Friendship is a necessary aspect of every human's life, as we are not self sufficient in and of ourselves (Other Selves, pg. 30). Despite its necessity, in some cases we are either forced or morally required to end these relationships. When the trust between two parties has been broken, the loyalty of the friendship is soiled, and it is therefore a true and just action to end the friendship.
First, let's define what it means to be a friend. Friends can be described as: "an intimate associate, reliable, one who is not an enemy or foe, an ally, etc" (Webster's, pg. 540). Thus, based upon the definition of a friend, we can assert that friends should not betray one another, regardless of the circumstance. This is true, if and only if, it is in the best interest of the friend.
Secondly, trust is an issue that every platonic friendship must deal with. Whether dealing with matters of trust is active or passive, its power is still a prevalent and pertinent quality that is mutually understood. Trust is an unwritten rule between friends and is defined as the "firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reliability, justice, etc of another person." (Webster's, pg. 1436) Trust is also described as "faith"(Webster's, pg. 1436). When using a word such as "faith," that describes a substantial belief in one another, it is very difficult to argue that breaking the trust of the friendship is ever in the best interest of the friend.
In addition, friends are loyal. By definition loyal friends are, "faithful to those persons ideals" and are, "under obligation to defend, support, or be true to," each other (Webster's, pg. 802). Although the definitions of loyalty, as well as its connotations, scream commitment loyalty actually exists in many degrees. Loyalty can be seen as the pinnacle of the friendship in which case you would be willing to risk life and limb for that person. Or at the opposite end of the spectrum loyalty may not be taken seriously at all. For example, you may be loyal to the fish in your fish tank; in that you feed them, treat them well, change the water, etc. but in the case of a serious house fire you would not go running back in to rescue them. Granted there are also many stages in-between, total loyalty and minimal loyalty, but the integrity of the friendship is based around these two principles, loyalty and trust. Loyalty can determine the reliability of the friendship, just as well as the amount of trust that can be placed in that friend.
As we all know, not every friendship is one in which we can trust completely, nor do we feel entirely loyal to those people. Therefore, it is true that we can have friendships with a varying degree of loyalty and trust. Each...
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Why good friends are so important
Research has shown that the better the quality of your relationships, the more likely you are to be happy. So, being a great friend to someone and having friends support your back is good for your wellbeing. But what, exactly, makes a good friend?
Signs of a good friend
Friends will come and go in your life, but more important than how long your friendships last is your friends’ acceptance of you for who you are. A good friend walks the talk and shows that they care by their actions – big and small.
A good friend:
- is there for you, no matter what
- doesn’t judge you
- doesn’t put you down or deliberately hurt your feelings
- is kind and respectful to you
- is someone whose company you enjoy
- is loyal
- is trustworthy and willing to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard for you to hear
- laughs with you
- sticks around when things get tough
- makes you smile
- is there to listen
- comforts you when you cry.
How to be a good friend
If you treat the people around you in the ways described above, then you’re already a good friend to them. But it’s not always easy to know how to be there for your friends.
Listen to them
Try to understand a situation from your friend’s point of view. Ask questions to get a sense of the problem or issue, but the main thing is to listen to them. You don’t have to have all the answers, and don’t assume that your friend wants advice – they might just want to talk so that they can work it out for themselves.
Get the facts
If your friend has a medical or mental health issue, a good way to offer support is to learn about what they’ve been diagnosed with. Being interested in what they’re going through shows you care, and that you plan to stick around no matter what’s going on.
Ask them what they need
If you’re worried about someone and you want to be there for them, ask them what they need. You’ll then know what they find helpful during tough times, and you can offer them support in a way that’s genuinely helpful.
Hugging your friends is a great way to show you care for them. Physical contact can be really comforting, especially when someone feels alone.
Keep in touch
Even if you don’t live nearby, show your friends you’re there for them by making an effort to keep in regular touch through social media, emails, texts and calls.
Tell them how you feel
You don’t have to make a big deal about it all the time, but you can make a real difference to how someone is feeling just by letting them know how important they are to you. So, go for it!
Be willing to make a tough call
If you think your friend’s safety is at risk, you might need to act without their consent and get help. It can be a tough call, particularly when you’re worried how they’ll react, but remember that good friends care enough to step up, and that you’re doing it to protect them from harm.