What Is A Friend Anyway?


In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been learning a lot about friendship in my Philosophy class. Learning about friendships on a Philosophical level encouraged me to examine my friendships and to really distinguish the “good” within my relationships.

So what is a friend? A friend, in most people’s mind, is someone who you enjoy being around. Someone who makes you laugh, someone who you can share secrets with, or someone you call to get lunch with.

A friend is a lot more than a follower on Instagram, or someone you spend time with because you are on the same sports team. A friend is more than someone who makes you laugh, and a lot more than someone you get drunk with on a Thursday night.

A lot of times we confuse friendships with convenience. We all have that one person we are friends with for a semester that we share class notes and study with because of the sole reason that you have a class together. Then the next semester comes around and you end up walking past this person in the halls as if you’ve never met.

A friend should be someone who elevates you in all aspects: Your mind, your goals, and your soul.

A friend is someone who motivates you everyday to become the best version of yourself as you can be. They should be someone who brings positivity into your life, someone who inspires you towards your goals and strengthens your weaknesses.

I’ve learned we tend to ignore the people we consider a “friend”‘s flaws because we are so focused on the qualities about this person that we like. Often times we allow a friend to lie to us and take us for granted because we spotlight the good such as the fact that they are funny, or smart, or exciting.

We let things slide with certain people because we don’t take the time to sit down and really examine a person’s character, we instead acknowledge their personality and the characteristics we want to see. But that is unfortunately, not what friendship is.

We all have friends in our lives who do not benefit us in the most positive way, and it is our job to notice these things and find the strength within ourselves to walk away. Losing a friendship is always really hard, but when we come to a realization within our hearts that they are not really a friend, it’s not a loss at all.

It’s a gain. It’s a progressive step, and in some ways, it is an imperative strive towards happiness.

Also published on Medium.