Friendship is a state of being emotionally attached to another person, resulting from feelings of affection. It is also a warm and intimate relationship with someone you like and trust. It often does not involve any sexual interactions. Friends provide a basic source of happiness, pleasure and companionship.
Friendship is very crucial to adolescents because it helps to ease the transition from childhood to adulthood. It also provides opportunity for acquiring experiences, which would aid the process of developing a self-identity and enhance the ability to socialize, develop appropriate inter-personal communication and conflict management skills.
Friendships are among the most important relationship we form in life. Through friendship, individuals come to know, trust, and depend on each other for affection, acceptance and support. The most important relationships outside of the family are those we establish with our friends.
True friendship involves:
Mutual respect, which means relating with others in ways that honor their personal values, decisions and choices, even if they differ from ours.
Acceptance of people as they are and not always trying to change or make them live up to our own expectations.
Honest communication, which is the sharing of truth and being able to talk about sensitive issues or negative behaviors without malice.
Support, which involves being able to support each other consistently; being able to depend upon someone.
Other things that draw people together in friendship may include: common interest, similarity of values and attitude, warmth, ability to keep confidences, age, background, loyalty and gender.
The avenues through which friendship can be made include: peer group, neighborhood, school/class mates, religious gatherings, workplace, and playgroup. Friendship is so important because:
People learn social skills from friendship
It provide opportunity for people to share experiences
It promote self-esteem
It helps build self-confidence
It provides companionship
It involves fun, sharing and caring
It promotes mutual respect
Appropriate inter-personal communication skills are developed