The True Meaning of Friendship


best friends sharing each others company at the YLHS vs Esperanza football game

Bita Zadeh, Photojournalist

Many of us have people in our lives with whom we feel a strong bond. Time and distance do nothing to diminish the bond we have with these kinds of friends. Why do we have this kind of chemistry with only a few people we know and not with others?


What draws people together as friends?

1  . Common interests: This probably ties us closer to our friends than anything. When we don’t have the same interests and we can find nothing to enjoy together, time spent together tends to rapidly diminish. Not that we can’t still care deeply about friends who we don’t have common interests with, but it’s probably uncommon for such friends to interact on a regular basis.

2  . Common values: Though not necessarily enough to create a friendship, if values are too different, it’s difficult for a friendship to thrive.

3  . Equality: If one friend needs the support of the other on a consistent basis and the other friend isn’t supported, but only supports and encourages, while the friendship may be important and valuable, it can’t be said to define a true friendship.

What makes a friend worthy of the name?

1  . A commitment to your happiness: A true friend is consistently willing to put your happiness first. A true friend won’t stop themselves from telling you something you don’t want to hear, something that may even risk ruining the friendship, if hearing it is for your best interest. A true friend will not lack the mercy to correct you when you’re wrong. A true friend will confront you with your bad habit or bring up the serious concerns about you as quickly as they can because they just want what is best for you.

2  . A good influence: A true friend inspires you to live up to your best potential, not to bring yourself down or to be put down by others

Of course, we may have friends who fit all these criteria and still don’t quite feel true. There still seems to be an extra factor, an attraction similar to what draws people together romantically, that brings and sticks friends together with a real bond for no reason either person can identify. From the words of YLHS student, Paige Cacaam (11), “When you find these genuine friends, they’re like finding home”.