On this journey to discovering passion and purpose, we stop to answer the question,
What is the true meaning and purpose of friendship?
At its core, the true meaning of friendship is someone with who you connect on shared interests. You take time on those shared interests, together, making you both happier people. It’s over time that mutual trust is formed and it’s these emotions and feelings we call “being friends.” Everyone has their own “requirements” for being friends and the culture in which you were raised strongly influences our understanding of friendship.
Friendship can be categorized by different types, for example, acquaintance, friend, a close friend, and true friend. To know someone is an acquaintance, to call someone a friend is not the same thing. A friend is someone with who you have a bond of mutual rooted affection in different feelings. It’s when the feelings of care, respect, admiration, and even love between a person that starts to tug at your heartstrings you know you found a close friend. A true friendship watches out for you, always has your back, never purposely leading you into making decisions or allowing you to do things that aren’t good. They stand up for you even when you are not in the room. A true friendship has your best interest at heart. And, we all know that when it comes to friendships, you can have closer relationships with some people, more than others. So when you call someone your friend, there’s a different layer and level to how you feel about that person. In time, you develop your circle of friends. There are two sayings I grew up hearing ( in two different languages ) which I want to share with you. It may be familiar and all of it holds true. “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres”, which in the English language translates to “you are who you hang with”. Have you heard it before? Jim Rohn motivational speaker famously said, “ we are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Is this true? We do know that prioritizing and taking time for friendships have an enormous role on one’s mental health, and friends’ influence goes beyond just the now. The fact is that having and developing friends is a fundamental and core important aspect of one’s personal wellbeing. Everyone forms different friends for each stage of life-based on mutual interest and it’s important to maintain friendships as you go throughout your journey, as friends take different paths. The friends we surround ourselves with are meant to help one change and grow. The importance of having friends is meant to increase your sense of belonging and purpose in life.
A new study on friendship claims that the average American has 16 close friends. Three friends for life, five friends (according to this study) defined as people you would want to hang out with, and the remaining eight were friends, but not necessarily people you would hang out with. The study also shared that we make fewer friends as we get older and that we peak at age 23 for “making friends”. Work was cited as the place where people made the most friends. And the average middle-aged adult has not made a new friend in the past five years. A different study which was also quite interesting on the subject shared that, people generally assume that when they consider another person a “friend” that person also thinks of them as a friend. The assumption is that being friends is reciprocal, but the study found that only half of the friendships are indeed a two-way street. Interesting.
There is a role for each of your friendships in helping you live your life with passion and purpose. The deep relationships with your friends and support system help prioritize for you what is important, helping you better understand who you are, and why you are here. Friendships that are there to help you celebrate the good times and stand with you through the bad times will shape the course of your life. Sharing time with friends brings more happiness into our lives than anything else, in fact, it’s even been scientifically proven.
When was the last time you called a friend and let them know how much their friendship means to you?
Until next Time ~ Ayri
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