accepts you just as you are, and if your life is like a garden, a single friend is like the life-giving rain that helps your flowers bloom.  They’re the one that overlooks your broken fence and admires your garden. A single friend can make all the difference. 

Here are some more friendship quotes to continue your journey of inspiration. Will you write them a hand-written note? Spell out how much your friend means to you with icing on a cake you made from scratch?

True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance. HENRY DAVID THOREAU ( more Henry David Thoreau quotes )
A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. WALTER WINCHELL
If you have one true friend you have more than your share. THOMAS FULLER
True friends are like diamonds — bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style. NICOLE RICHIE
Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer. JEAN DE LA FONTAINE
Picking a best friend who stands up for what she believes in, is true to herself and allows you to be yourself without judgement of how ‘cool’ you are? Well, now you’re picking a friend for life. RENEE OLSTEAD
A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked. BERNARD MELTZER
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT ( more Eleanor Roosevelt quotes )
True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost. CHARLES CALEB COLTON
True friendship resists time, distance, and silence. ISABEL ALLENDE
The real test of friendship is can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple? EUGENE KENNEDY
If you can survive 11 days in cramped quarters with a friend and come out laughing, your friendship is the real deal. OPRAH WINFREY
A true friend is forever a friend. GEORGE MACDONALD
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 ( more Muhammad Ali quotes )
You find out who your real friends are when you’re involved in a scandal. ELIZABETH TAYLOR ( more Elizabeth Taylor quotes )

Quotes for Friends That Make a Difference

Let us be grateful for our friends, and open to new possibilities.  After all, your future bestie could be one of the new friends who’ve just met you recently for the first time, like Meghan Markle and Serena Williams !

The deep and lasting human connection we call friendship is special, and should be treated as such, no matter what form it takes. It could be that you enjoy moments of silence with your bestie that you don’t with anyone else. Sometimes, a great friendship means you don’t have to say anything at all. 

On the other hand, your friendship with your best friend could be the type of relationship that makes you louder than ever. This special human connection might turn you into a wild person, always ready to party! Who knows!

Friends are the people who make us live our best lives, and anyone that understands your past believes the best about your future. A real friend represents a world where anything is possible. There are so many ways to express and find joy in a friendship, so take a look at a few more of our favorite friend quotes below, and find the one that inspires you the most so you can share it with them.

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. ARNOLD H GLASGOW
We just need to be kinder to ourselves. If we treated ourselves the way we treated our best friend, can you imagine how much better off we would be? MEGHAN MARKLE
Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. OPRAH
Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend. BILL WATTERSON
Real friendship is when your friend comes over to your house and then you both just take a nap. ANONYMOUS
Friends share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. HENRI NOUWEN
Some people go to priests. Others to poetry. I to my friends. VIRGINIA WOOLF
The only way to have a friend is to be one. RALPH WALDO EMERSON
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
It’s not that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but it’s your best friends who are your diamonds. It’s your best friends who are supremely resilient, made under pressure and of astonishing value. They’re everlasting; they can cut glass if they need to. GINA BARRECA
My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company. JANE AUSTEN
Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you. MISTY COPELAND
Friendships are born on the field of athletic strife and the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust. JESSE OWENS
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Friends are the family you choose JESS C SCOTT
The love that comes from friendship is the underlying facet of a happy life. CHELSEA HANDLER
A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world. LEO BUSCAGLIA
Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. RICHARD BACH
Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious. THOMAS ACQUINAS
Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. AMY POEHLER

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Making Real Friends on The Internet

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Published: Sep 5, 2023

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The pros of online friendships, the cons of online friendships, fostering healthy online friendships, the future of online friendships, conclusion: navigating the digital realm.

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How to Write a Friendship Essay

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A friendship essay is precisely what it sounds like: a paper that students write to describe their relationships with their mates.  It is among the many assignments that students are given in their college institutions.  Writing essays about friendship is a great way to analyze what the connection means to you and reflect on some of your encounters. It can also be used as a tool to improve your closeness and affection. This blog post offers tips you may consider while writing your paper and its outline. It features friendship essay examples that help generate ideas that form the primary focus of your paper.  If you are not ready to waste your time on essay writing, StudyCrumb is here to offer affordable prices and professional writers.

What Is a Friendship Essay?

The definition of friendship essay is quite clear and straightforward. A paper about friends can be described as a write-up on a relationship between two or more people. This interpretation makes it easier to obtain the meaning of friendship essay.  Writing such thematic essay will help you communicate your feelings as well as your thoughts. It allows you to recollect your memories about different encounters you have had in life. It will also help you evaluate qualities of your connection.  While writing, you may have a sequence of events starting from your meet-up, activities you have done together, and how you have sustained the connection. Preparing an essay about friendship can evoke memories from your past that may have been long forgotten.

Purpose of an Essay on Friendship

This kind of essay aims to help you explore its nature and form, its pros and cons, and its role in your life. The importance of friendship essay is that it acts as a reflective tool. It helps you realize the significance of creating and maintaining good relationships with friends. It also explains how these connections contribute to your overall wellness. In addition, an article about friendship may teach you to understand that true friendship is priceless and should stand the test of time.

Ideas to Write a Friendship Essay on

Writing essays about friendship is a more manageable task than drafting a paper about a topic that may require more detailed research. Any excellent essay about true friendship starts with an idea that you can examine.  Below are some unique ideas you can explore:

  • What is friendship?
  • What does friendship mean to me?
  • The value of friendship you cherish in your life.
  • Cross-cultural friendships.
  • The role of friendship in mental health maintenance.

As you reflect on your relationship with your friend, see if you can write a paper incorporating these themes. Remember to choose an idea that interests you and is relevant to your personal experiences or research. Be sure to support your arguments with evidence and examples from real-life situations, literature, or academic research. Look through our definition essay topics or persuasive essay ideas to find a theme that suits your task best.

Friendship Essay Outline

An essay outline about friendship is a summary of what your write-up will contain but in a less detailed format. You use it to organize and structure your content logically and effectively. It presents the main topics and subtopics hierarchically, allowing writers to see the connection between different parts of the material. The importance of an outline lies in its ability to help writers plan, organize, as well as clarify their ideas. This makes the writing of an essay about friends more efficient, and the final product is more coherent and effective. Here is an example of an outline for a friendship essay.

  • Briefly introduce the topic of friendship
  • Provide a thesis statement that summarizes the main points of the essay
  • Topic sentence
  • Your main argument
  • Real-life examples that support your key idea
  • Supporting evidence
  • 3rd Body Paragraph
  • Examples or recommendations
  • Summarize the main points
  • Provide some food for thought

Note that this is a general outline. The exact structure and content of your essay will depend on the specific requirements of your assignment and your personal interests.

Structure of a Friendship Essay

The structure of an essay on friendship typically includes the following three parts.

  • Introduction An introduction should grab the reader's attention and provide background information. It should also include a clear thesis statement that sets a path and direction of the friendship essays.
  • Body The essay's body is where you will provide evidence and details to underpin your thesis statement. It should consist of several paragraphs supporting and developing a statement of purpose. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of your friendliness, such as its importance, benefits, or challenges.
  • Conclusion Briefly summarize the essay's main points and reinforce your principal argument. The conclusion should leave a lasting impression on readers and emphasize your topic's significance. Overall, the structure should be clear and well-organized, allowing the audience to follow your argument and understand the topic's significance.

Friendship Essay Introduction

A good introduction about friendship essay should grab the reader's attention and encourage them to continue reading. This can be achieved through a " hook ," a quote, an interesting fact, or a thought-provoking question. Background information can then be provided to give context to the discussed topic.  The introduction to an essay about friendship should also clearly state your main point or argument of the piece, known as thesis statement. This sets pace for the rest of the paper and gives readers a clear view of what to expect. A friendship essay introduction should be concise, engaging, and provide context for the audience to understand the content fully.

Friendship Essay Introduction Example

Here is an example of a friendship essay introduction that sets the stage for a reflective and thought-provoking exploration of the most precious gift in life.

Friendship Essay Thesis Statement

The friendship thesis statement aims to provide a summary of the essay's main point. It can be one or two sentences which you develop as you research. The statement of purpose should focus on the central argument and be supported by evidence presented in the body. The thesis statement about friendship should guide the essay's structure. Its main objective is to provide your reader with a roadmap to follow. It should be specific, concise, and accurately reflect the content in your paper. Understanding what constitutes a strong thesis is crucial for writers as it is integral to every essay writing process.

Friendship Thesis Statement Example

The thesis statement must be clear to readers so that they may quickly recognize it and comprehend the paper's significance. It should act as a blueprint of what to expect. A friendship thesis statement sample could be:

Friendship Essay Body

The body part should include five or more paragraphs. Students will use body paragraphs to elaborate on the key factors that make their connection special.

  • Definition and explanation. This friendship body paragraph should start with a definition and a brief explanation of its characteristics and qualities.
  • Importance of friends. Discuss why it is vital in your life and how it contributes to personal growth and welfare.
  • Types of friendships. A paragraph about friendship should discuss different types of friend's relationships that exist.
  • Qualities of a good friend. Discuss standards a great confidant should possess.
  • Challenges. Discuss the common problems that friends face.
  • Ways to strengthen friendship. Provide tips on reinforcing and maintaining good relationships.
  • Conclusion. Sum up the key points made in your essay and reiterate the importance of genuine bonds in life.

Friendship Body Paragraph Example

Below is a friendship body paragraph sample.

Friendship Essay Conclusion

Any conclusion on a friendship essay should sum up the main ideas discussed in your essay and restate the thesis statement. It should leave a lasting impression and provide a closure to your topic. To start writing a conclusion about a friendship essay, commence by rephrasing the thesis statement in different words. Summarize the points discussed in your essay by connecting them back to your statement of purpose. End conclusion with a final thought or call to action that leaves a lasting impression on your reader.  It is vital to keep it concise yet impactful. Avoid introducing new information or arguments, as it can confuse readers. Instead, focus on tying up loose ends and emphasizing main ideas discussed in your essay.

Friendship Essay Conclusion Sample

Here is an example of a friendship essay conclusion:

How to Write an Essay on Friendship?

To write an essay about friendship, start by brainstorming ideas about what friends mean to you and the benefits of such kinds of relationships. Knowing how to write a good essay about friendship involves selecting a great topic and arranging your content in a manner that has logical flow.

1. Come Up With a Topic About Friendship

To brainstorm essay topics on friendship, consider the following.

  • Reflect on your own experiences. Think about your own bonds and encounters you have had with allies. Avoid bad occurrences. This can inspire topics to explore in your essay. To find a subject that interests you, you can also look through internet examples of friend essays.
  • Ask questions related to friends, such as "What makes a meaningful connection?" or "How does the quality of your bond change over time?"
  • Talk to others. Ask friends, family, or classmates about their experiences. They may have interesting insights that can inspire new topics for your essay.

Ensure that topic you select is appropriate for your report style. For example: 

You can start this topic by how you met, narrate your story, and then pick out some attributes of a good friend and the advantages of the relationship. Remember to choose a topic on friendship essay that you feel passionate about and can explore in depth in your essay.

2. Do Research

To research and collect information for the friend essay, follow these steps.

  • Start with a general search. Use search engines like Google to find articles, books, and other resources on affection.
  • Identify keywords. Determine the most relevant keywords for your essay, such as "essay about a friend." Use them in your search to narrow down results to the most pertinent information.
  • Evaluate sources. When you have a list of potential sources, evaluate each to determine their credibility and relevance. Look for sources that are written by experts in the field and that have been peer-reviewed or published in reputable journals.
  • Take notes. As you read, take notes on the most important and relevant information.

3. Develop a Friendship Essay Outline

An outline is a useful tool for organizing ideas in an essay and it ensures that your essay has a structure. Before outlining you need to have a clear vision of what your essay will focus on. Then analyze every piece of information that you have and categorize it into headings. An outline of an essay about friendships will comprise a list which consists of each paragraph’s topic sentence . By going through the outline, you are able to examine what purpose each paragraph serves. If you need assistance on how to create an outline for a college essay about friendship use the outline example shown below.

4. Write an Essay on Friendship

Writing an essay about friendship is an exciting task. Below is a sample of how you can write your friendship essay. Friendship is the bond between two or more individuals based on mutual trust, support, and understanding. This connection can develop at any stage of life and even last a lifetime. It is a bond that fills our lives with comfort, laughter, and advice during a hard period. Many different factors can contribute to its formation and success. Having similar needs, mutual interests, and social activities can help sustain the relationship. Another crucial aspect is being ready to support each other through happy and difficult times unconditionally. Trust is also an essential component in the longevity of this connection. In conclusion, friendship is an invaluable treasure that brings joy, comfort, and support to our lives. It provides a safe place in a world that can be harsh and unforgiving. It reminds us that we should always stay true to each other.

5. Proofread Your Friendship Essay

When writing a friendship essay, consider the following for an effective introduction.

  • Grab your reader's attention. A good introduction makes them want to continue reading your friendship essay.
  • Provide context. Give an overview of the friendship essay and its purpose. This will make readers interested in your work.
  • Establish your purpose. Clearly state the main idea or thesis.
  • Preview the main points. Briefly summarize key points that will be covered.
  • Be concise. An introduction should be short and on point, generally no more than one or two paragraphs.

Remember, your introduction will set tone for the rest of your piece and should encourage your readers to continue reading.

Friendship Essay Examples

A sample essay about friendship can be critical to students, especially when they are researching and collecting information. Free friendship essays help you get ideas on how to write and structure your essay. Below are essay examples about friendship that you can go through to help with your writing and draw inspiration from. Friendship essay example 1

Friendship essay example 2

Essay about friendship sample 3

Example of essay on friendship 4

Friendship Essay Writing Tips

Here are some extra tips you need to know that will motivate you to write a friendship short essay.

  • You could start with a quote, an anecdote, or a surprising fact.
  • Use examples from your own life to illustrate your points in your school college essay about friendship, as this will make your essay more relatable and interesting to read.
  • Friendship titles for essays should be clear and straightforward. They should also reflect your main points.
  • Describe the aspect of the bond that, in your opinion, is most crucial. It is possible to personalize something that means an entirely different thing to various individuals.

Bottom Line on Friendship Essay Writing

Your central task is to understand what is a friendship essay even before you start writing. Friendship essays explore the nature of our relationships and their various aspects. They can take various forms, from short reflective essays to longer, more analytical pieces. These papers can discuss qualities that make a good friend, the benefits of your relationship, or challenges of maintaining close relationships. Examples of short essays about friendship could be a personal reflection, exploring the unique bond between the writer and their friend and what they hope to continue gaining from each other when they cross paths in future. If you struggle with other papers, feel free to check out our writing guides. From an essay about bullying to a world peace essay , we’ve got you covered.

FAQ About Friendship Essay

1. may i use friendship quotes for the essay.

Yes, it is always a winning step. You can write an essay on friendship with quotes either as the title of your essay or as an introductory phrase. You can also include it in the body of your work while narrating your story.

2. How to write a hook for an essay of friendship?

An essay should hook your reader's attention and make them want to read your story. When writing essays about friendship, you can describe a unique situation in which your friends helped you. You can also end your introduction with a catchy quote, such as Squad goals! Some other quotes that you can use include:

  • A road to a friend's house is never long.
  • Count your age with friends and years.
  • True friend is seen through the heart, not through the eyes.

3. Explain the importance of friendship essay.

The importance of friendship essay is that it teaches students to express their thoughts and feelings about confidants and benefits they obtain from this connection. It also acts as a reflective tool. Friend essays also help students realize advantages of creating and maintaining good relationships with friends and how these linkages contribute to your overall wellness and welfare.

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Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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Read more: How to Start off an Essay
Friendship is a special bond that unites two individuals with common interests, experiences, and emotions. It makes life easier and contributes to our happiness. It is a relationship that transcends race, religion, and socio-economic status and has power to sustain and uplift the spirit of humans. In this essay, I will explore its benefits and how it can contribute to a better world. Through personal anecdotes, I will illustrate the bond's depth and role in our day-to-day lives.
In this essay, I will explore friendship's meaning, its importance, benefits, drawbacks, and how it can contribute to a better world. Through a series of personal anecdotes, I will illustrate the bond's depth and its key role in our lives.
How to Spend Free Time with Friends • Outdoor Activities. Spending time in nature is a great way to bond with friends. You can meet, then go for a hike, take a walk, or go to a picnic in a park. This allows you to connect and enjoy the beautiful world around you. • Movie Night. Watching a movie is another fun activity you can do with friends. You can share popcorn, grab snacks, and enjoy a movie together. This is a great way to relax and unwind. • Board Games. Playing board games with friends is a fun and interactive way to spend free time. You can play classic games like Monopoly. This is a great way to challenge each other and have a good time.
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In conclusion, friendship is an essential aspect of our lives that brings joy, support, and companionship. It is a relationship built on mutual trust, understanding, and love. A true friend will always be there for you, no matter what. As humans, we need sincere friends to help us navigate life's ups and downs and provide emotional support. An understanding friend can withstand any obstacle and bring happiness to our lives. The connection is meant to last a lifetime, whether through shared experiences, interests, or simply a common bond. Ultimately, having a close group of loyal friends who truly care for us is one of the greatest gifts we can receive in life.
The Day my Best Friend Changed My Life.
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Friendship essay outline example

Why Men Struggle With Friendship

Men Faces Overlapping

I n 2019, Art Pereira ran the numbers on his windfall of credit card points, which he’d earned after opening a new card, and realized he had enough to cover two round-trip flights to Hawaii. Pereira couldn’t wait to share his good fortune with his best friend Nick Galluccio, and after the two of them caught up at Galluccio’s apartment, Pereira told him the news. Whatever excitement Galluccio might have felt about a subsidized vacation was trounced by concern. He worried that other people would think he and Pereira were going on a romantic getaway.

They had a type of friendship that was ripe for misinterpretation. The two 20-something youth pastors were close enough that they considered each other brothers and planned to move in together. Galluccio was the person Pereira felt safe telling about an argument he had with his dad before his dad died. Pereira helped Galluccio recover from romantic heartache. They devoted time together through their ritual of Friday morning coffee and board games, which they considered nearly sacred. They were life partners, just without the romance. Scrambling people’s expectations of male friendship further, Galluccio is straight, and, in 2017, Pereira came out as gay.

Few Americans are used to seeing male friends as close as they are. Often, the first question Pereira gets after he’s come out to someone as gay is, “Is Galluccio gay, too?” It’s as if people have a rule in their head: any man who spends a lot of time with a gay guy must himself be gay. Pereira might not have read so much into this moment if several similar situations hadn’t just happened in close succession—incidents where Galluccio openly worried that other people would think he was gay.

The sociologist Eric Anderson calls the fear of being perceived as gay “ homohysteria .” The inclusion of hysteria makes the term sound provocative, maybe uncomfortably so, but the concept is valuable. It helps explain why men like Galluccio constrain their behavior—avoiding activities, people, or organizations that could mark them as gay. A society can have high levels of homophobia—defined as the hatred or prejudice against gay, lesbian, or bisexual people—without men feeling like they must shore up their straightness. It only makes sense for men to adjust their behavior if homosexuality is not only stigmatized but also believed to be prevalent; then, there’s grounds to worry that other people might think they’re gay and that such a label could carry consequences. A turning point in homohysteria in the United States, according to Anderson, was the sexologist Alfred Kinsey’s blockbuster study on men’s sexual practices. The study , released in 1948, claimed that 10% of the population was homosexual—far more common than most people assumed. Around this time, men began to keep emotional and physical distance from one another.

Though homophobia has waned in the last few decades, American men still, by and large, aren’t supposed to get too cozy with other men if they want to fit in. By adolescence , boys learn that their repertoire for physical affection with each other is limited to back slaps and side hugs. They’re trained to act competitively within their male friendships , and they’re expected to bond over activities , not shared intimacies.

Read More: How to Make Friends as a Middle-Aged Man, Even If the Idea Makes You Feel Weird

While reporting on committed platonic relationships like Pereira and Galluccio’s, I saw how men’s friendships get scrutinized differently from women’s. When I’d tell people about a pair of straight male friends, I’d get questions about whether they’re really straight. People didn’t react that way when I’d tell the stories of straight female friends. The subtext was: if a man is too close to other men, his straightness is suspect.

Pereira was freed from these worries over what people might assume about his sexuality because, he says, “as a gay man, I’m not really trying to fit stereotypical views of masculinity anyway. If someone looks at me and thinks I’m gay, they’re just accurate. But for Nick, he wants to be perceived as who he is, which I think he deserves to be.”

Pereira encouraged Galluccio to care less about other people’s potential judgments. When Galluccio would pull back from Pereira because he found some form of physical affection weird, Pereira would point out that Galluccio’s perception of what’s normal between friends is culturally specific. Pereira is Brazilian American, and it’s normal for Brazilian men to kiss each other on the cheek or put their arms around each other. There, these actions aren’t coded as gay.

American ideas of what’s normal between male friends isn’t based on something universal about men. Male friends in Korea engage in “ skinship ,” a term that refers to nonsexual physical affection—music videos for K-pop bands offer plenty of examples. After George W. Bush and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia held hands while taking a stroll together in 2005, American news outlets informed their domestic audiences that it’s common in Arab cultures for men to hold hands. The same is true in India and various countries across Africa. High levels of gender segregation in these societies mean that people often form their most intimate relationships with people of the same gender. Some of these same societies condemn homosexuality, but because it’s treated as an aberration , sometimes even associated with the West , men don’t need to constantly prove that they’re straight. In countries such as Uganda, where physical affection between men is disappearing, scholars and writers link the change to the incursion of Western values .

Up until the early 20 th century in the United States and Europe, you’d have no trouble spotting physical affection between men. In 1851, a young engineer named James Blake described staying up late the night before parting from his friend because “our hearts were full of that true friendship which could not find utterance by words, we laid our heads upon each other’s bosom and wept, it may be unmanly to weep, but I care not, the spirit was touched.” What crossed the line of manliness for Blake wasn’t laying his head on another man’s bosom but weeping. In Picturing Men, a study of thousands of ordinary photographs of men taken between the 1850s and 1950s, California State University, Fullerton professor John Ibson shows how men of all races, classes, and regions openly engaged in physical intimacy with other men. Common poses included sitting on each other’s laps, holding hands, or resting their head on the other man’s shoulder. Physical closeness was once a prime feature of male friendship.

As Galluccio began to examine his intuitions, he started to believe that his discomfort wasn’t always an accurate signal that something was wrong. But this new idea was disorienting. How could Galluccio know what he wanted if he’d been raised in a culture that denied him experiences such as emotional connection with other men? It’s a culture in which it’s common enough for men to be emotionally shut off that there’s a clinical term for what they’re experiencing: normative male alexithymia . Psychologists think some men have such trouble putting their feelings into words because of the way they are socialized to be tough and stoic .

About a year after Pereira accepted that he was gay, Galluccio began to wonder if he was also attracted to men. He was becoming more comfortable in close friendships—“But am I supposed to?” he asked himself. On a hike in a state park in Kentucky, Galluccio told Pereira that he thought he might be gay. Pereira ran through questions to detect desire for men, such as: Did Galluccio ever want to kiss a man? Was he attracted to Pereira? No and no. As far as Pereira could tell, nothing pointed in the direction of same-sex attraction, so he asked Galluccio what made him think he could be gay. Galluccio said he liked it when Pereira hugged him, and he missed Pereira when he was gone for a week. “Oh, that’s just intimacy,” Pereira said. “That’s just loving someone, being close to someone.” Galluccio had equated emotional intimacy with sexual attraction; he hadn’t known that it was possible to experience emotional intimacy in a platonic context—he’d only ever done so with a girlfriend.

Even though American men in the past openly expressed love for their same-sex friends, today, straight men look elsewhere for intimacy. Researchers found that while many heterosexual women felt more emotional intimacy with their female best friend than with a male romantic partner, that was generally not the case for heterosexual men. Their romantic partner was more likely to be their chief source of emotional intimacy. In a survey from 2021 , men were about half as likely as women to report having recently received emotional support from a friend, and married men were significantly more likely than married women to say their spouse is the first person they talk to when they have a problem.

Men shy away from verbally affirming their friendships; about half of women said they told a friend they loved them within the past week, compared to one-quarter of men. Andrew Reiner, the author of a book about masculinity , concluded that the nearly 200 boys and men he interviewed tended to rely on male friends to solve specific problems that were unlikely to inspire judgment—what he called “targeted transparency.” These men and boys worried that their friends wouldn’t want to discuss their emotionally laden issues, or they didn’t want to “burden” others with their problems. If they sought emotional support, they generally turned to their romantic partners or female friends—forcing women to provide care for men that men aren’t giving to one another. One writer called the tendency for straight men to hoist all their emotional needs on their female romantic partners “ emotional gold digging .”

On a webinar in which Galluccio and Pereira discussed their friendship, Galluccio described a dynamic he used to have with Art: “For me as a straight person, it’s been so easy . . . for me to go, ‘Well, I’m uncomfortable, so you need to change because I’m in the majority.’ ” Galluccio said he now knows there are multiple reasons that could explain his discomfort. Maybe “it’s a good and healthy boundary, but maybe there’s homophobia or perception issues or intimacy issues that I’ve just grown up with,” he said. Turning to Pereira, Galluccio said, “Just because I’m uncomfortable doesn’t mean you’re wrong.”

Excerpted from The Other Significant Others: Reimagining Life with Friendship at the Center by Rhaina Cohen. © 2024 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Publishing Group.

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Family, friends of Nex Benedict remember Owasso teen: 'We are incredibly sad'

real friendship essay

An Owasso teen whose death has drawn international attention was bullied because of their gender identity, friends of the teen told an advocacy group, according to that organization’s executive director.

Family members also confirmed Nex Benedict used the pronouns they and them. The 16-year-old was injured in an altercation inside an Owasso High School bathroom Feb. 7 and died the next day.

Police are investigating what led up to the incident.  It remains unclear whether or not Nex was targeted because of their gender identity. Medical examiners haven’t disclosed their complete findings, but police said on Wednesday that an autopsy determined Nex did not die as a result of trauma.

In Nex's obituary, their family recounted that they loved to draw, read and play Ark and Minecraft.

“They were a wonderful child, and they were important to us in ways that are really difficult to articulate at this time,” said Malia Pila, the teen’s sister, in a brief conversation with The Oklahoman. “They were really great, and we are incredibly sad.”

More: Who attacked Nex Benedict? Will charges be filed? What we know about investigation process

Questions surrounding Nex Benedict's death spread on social media

Questions and grief over Nex’s death — at a time when debates over gender and sexuality are becoming increasingly common at school board meetings and legislative hearings nationwide — have spread far beyond Oklahoma. 

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said on the social media site X that he was devastated after learning about Nex's passing.

“Violence has no place in our school,” Cardona said in a post Wednesday. “It is our responsibility to protect all students by creating spaces where they feel safe to be their true selves.”

More: Officials speak out after Oklahoma student dies: 'Nex should still be alive'

Nicole McAfee, who leads Freedom Oklahoma, said her organization has been working with some of Nex’s friends and others in Owasso as they process their grief over Nex’s death. The group is focused on making Oklahoma a safer place for people of all genders and sexualities.

McAfee, whose pronouns are she/her and they/them, said none of Nex’s friends currently felt comfortable being quoted directly in news stories. But McAfee said the friends have told them Nex was gender expansive — using they/them pronouns with some people and he/him pronouns with those closest to him.

Other students made fun of Nex because of it, friends told McAfee’s group.

“Nex had been bullied for their gender identity for well over a year,” McAfee said.

Jordan Korphage, a spokesman for the school district, did not respond to questions about whether the school had received prior reports of bullying involving Nex. He also would not say what grade Nex was enrolled in or whether the school had any groups aimed at supporting students of various gender and sexual identities.

McAfee said many 2SLGBTQ+ children in Oklahoma have described facing growing hostility at school in recent years. They said they had heard concerns in the past about student safety at Owasso schools, particularly after a teacher who was viewed as an advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ students left the district in 2022. The teacher has said he was harassed after he was criticized by Libs of TikTok, a far-right social media platform.

Little information provided by Owasso police, school officials

In a statement issued Wednesday, Nex's family said they believed Nex was attacked at school, a place they should have been safe. They asked for privacy as they continued to grieve Nex.

"The Benedicts know all too well the devastating effects of bullying and school violence and pray for meaningful change wherein bullying is taken seriously and no family has to deal with another preventable tragedy," the family said in a statement issued by its attorney.

Owasso police and school officials have released sparse details about what happened, citing privacy laws and the ongoing investigation. The information void has added fuel to a torrent of online speculation and criticism, especially over the lack of charges filed in the case. 

Investigators have said they plan to spend several more days talking to students and school employees before they share their findings to prosecutors. They also are waiting on more information from the state medical examiner’s office, including a toxicology report, said Lt. Nick Boatman, a spokesman for Owasso Police.

He declined to release the incident report about the altercation, citing the ongoing investigation. He also said privacy laws limit police from disclosing information about cases involving children. All students who were involved in the altercation are younger than 18, Boatman said.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said his office does not become involved in any criminal case until investigators submit reports. Based on that information, prosecutors will then decide whether to file charges and what those charges will be, he said.

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Guest Essay

I’m a Neuroscientist. We’re Thinking About Biden’s Memory and Age in the Wrong Way.

President Biden seated in a chair holding a stack of what looks like index cards.

By Charan Ranganath

Dr. Ranganath is a professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California, Davis, and the author of the forthcoming book “Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold On to What Matters.”

The special counsel Robert K. Hur’s report, in which he declined to prosecute President Biden for his handling of classified documents, also included a much-debated assessment of Mr. Biden’s cognitive abilities.

“Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

As an expert on memory, I can assure you that everyone forgets. In fact, most of the details of our lives — the people we meet, the things we do and the places we go — will inevitably be reduced to memories that capture only a small fraction of those experiences.

It is normal to be more forgetful as you get older. Generally, memory functions begin to decline in our 30s and continue to fade into old age. However, age in and of itself doesn’t indicate the presence of memory deficits that would affect an individual’s ability to perform in a demanding leadership role. And an apparent memory lapse may or may not be consequential, depending on the reasons it occurred.

There is forgetting, and there is Forgetting. If you’re over the age of 40, you’ve most likely experienced the frustration of trying to grasp that slippery word on the tip of your tongue. Colloquially, this might be described as forgetting, but most memory scientists would call this retrieval failure, meaning that the memory is there but we just can’t pull it up when we need it. On the other hand, Forgetting (with a capital F) is when a memory is seemingly lost or gone altogether. Inattentively conflating the names of the leaders of two countries would fall in the first category, whereas being unable to remember that you had ever met the president of Egypt would fall into the second.

Over the course of typical aging, we see changes in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, a brain area that plays a starring role in many of our day-to-day memory successes and failures. These changes mean that as we get older, we tend to be more distractible and often struggle to pull up words or names we’re looking for. Remembering events takes longer, and it requires more effort, and we can’t catch errors as quickly as we used to. This translates to a lot more forgetting and a little more Forgetting.

Many of the special counsel’s observations about Mr. Biden’s memory seem to fall in the category of forgetting, meaning that they are more indicative of a problem with finding the right information from memory than Forgetting. Calling up the date that an event occurred, like the last year of Mr. Biden’s vice presidency or the year of his son’s death, is a complex measure of memory. Remembering that an event took place is different from being able to put a date on when it happened, which is more challenging with increased age. The president very likely has many memories, even though he could not immediately pull up dates in the stressful (and more immediately pressing) context of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Other “memory” issues highlighted in the media are not so much cases of forgetting as they are of difficulties in the articulation of facts and knowledge. For instance, in July 2023, Mr. Biden mistakenly stated in a speech that “we have over 100 people dead,” when he should have said, “over one million.” He has struggled with a stutter since childhood, and research suggests that managing a stutter demands prefrontal resources that would normally enable people to find the right word or at least quickly correct errors after the fact.

Americans are understandably concerned about the advanced age of the two top contenders in the coming presidential election (Mr. Biden is 81, and Donald Trump is 77), although some of these concerns are rooted in cultural stereotypes and fears around aging. The fact is that there is a huge degree of variability in cognitive aging. Age is, on average, associated with decreased memory, but studies that follow up the same person over several years have shown that although some older adults show precipitous declines over time, other super-agers remain as sharp as ever.

Mr. Biden is the same age as Harrison Ford, Paul McCartney and Martin Scorsese. He’s also a bit younger than Jane Fonda (86) and a lot younger than the Berkshire Hathaway C.E.O., Warren Buffett (93). All these individuals are considered to be at the top of their professions, and yet I would not be surprised if they are more forgetful and absent-minded than when they were younger. In other words, an individual’s age does not say anything definitive about the person’s cognitive status or where it will head in the near future.

I can’t speak to the cognitive status of any of the presidential candidates, but I can say that, rather than focus on candidates’ ages per se, we should consider whether they have the capabilities to do the job. Public perception of a person’s cognitive state is often determined by superficial factors, such as physical presence, confidence and verbal fluency, but these aren’t necessarily relevant to one’s capacity to make consequential decisions about the fate of this country. Memory is surely relevant, but other characteristics, such as knowledge of the relevant facts and emotion regulation — both of which are relatively preserved and might even improve with age — are likely to be of equal or greater importance.

Ultimately, we are due for a national conversation about what we should expect in terms of the cognitive and emotional health of our leaders.

And that should be informed by science, not politics.

Charan Ranganath is a professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California, Davis, and the author of “ Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold On to What Matters .”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories .

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The Real Relationship Between Truman Capote and James Baldwin

real friendship essay

By Chris Murphy

Image may contain Chris Chalk Clothing Coat Jacket Photography Face Head Person Portrait Hat and Adult

Another iconic American literary figure has officially entered the Feud chat. On the fifth episode of Capote vs. The Swans, airing Wednesday night, Truman Capote ( Tom Hollander ) falls deeper into the depths of alcoholic despair as he continues to be alienated from his beloved swans after the fallout from his Esquire short story “La Côte Basque, 1965.” Enter a well-timed visit from none other than legendary writer and activist James Baldwin , portrayed by actor Chris Chalk, who both challenges and comforts the struggling author. In Capote vs. The Swans, the two seminal writers trade barbs and words of encouragement, and it turns out their real-life relationship was similarly fraught.  

In the episode, “The Secret Inner Lives of Swans,” Baldwin visits Capote, who is in the midst of an alcohol-induced slumber, right as Capote is on the brink of ending it all. Chalk’s Baldwin is at once a sharpshooter and a relentless truth-teller, refusing to let Capote waste his gift. The pair bounces around New York, going from the restaurant La Côte Basque, where Capote accurately notes that his swans “would never do this—have lunch alone with a Black man,” to an underground gay bar where they commiserate about being queer writers in the mid-70s. They end up back at Capote’s apartment, where Baldwin inspires Capote to, at least temporarily, put down the bottle and pick up the pen. “Your book, it is the firing squad that killed the Romanovs,” Baldwin says to Capote in Feud. “It’s your guillotine that beheaded Marie Antoinette.” By the episode’s end, Capote has regained his sense of self and dines on a swan stolen from Central Park, prepared by a La Côte Basque chef no less.

In reality, Baldwin would most likely not have been around New York to guide Capote on his journey of self-discovery. By the mid-1970s Baldwin, like Capote, was already a prolific and celebrated author, having rose to national prominence via his lauded works like 1953’s Go Tell It On the Mountain, 1955’s essay collection Notes of a Native Son, and his controversial and groundbreaking queer novel Giovanni’s Room, published in 1956. By the time those books were published, Baldwin had long since abandoned his native Harlem for Paris ,  in large part due to the unrelenting racism in America. Baldwin would die on December 1, 1987, a few years after Capote, of stomach cancer at his home in Saint-Paul de Vence, France. 

“I left America because I doubted my ability to survive the fury of the color problem here. (Sometimes I still do.),” wrote Baldwin in his essay The Discovery of What It Means to be an American , in 1959. “I wanted to prevent myself from becoming merely a Negro; or, even, merely a Negro writer…Still, the breakthrough is important, and the point is that an American writer, in order to achieve it, very often has to leave this country.” Abroad, Baldwin would continue churning out beloved work, including his 1962 novel Another Country, his essay collection The Fire Next Time in 1963, and the novel If Beale Street Could Talk in 1974. (Nearly half a century later, in 2018, Barry Jenkins would adapt If Beale Street Could Talk into a film by the same name, starring   KiKi Layne, Stephan James, and an Oscar-winning Regina King. ) By the time Capote’s imagined rendezvous with Baldwin occurred in the mid-1970s, Baldwin was already primarily living in Saint-Paul de Vence. Capote vs. The Swans writer Jon Robin Baitz knew as much, framing episode five as “a play, really—an imagined encounter,” Baitz told Vanity Fair . “They knew each other, but there was no real love lost between them in actuality.”

Baitz clearly did his research. Capote, it seems, was not too fond of Baldwin’s writing, at least as far as his peer’s fiction was concerned. “I loathe Jimmy’s fiction: it is crudely written and of a balls-aching boredom,” wrote Capote to literature scholar and Smith college professor Newton Arvin in 1962 . While that was certainly less than complimentary, he had kinder things to say about Baldwin’s non-fiction writing, although that too was caged in Capote’s classic brand of caustic cattiness. “I do sometimes think his essays are at least intelligent, although they almost invariably end on a fakely hopeful, hymn-singing note.”

That’s not to say Capote was the only one who had acerbic words for Baldwin. In the December 17, 1964 issue of the New York Review of Books, American theatre critic Robert Brustein wrote a scathing review of Nothing Personal, a collaboration between Baldwin and famed high fashion photographer Richard Avedon. In the review, called “Everybody Knows My Name,” Brustein rips their collaboration to shreds, beginning, “Of all the superfluous non-books being published this winter for the Christmas luxury trade, there is none more demoralizingly significant than a monster volume called Nothing Personal.” Avedon’s photos were accompanied by occasional text from Baldwin, which Brustein also went out of his way to eviscerate in his review. Baldwin’s contributions to Nothing Personal, Brustein wrote, pop up “interrupting from time to time, like a punchy and pugnacious drunk awakening from a boozy doze during a stag movie, to introduce his garrulous, irrelevant, and by now predictable comments on how to live, how to love, and how to build Jerusalem.” Harsh. 

Not so fast, said Capote. In his published response, “Avedon’s Reality,” found in the January 28, 1965 edition of The New York Review of Books, Capote defended Nothing Personal, saying that he was both “interested and startled” by Brustein’s review. “Brustein is an intelligent man: a theater critic of the first quality, one of only three this reader can read with a sense of stimulation,” Capote acknowledges. “But surely Brustein’s comments regarding the Avedon-Baldwin collaboration is as distorted and cruel as he seems to find Avedon’s photographs.”

While much of the letter is in defense of Avedon—a friend of Capote’s—the In Cold Blood author does show support for Baldwin too, disputing Brustein’s assertion that Baldwin and Avedon made the book simply for the money. “First of all, if the publisher of this book sold every copy, he would still lose money. Neither Baldwin nor Avedon will make twenty cents,” wrote Capote. “Brustein is entitled to think that Avedon and Baldwin are misguided; but believe me he is quite mistaken when he suggests, as he repeatedly does, that they are a pair of emotional and financial opportunists.” Even when they don’t like each other’s work, artists of a feather stick together.

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Wendy Williams Takes Off Wig, Tears Up During Emotional Reunion with Blac Chyna in New Lifetime Doc (Exclusive)

The former 'Wendy Williams Show' host and reality star reveal their unlikely friendship and a touching moment in the upcoming film

Janine Rubenstein is Editor-at-Large at PEOPLE and host of PEOPLE Every Day podcast, a daily dose of breaking news, pop culture and heartwarming human interest stories. Formerly Senior Editor of music content, she's also covered crime, human interest and television news throughout her many years with the brand. Prior to PEOPLE she's written for Essence, The Cape Times newspaper and Los Angeles Magazine among others. On-screen Rubenstein can be found featured on shows like Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight and she routinely hosts PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly's star-studded Red Carpet Live specials. Follow the San Francisco native, Black Barbie collector and proud mom of two on Instagram and Twitter @janinerube

real friendship essay

In a gripping new Lifetime documentary former talk show host Wendy Williams is an open book about her troubles over the past few years, and she also reveals a surprising friendship.

Where Is Wendy Williams? shows shocking, painful scenes from the star's journey following the cancellation of her show in 2022 and the start of her court-appointed guardianship. Be it her alcohol abuse or myriad health issues , the cameras capture it all.

But there are also deeply touching moments, like one shared here in an exclusive clip with PEOPLE, where former reality star Angela "Blac Chyna" White drops by to check on Williams.

"You've always been like, honest with me, and put me in my place, in the most motherly, kind way," Chyna, 35, tells Williams, 59, who sits in her New York City apartment, cloaked in a Gucci coat, staring intently at her friend. Moments prior, Williams, known for her varying wigs, has removed the one she's wearing to show her real hair.

In the extended scene, which will be shown in the doc, she also breaks down during the tender moment and shows Chyna her feet, now misshapen due to lymphedema.

The close friendship first grew out of gossip. Back in 2020, after years of being mentioned on Williams' show, Chyna decided to set the record straight , sitting down with the then-host for an interview about her life and headline-fueling entanglements with the Kardashians .

"We talk about you a lot on Hot Topics," Williams told her at the time, adding, "You're very controversial," to which Chyna responded, "Thank you."

Off screen, the pair formed a real-life bond after that day. Chyna, who has recently opened up about her own past substance abuse , tells Williams in the clip that she wants to be there for her, just as Williams had been there in the past.

"That's why I love you so much, because even when I was going through my darkest times you never used that against me," she tells Williams. "That's how you know that the love is genuine and it's always going to be there. And I'm going to always be here for you, straight up."

For more on Wendy Williams pick up this week's issue, on newsstands everywhere, Friday.

But to that Williams responds with a non sequitur, suddenly telling Chyna "My real name is Wendy Hunter. Yup. And I'm divorced. He's got no money."

When a concerned Chyna responds, "I love you," Williams, seeming more like herself, shares "So do I," before the two embrace.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Where Is Wendy Williams? premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. and concludes at the same time the next day on Lifetime.

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  1. True Friendship Essay for Students and Children

    500 Words True Friendship Essay Friendship is an essential part of everyone's lives. One cannot do without friends, we must have some friends to make life easier. However, lucky are those who get true friendship in life. It is not the same as friendship. True friendship is when the person stays by you through thick and thin.

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    A real friend is one who knows the personality of a fellow or colleague, understands the ups and downs in one's life, and still gives one the chance to grow. From my personal view on friendship, one of the best qualities of true friendship is, therefore, to understand and to be understood. Say no to plagiarism. Get a tailor-made essay on

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    Show affection. As James Taylor once sang, "Shower the people you love with love. Show them the way that you feel.". That includes your friends. Showing affection is a sure way to make someone feel valued. Yet some people may fear expressing affection for a friend, worrying that it will be unwanted or misconstrued.

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    What is The Real Definition of a True Friendship Categories: Friendship Relationship Words: 517 | Page: 1 | 3 min read Published: Mar 1, 2019 Table of contents Friendship Essay Outline Introduction Definition of friendship as a precious gift Importance of friendship in life True Friendship Definition of true friendship

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    Role of a Friend: True friends share and support each other even during the toughest of times. A true friend is one who feels happy for our success, who feel sad for our failures, fight with us for silly things and hugs us the next second, gets angry on us when we do any mistakes.

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    Friendship Essay Example. Friendship is a greatest and pure relationship between two or more people they can ever wish for. Those are lucky enough who have friends whom they can trust and rely upon. Friendship is a loyal and dedicated relationship between two individuals. Both of them feel enormous concern and love for each other.

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    The concept of making real friends online has gained traction, raising questions about the authenticity of these relationships and the potential benefits and drawbacks. This essay delves into the complexities of forming genuine friendships on the internet, examining both the positive and negative aspects to offer a comprehensive perspective.

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    A real-life friend can actually physically be there for you and with you. They know you better, they know every bit of you because you share experiences together in person. You can enjoy their company in real life. A real-life friend is there to comfort you with a hug when needed.

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