Friendship is a state of being emotionally attached to another person, resulting from feelings of affection. It is also a warm and intimate relationship with someone you like and trust. Friends provide a basic source of happiness, pleasure and companionship.

The importance of friendship cannot be over-emphasized. Friendship is important because:
• Young people learn social skills through friendship
• It provides opportunities for young people to share experiences and insights
• Skills gained in articulating feelings and thoughts will be helpful throughout life
• It promotes self-esteem
• It helps in building self-confidence
• It provides companionship
• It involves fun, sharing and caring
• It promotes mutual respect
• Appropriate inter-personal communication skills are developed

There are ways to develop friendship skills. These include:
• Keep secrets and build trust
• Develop understanding and empathy
• Practice active listening skills by
i. Establish eye contact with the other person
ii. Listen to the person without interruption
iii. Listen to the person without thinking of what you will say next
iv. Empathize with the person as he or she is speaking
v. Use “I” statements

There are however behaviours and qualities that enhances friendship, these include:
• Forgiveness
• Trust
• Loyalty
• Ability to keep confidences
• Cooperation
• Honesty
• Shared interests
• Support during good and bad times
• Reliability
• Empathy
• Respect
• Understanding
• Affection
• Sympathy

Friendship need to be improved and the way by which it can be improved are:
• Having group activities
• Sharing information
• Exchanging gifts
• Sharing goals and aspirations
• Visiting each other’s family and other friends
• Dating, with no expectation for shared sexual activity
• Solving assignments together
• Giving support in times of trouble
• Making positive comments about each other
• Having fun together

Due to the importance of friendship, it is of utmost importance that friends must make all efforts to keep their friends and make new ones. Behaviours that could destroy friendship include:
• Gossiping
• Disclosing confidential information
• Bullying
• Peer pressure
• Dishonesty
• Selfishness
• Suspicious
• Disrespect
• Misunderstanding
• Betrayal of trust

Source by Aphys Fade

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