Friendship is the art and craft of making and keeping friends, of nurturing a mutual relationship with another human being. Friends are comrades in the journey of life, providing support, understanding, and fellowship. Below you’ll read what some have thought about the pleasures and challenges of being a friend.

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You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.

— Betty Ford

A faithful friend is a strong defense: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure.

— Bible, Ecclesiasticus 6:14

This is my beloved and this is my friend.

— Bible, Song of Solomon

Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back.

— Blaise Pascal

We are never too old or too wounded to receive healing waves of the personal delight of another. … at its best, it transcends being delighted with a particular happening and is instead the reflection to us, and often to one another, of an enduring bond that is bigger than any single occurrence between us. When we are small and see that look on our parents faces, there is such an affirmation that we are good, lovable, welcome. These experiences go deep into us and become an implicit foundation for drawing in warm companions throughout our lives.

— Bonnie Badenoch, The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships

Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach, enjoying the scenery, having fun with family and friends.

— Brian Wilson

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.’

— C. S. Lewis

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.

— Carl Sandburg

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him.

— Cesar Chavez

We hate some persons because we do not know them; and will not know them because we hate them.

— Charles Caleb Colton

A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last.

— Charlie Daniels, written en route to the funeral for his friend, Ronnie Van Zant of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Ironically, as much as we yearn for deep friendships and meaningful communities, many of us seem to be unable to find our way into them. Even if we know we’re made for community, finding one and staying there seems almost impossible. Though we hate to admit it, if we stay long enough in any relationship or set of friendships, we will experience failure, doubt, burnout, loneliness, transitions, a loss of self, betrayal, frustration, a sense of entitlement, grief, and weariness. Yet it’s these painful community experiences, these tensions we struggle to navigate, that hold surprising gifts.

— Chris L. Heuertz, Unexpected Gifts: Discovering the Way of Community

It is virtue, virtue, which both creates and preserves friendship. On it depends harmony of interest, permanence, fidelity.

— Cicero

Silence is the true friend that never betrays.

— Confucius

To cement a new friendship, especially between foreigners or persons of a different social world, a spark with which both were secretly charged must fly from person to person, and cut across the accidents of place and time.

— Cornelia Otis Skinner

Friendship needs no words – it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

Truth springs from argument amongst friends.

— David Hume

Those truly linked don’t need correspondence.
When they meet again after many years apart,
Their friendship is as true as ever.

— Deng Ming-Dao

Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person—having neither to weigh thoughts nor mea­sure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

— Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

There is nothing we like to see so much as the gleam of pleasure in a person’s eye when he feels that we have sympathized with him, understood him. At these moments something fine and spiritual passes between two friends. These are the moments worth living.

— Don Marquis

You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.

— E. B. White, Charlotte, of Charlotte’s Web

One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.

— E. M. Forster

When a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.

— Edgar Watson Howe

It is difficult to say who do you the most mischief: enemies with the worst intentions or friends with the best.

— Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Leadership through self-differentiation is not easy; learning techniques and imbibing data are far easier. Nor is striving or achieving success as a leader without pain: there is the pain of isolation, the pain of loneliness, the pain of personal attacks, the pain of losing friends. That’s what leadership is all about.

— Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix

After all, I can’t complain. I have my friends.

— Eeyore (A. A. Milne)

A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.

— Elbert Hubbard

The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.

— Elbert Hubbard

Friendship with oneself is all important because without it one cannot be friends with anybody else in the world.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

It is neither unusual nor new for me to have Negro friends, nor is it unusual for me to have found my friends among all races and religions of people.

— Eleanor Roosevelt, 1953
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