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Cherie Burbach

What Is a Friend?

By July 4, 2011

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A friend someone you know casually? Someone you've had over to your house for dinner? Or how about someone you've known a long time?

The truth is, a friend can be any one of these things. Friendships vary in depth and closeness, and there are no two of them that are alike. A Dictionary Reference.com notation about friendships defined them as:

1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?

It seems even an "official description" varies quite a bit. The first and third of these definitions are what matter in my opinion. A friend should be drawn to you by feelings of (non-romantic) affection, and they should definitely not be hostile. This definition also helps clarify the frenemy type of person, who can be bit a difficult to pinpoint sometimes.

I think most of all, a friend is someone who gives you a safe place to be yourself. You might disagree, but they don't take joy in your heartache. They want the best for you.

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