A Friend Is a Treasure You Should Look After
He who has a friend has a treasure, as the saying goes. Friendship matters. People say that a friend is a treasure that we give ourselves. With our friends, we share trust, honesty, and authenticity.
Friendship is a special relationship where language isn’t just words, but deep meanings. It’s a relationship of mutual support and encouragement where faults are tolerated and unconditionally accepted regardless of the circumstances or what may be going on.
What’s the true meaning of friendship? The truth is that it’s often difficult to describe. It’s often an understanding full of affection that occurs between two people in a unique and particular way. It’s something that helps us to define ourselves and give meaning to our lives as well.
A friend is a treasure
Giving this relationship a unique definition is complex, as there are many types of friendships. However, the psychological perspective understands friendship from a socioemotional realm, and this is characterized by the interdependence of the relationship.
“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.”
Aristotle was deeply interested in the concept of friendship. According to him, friendship is the lightest and most sincere way of being touched by Eros. His literal definition into three typologies were friendships of utility, pleasure, and virtue. Some people divide them into functional, accidental, and intentional.
- Friendships of utility. This is a friendship based on reciprocal benefit rather than on affection. They’re more common among adults than among young people and usually last as long as the benefit lasts.
- Friendships of pleasure. This is a very frequent type of friendship among young people. They’re friendships based on pleasure, in which people share hobbies and interests, and friendship is understood in a playful, sometimes sensual way. They’re friends you can go to parties or play sports with. They usually last until tastes and hobbies change.
- Friendships of virtue. In this type of friendship, there’s no reason to make any form of profit. It’s based on real affection and a shared perspective and appreciation for the good and virtuous in life. They’re relationships based on goodness and usually last a lifetime.
The alliance between two great natures
Ralph Waldo Emerson offers us a different aspect of friendship, which he feels is more realistic. According to Emerson, true friendship doesn’t require virtue. It would be something like a beautiful mixture of similarities and disparities that unites you to the other person. Seen this way, there’s no doubt that a friend is a treasure.
Moreover, there’s an indispensable condition for true friendship between two people: the mutual ability to do without it.
Emerson calls friendship the alliance between two great and formidable natures who contemplate each other and recognize each other’s deep identity. They feel united despite disparities.
The family you choose
In a way, your circle of friends is your chosen family. In one way or another, friendships generate strong alliances and mutual respect. They’re relationships in which people voluntarily engage. Your blood family doesn’t always turn out to be who you identify with.
“What makes friendships unbreakable and what doubles their charm, is a feeling that love lacks: certainty.”
-Honoré de Balzac-
There are two types of factors that will guide you when you choose your potential friends: individual factors and environmental factors. Within the former, influences such as your social skills, similarity, and accessibility to each other.
Environmental factors are also important in defining a friendship, and life events, geographic proximity, and a preference for certain activities are decisive influences.
It seems that studies on these aspects show that you choose friends you feel are similar to you and with a type of personality that will help you to enjoy their company. Everything seems to indicate that these are aspects that will help you find friendships with a low potential for conflict.
A relationship without masks
They say that when you have real friends, then walls don’t exist and you’re free to behave as you really are, without fear. They’re people who know you well, sometimes even better than you know yourself. You can talk about anything and the relationship that you have somehow defines who you are.
“A friend is someone who knows the song of your heart and can sing it when you’ve already forgotten the words.”
-Julio Ramón Ribeyro-
A friend is a witness of your life, a living testimony of what happens to you. They’re mirrors in which you find yourself reflected, and a refuge based on love and respect. They bring out the best in you and know the good and the bad, and the beautiful and the ugly that you carry inside you.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Baker, Jennifer (2017) What is Friendship? Emerson’s Praise and Worries about Friends. Psychology Today. Recuperado de https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-love-wisdom/201703/what-is-friendship
- Degges-White, Suzanne (2018) Friendology: The Science of Friendship. Why do we like the people we like? Psychology Today. Recuperado de https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201805/friendology-the-science-friendship
- John M. Cooper (1977) Aristotle on the Forms of Friendship. The Review of Metaphysics Vol. 30, No. 4 pp. 619-648. Philosophy Education Society Inc.
- Elnimeiri, Ahmed (2016) Thoreau and Emerson: An Anatomy of a Friendship. Journal of Comparative Poetics Vol. 36