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Aqua's avatar

What is true friendship?

Asked by Aqua (2546points) December 7th, 2010

I’ve been thinking lately about what it means for someone to be a true friend, and I’d like to know what the Fluther community thinks. This is a pretty broad question, so I’m not looking for specifics, but I would like serious responses.

• Would you consider someone a true friend if you are on good terms (or “friends”) with them at work/school/etc, but never do anything with them outside of those circumstances?
• Can you really be a friend to someone without spending quality time with them?

Feel free to answer these specifically and/or the question in general.

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15 Answers

mrlaconic's avatar

I feel that I could be friends with someone and consider them a true friend without spending quality time with them because that person thinks about me. When they come to my town they call me up and say lets hang out and when I go his way we usually hang out. The same can not be said of another friend I grew up with who now has a family.. when I go down his way he doesn’t call me back and when he comes up here (because his dad lives in my area) he “forgets that I live here”. You dont have to spend a lot of time with a person but if the thought is there and when you hang out its genuine for me that equals being a true friend.

YARNLADY's avatar

In my opinion, the word friend is usually misused. The person you are close to in limited circumstances is an acquaintance or school mate, not a friend.

A true friend is someone you can be comfortable with in nearly every setting, can visit without calling first, can help herself to your refrigerator, and doesn’t mind eating off paper plates, or your dog sitting on her lap.

Aqua's avatar

@mrlaconic: I agree. I have many friends from my high school days who I rarely see any more, but if we were ever in the same town we would be sure to call each other and hang out or at least drop by. But, these are people who I’ve already spent lots of time with in the past. I think you can develop a friendship with someone, not see them for a prolonged period of time, and still be friends the next time you see each other. But the time has to be invested in to the relationship somewhere along the line.

@YARNLADY: That’s a good way to look at it. I agree with your friend/acquaintance distinction as well.

Soubresaut's avatar

I’m with @YARNLADY. I take forever before I’ll call someone a friend. I think it’s something more intimate than simply knowing and talking to someone. There’s got to be something personal, there’s got to be trust that’s been earned.

I’ve been amazed at how many people will call me a friend when they hardly know me. (I mean really, hardly know me.) And then when I’m doing something that disagrees with them somehow, they throw the word in my face. “Geez I thought we were friends!” ... sorry, but apparently I missed the memo? It drives me absolutely crazy.

I don’t have as many “friends” as a lot of people I know do, but I feel like I have more sans-quotation-marks worthy friends, and that’s what matters to me. Friends that matter.

Fayeranna's avatar

In my opinion, a true friend is someone you sincerely care about and want their best interest at heart. It doesn’t matter if you spend minimal or a lot of time with them. If you connect on a deep level, meaning you feel you are perhaps a kindred spirit, you will want what’s best for them regardless of how much you associate. I have experienced this. Sometimes, you just know there is a connection and so you want the best for that person.

krista_ga22's avatar

A True friend is someone that you can call family. For me, I consider my friends my family and my family acquaintances.. I think you can consider someone that you dont ever spend time with a friend. For example one of my really good friends.. Her and I dont get to see each other that often, but talk on the phone, text and online usually everyday.. : )

lovable's avatar

For me true friends are:
-people you could tell anything to (they won’t go around blurting all your business out)
-people you treat as a sister or brother
-they spend time with you after work/school/etc.
-text you
-when your sad/angry/etc. they make sure your okay
-They don’t annoy you, know when to leave you alone, etc.
-they are there for you whenever you need them (no matter where they are at or what they are doing)
I wouldn’t consider a friend with benefits a friend. I would really just consider them a lover or future lover.
I would consider people who you hang out at school and only school as school friends. (or work,etc.)
I think you could be a good/true friend with out spending quality time with them but you just won’t be close friends.

Jwtd's avatar

Those that will stick with you at your worst, and remind you of things that you don’t want to hear when they’re important. They are true because they’re not just about comfort but mostly about mutual trust and respect.

The_Invisible_Man's avatar

Someone who is there for you no matter what goes down in your life. Someone who wants to know about you and your problems. To actually want to help and be there for you when no one else is. Someone who will accept you and who you are, rather than turn away if things seem to “weird.” If you’re able to go to that person often just to talk and get certain emotions off your chest. That is a true friend.

partyparty's avatar

In my opinion a true friend is the one who is always there for you, through the good and the bad, who will drop whatever they are doing just to help, and is always there as a shoulder to cry on. They never judge.

Vincent_Lloyd's avatar

I can’t really say what a true friend is. After all not everyone is your friend, ya know? But I could probably say that people that treat you in the kindness you treat them with. Bu I can’t really say. You would have to puzzle together who your real friends are. Like what YARNLADY said everyone misuses friend. Most of my “friends” are just acquaintances. Sorry if this wasn’t much help, but it’s what seems like reality to me.

mattbrowne's avatar

True friendship involves support even when the time is inconvenient.

jameson245's avatar

Age and experience speaking here. You will meet many people in your life, have many acquaintances, and possess far fewer friends. Friends will share good and bad times with you and value those hours during and after. But there is more to it. There are friends and there are those special heart friends, life friends. They are soul mates who have honest emotions for you, who really care what happens to you. You won’t have to talk to them often to maintain the bond – when you do talk again it will be like you are simply continuing a conversation that ended just hours ago. If you get great news, or terrible know you will feel right sharing it with them. And you know they trust you in the same way because you will always be there for them..

shunyata's avatar

To me friendship builds over a long time. it goes from casual aquaintance to better known aquaintance to lose friendship and so on.
I am quite flabbergasted as to how losely the term is used by many. I have friends who go back 50 years.

Deidarashands's avatar

A true friend is someone that looks out for you and stays by your side no matter wat. Also someone you have things in common with as well.

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