The title to this post is a quote from Cicero. From time immemorial, philosophers, writers and researches have written much about how important it is to have friends. Friendships are essential and relevant to good living. Good friends make you feel great. They make you happy and they make life worth living. When we encounter difficulties our friends are there for us. In times of happiness they support us. When we are sad they make us feel better. Just recently when my sister was ill in hospital and I was very worried about her, the friend who had accompanied me to visit her was most kind. She said all the right things and was most reassuring.

Friends Motivate

Friends motivate us to pursue our dreams and to overcome challenges particularly at times when we are ready to give in. They take us for what we are and they give us hope. Once when a friend was involved in an unpleasant situation we rallied to support her until the unpleasant situation was over. She was grateful for our help. When you have friends, your self-esteem is enhanced. Your life is more satisfying and fun-filled.

Friends Make Life Fun

There is nothing that I like more than to sit around a table with good friends and to have a meal with them. Whilst doing so we will converse on a variety of topics. There will be much laughter as we share funny stories and as we use some hilarious words and descriptions. When you are in the company of good friends, you feel relaxed. As you laugh together, tease each other and let your hair down, you have a good time.

Friends are people you like to be with and with whom you can share your thoughts and opinions. When we are with our friends, we are open to new ideas. We become more broad-minded and our interpretations of life, society and people become more dynamic and creative.

Being friendly is the key to making your life interesting and enjoyable. Life is so much more pleasurable when we can interact with others and learn from them. To be friendly we need to look at how we communicate with others. We need to reach out to them.

Reach Out

If someone needs cheering up, spend time with the person and help him or her to cheer up. When you walk into a room and feel nervous about meeting people, look for friendly faces in the room. This will make you feel safe and comfortable. It is important to tell yourself that the time you spend with others is valuable. This will make you want to be with others.

When you are with someone, give him or her, your full attention. Make the person feel good so that when they leave you, they will feel happy. Make the person feel important. To achieve all this, you will need to be kind and loving and you should expect and find the best in others.

To make friends with others you need to be polite and courteous. When you meet others greet them cheerfully. Get into the habit of returning phone calls and answering email messages. Compliment others on their achievements. Do not be afraid to show your appreciation for what someone else has done. Look people in the eye when you speak to them. Aim to engage in one good conversation with someone every day.

Develop Friendships

Once you have become friends with someone, it is essential to develop the friendship. This is not easy as you need to put in effort, time and dedication to make your friendship grow. Genuinely care for others and be generous. Do not take your friends for granted.

Sadly, I have experienced this. People I have counted as friends have sometimes just responded in a selfish manner. They take and take and they keep expecting more and more from you.

Over the years, I have found that if I feel angry or resentful of certain people, I am not able to develop my friendship with them. All I want to do is to end the relationship. I have to work through the reasons why I am angry or resentful with the person and then try to overcome my feelings. This takes time and effort!

I have also found that when I am being critical and making judgments of certain people, it is difficult for me to develop a good friendship with them. Likewise, if I feel that I am competing with them and if I become envious of them, I am not able to develop a friendship with them. Therefore, do not be angry, critical or make judgments of others.

Analyze the Situation

Sometimes when I have had friends who hurt me by their actions or words, I try to understand why they have done so. I spend time analyzing what has happened. When my analysis shows that the person has not been fair to me I often stay away. I tell myself that the friendship is not worth maintaining. But if my analysis proves that the friendship should be maintained then I will work at restoring good relations.

If, in my interactions with my friends, I have done someone wrong, I know that I have to apologize to the person. This is not easy to do, particularly when I have to do it gracefully and with dignity. As you can see from all this, maintaining friendships requires much effort and care.

We need to respect everyone. To maintain friendships we should always be ready to help others. I would like to share with you a statement made by one of my neighbours recently. She said, “We should all try to take care of one another.” Friends do that and by doing so, they make life worth living.

I leave you with this quotation by William A. Ward:

“A friend is one who gives you the spark of assurance when you doubt your ability to fulfil your noblest aspiration, climb your special mountain, or reach your secret goal.”

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