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Years ago, I looked up the word “friend” in a dictionary.  I can’t remember the exact name of the dictionary, but I do remember the description.  It said, “A friend is someone you know, like and trust”.


Considering this, I have always believed that there is an almost unlimited range of possibilities:


  1. Age doesn’t matter – You can be a small child or a person in your nineties and not only be but have a friend. In fact, sometimes friends are people who are not even close to each other in age.
  2. Geographic location doesn’t matter – When I was a child, I had a pen pal in another country. We never did meet each other, but we did have regular correspondence and shared our lives through letters.
  3. Gender doesn’t matter – Boys, girls, adult men, adult women – there isn’t any limitation about this.
  4. Culture and language don’t matter – I have had many friends over the years who are not Canadian or English-speaking. The differences didn’t cause problems.  They just made communication more interesting.
  5. Differences don’t matter. You might have very different opinions, values and ideas as well as even some disagreements about them, but what makes you different can be a spark to broadening your perspective and worldview.
  6. Knowing does matter – A friendship does require some self-disclosure and sharing of your life. When you invest in the process of getting to know another person, that person is honoured, and you can both feel comfortable.  Having shared interests also helps to build solid relationships.
  7. Liking does matter – This might take some time. Not everyone is open-minded enough to accept another person immediately following the introduction. Over time, by sharing and caring, however, emotional bonding can occur.
  8. Trusting is vital – All of us want to be with people on whom we can depend. We don’t want to face betrayal, gossip or being cheated upon by others. Building trust can take time, especially if you have trusted others in the past and they have proven to be untrustworthy.


Often, I have told people who are lonely that the best way to deal with this is to find someone who is also lonely.  This solves two problems!


It takes effort to build friendships.  You cannot sit at home and just hope that someone will come through the door.   Join a club, volunteer or visit a shut-in.  Get out of your bubble and into the world!

There are over 7 billion people in the world right now. Many of them would be thrilled to have you as a friend.  All you need to do is reach out and show them that you are available!

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