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Friends are Our Chosen Family

Updated on July 17, 2014

Friendships

Most of us treasure friends
Most of us treasure friends

Lasting Friendships

The challenges and joys of friendships are endless. It is daily commitment to make new friends and keeping old ones. To enjoy rewarding friendships, you need to make a continual effort to be a good and caring friend. The action of being a good friend may appear to be easier than it is. Friends will need your attention from time to time to either listen or help them through a difficult time. Sometimes friends just need you to run an errand or help out with a project. They may often want more from you than you are willing to give. You have to evaluate the friendship and decide how important it is. Always remember that one day you may need a good friend to help you through a difficult time.

Some people just like collecting friends to add to their list, and often don't nurture these friendships, which in reality are just acquaintances. Warm and caring friendships give our lives meaning, and fill that special need to feel cherished and important. There is nothing better than a good friend who listens, shares and gives advice--when asked.

Sharing with Friends

We can choose our friends unlike our families, so this alone makes them very special. We look to our friends to help us through difficult times in our lives.

Some friendships last a short period of time and are ended for the following reasons:

  • A change in residence
  • A change in lifestyle
  • The end of a common activity
  • A serious disagreement

Some of us enjoy having a wide variety of people in our lives, and others just like to have a few close friends. And sometimes this changes as we get older.


Friendship is a Commitment

Being a good friend is a commitment to the other person. Helping a friend when he needs you for support and also when he needs a good listener makes for a lasting relationship. Many times friends don't really want your opinion, but merely want to vent their feelings about something in life. I always ask a friend who is about to share a confidence if she wants to vent or if she wants my opinion. This saves a lot of grief. Sometimes friends are valuable in our lives during a period when we are going through a rough time, and when the rough time is over the friendship may end. This may feel sad, but look at it in another way--this person was sent to us to help through that difficult time.

Friends and Acquaintances

Many of us might think we have a lot of friends, however it is time to recognize whether they are friends or just good acquaintances.

Four Groups:

  • An "A" Friend --You generally have one or two. This person you can count on for almost anything and to be there for you. You never have to ask.
  • A "B" friend--This person you can count on for many things and can confide certain things. You may have to ask for their help when needed.
  • A "C" friend: This person is fun to be around and do things with, but you share mostly superficial things.
  • A "D" friend--This person you see occasionally and mostly at group activities or places that you frequent.

Always Be Willing to Make Friends

Friends are wonderful
Friends are wonderful

Friendships

Have fun with friends
Have fun with friends
Do you have a best friend?
Do you have a best friend?
Friends as we age
Friends as we age

Where to Meet Friends

There are many places to meet new friends:

  • Your neighborhood
  • Place of worship
  • A specific activity
  • Chamber of Commerce or other service group
  • Volunteering
  • Work
  • Classses
  • Introduction from another friend
  • Online

These places are excellent for meeting people whether you have moved to a new place or just looking to increase your sphere of friendships. Not everyone you meet and like will turn into a rewarding friendship. Being friendly and interested in others is a good way to attract and make new friends anywhere.

Friendships as You Age

As we age there are more challenges to meeting new people, especially if we are moving to a new residence. When we were younger we met friends through out kids and their activities as well as making new friends at our place of work. Friendships usually take some time to generate and seeing people often in one place or a specific activity helps create a friendship.

Many people are often content with their circle of friends and don't want to add new ones, particularly as they reach senior years. The best way to ensure new friendships is through activities and volunteering. Reach out and make your place in the community by taking advantage of classes, clubs, activities and places of worship. Be patient and the friends will come. Sometimes when you are the new person you have to be the one who does the inviting. Welcome people in your home or suggest doing a fun activity together. Try not to be sensitive to every little comment about plans being made without you. This will change in time.

Friendships Matter

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    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      You are so right, Carol Friendship is a commitment. And it does take time. And as you listed the ABC...friends, I can see those in my life. The ones I prefer are the one that I would go our of my way for in a heartbeat and know they would reciprocate. That is a comfortable feeling.

      This brought to mind the friends my Mother and Daddy had when they were elderly before they came to live with me.

      Daddy could no longer drive and Mother had not driven in about 20 years. They lived 20 miles from the nearest grocery store, doctor, etc. They had a most precious friend who took them wherever they needed to go, whenever they needed to go. I was so saddened when I returned to that tiny town to visit that sweet neighbor when his wife answered the door and she told me he had died. But of course that is the way of our cycle on this planet.

      Thank you for sharing this Carol...I know you are a lovely friend to those with whom you share yourself.

      Angels are on the way ps

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      wayne: I think people have different agendas asthey age. When we are young we have more connection....Different things happen as we age and we also have more choices..Particularly if retired. Thanks for sharing and I am glad you have one very dear friend.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Nicely done, Carol. I seem to gain far more acquaintances as I age than deep friendships. Still, these I people I care for in many ways, we just do not have as many connections as my deeply rooted friendships from my teen years. I have one friend from childhood who is genuinely a brother to me and I to him...we would always be there for each other but neither of us has ever thought of asking it of the other. He always describes our friendship as "never-ending...without pause" even when the miles are between us. We just take up where we left up as if it were just moments ago. I would love to have 20 friends like that but I doubt that it is possible thus I cherish the one greatly. Thanks for sharing and reminding us. ~WB

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you Rolly: We all go through different experiences that can be very painful...and friends who are our chosen family can be very supportive.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Carol... where would we be if it not for friends and yes family. I spent many years alone in a cabin far off from people. At the time I thought I had peace. The occupants of this little cabin was a rescue dog and a guy I was not liking too much at the time. It is important to first know yourself and allow others into your life to make it complete. If not you are lost for certain.

      Hugs and Blessings

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      Audrey: Thanks so much for your kind words. I really appreciate your visit and stopping by.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      Yes good friends are priceless. What would we do without them? thanks for stopping by and lovely comments.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      CrisSp..yes C stands for cyberfriends which are very important. Loyalty..that is certainly number one. thanks for stopping by.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      5 years ago from California

      Friends are wonderful--beautiful job on this hub Carol!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      5 years ago from United States

      Friends are priceless and I feel that if 2 individuals bond over no materialism then that's a precious one and always treasured!

      Beautiful hub, Carol :)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 

      5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      So, I guess "C" stand for "cyberfriends"? *smile*

      Hello Carol! Great hub on one important relationship that people sometimes take for granted.

      Very enjoyable and worth sharing . Will do for sure.

      P.S. I do love my friends (near/far) and I treasure the relationship. I also believed in loyalty.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      I have less friends now than when I was young and just a few As also. thanks for voting up..

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Carol, good interesting write. Real friends, the "A" group ones, are just 1 or 2. I don't believe in collecting friends just for the numbers.

      Voted up and useful.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      christywrites: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I always look forward to your computer related hubs as I need all the help I can get..and other ones also.

      neeleshkulkarni: sounds like you have a nice group of friends. Value those A friends..as they are there for you.

      barbergirl28. I do understand exactly how you feel. We moved around a lot (out of choice) and leaving good friends is very difficult. You never get used to that.

      eyestraightahead: Having friends you connect with is no small thing. And it does get tougher as you get older. People get set in their ways and less flexible. Younger people have kids and work. Thanks for dropping by with lovely comments.

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 

      5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Carol, I really enjoyed this. As you already know, I have a hub on evaluating friendships and ensuring you do so at least once a year. I like the detail you went into here about the various levels of friendship.I am at a place where I realize I need to make more "B" friends, as I currently have many "C" and "D" friends because I spent so many years being very closed. I don't want to reach my senior years and have many who I can have small talk with but none who I can share special moments with. Thanks for sharing such a great hub!

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 

      5 years ago from new delhi

      i and my wife are blessed with friends in each category.We have a group of 10 couples as friends in category c who we have been meeting every month as part of a structured group for the last ten years.Of these by distillation some have emerged into category b.

      even in category b we have a group of four couples who have been with us for almost 25 years and though due to geographical hassles we meet each other only 6-7 times an year and yet every time we meet it is like the years never passed us by.

      and yes we have a very few very close friends 3-4 of them who are always there for us.

      i guess we are blessed

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I find that making good friends as I age is harder and harder. In fact, we have been living in Southern California for almost two years and in that time, we have just started to find people that we really connect with. Luckily now we have those kinds of friends in both places! Here and were I am originally from. :) But, that makes it hard because as soon as we settle roots here it will be time to move back home!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You are right Carol that friendship is a form of commitment. I enjoyed this read!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      Curiad Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your comments.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 

      5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Thank you for this well written article on friendships!

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