Through friendship, individuals come to know, trust and depend on each other for affection, acceptance and support. Our first and most important relationship outside of the family are those we establish with friends.
BASIS FOR FRIENDSHIP
True friendship involves:
1. Mutual respect: which involves relating with others in ways that honour their personal values, decision and choices even if they will not accept ours.
2. Acceptance of people as they are and not always trying to change or make them live up to our expectations.
3. Honest communication which is the sharing of truth and being able to talk about sensitive issues or negative characters without malice.
4. Support which involves being able to support each other consistently, being able to depend upon someone.
Others include common interest, warmth, age, gender, ability to keep confidence, similarities of values and attitudes, background, loyalty, etc.
TYPES OF FRIENDS
There are different types of friends. While some are close friends, others are not so close, yet others are mere acquaintances i.e. people you know but do not consider them as friends.
The social and cultural environment often influence friendship. The view used to be prevalent that friendship between male and female should be discouraged between puberty and marriage. This erroneous view is rooted in the belief that males and females cannot relate to each other in a caring way without having shared sexual activities.
QUALITIES THAT ENHANCE FRIENDSHIP
Forgiveness, trust, loyalty, ability to keep confidence, co operation, honesty, shared industry, support during good and bad times, respect, reliability, empathy, understanding, affection, sympathy.
IMPORTANCE OF FRIENDSHIP
Friendship is important because:
1. We learn social skills through friendship
2. It provides us an opportunity to share experiences and insights
3. Skills gained in articulating feelings and thoughts will be helpful throughout life
4. It promotes self esteem
5. It provides companionship
6. It involves fun, sharing and caring
7. It promotes mutual respect
8. Appropriate inter personal communication skills are developed
WAYS OF IMPROVING FRIENDSHIP
1. Having group activities
2. Sharing information
3. Exchanging gifts
4. Sharing goals and aspirations
5. Visiting each other’s families
6. Giving support in times of trouble
7. Making positive comments about each other
BEHAVIOURS THAT COULD DESTROY FRIENDSHIP
2. Disclosing confidential information
8. Betrayal of trust