A close bond between you and some few others that is more intimate, loyal, and enduring than ordinary amiability.

Not mere friendliness, but the forming of unusually strong and intimate bonds with non-related, non-romantically-involved partners.

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices


Virtues possibly in tension

How to acquire or strengthen it

Friendship 101, six basic rules: 1) share news of success with a friend, 2) show emotional support, 3) volunteer help in time of need, 4) strive to make a friend happy when in each other’s company, 5) trust and confide in each other, 6) stand up for a friend in his or her absence. "Psychology Applied to Modern Life" p. 283, based on Argyle, M. & Henderson, M. "The Rules of Friendship" (1984)

Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere

  • In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, he devoted two of the ten books to the virtue of friendship: book 8 and book 9
  • Chapter 6 (“Wednesday”) of Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers includes an essay on Friendship.

Inspirational quotes

  • “Where there is any other invitation to friendship than the friendship itself, that friendship will be bought and sold… It is a narrow consideration for a man to please himself in the thought of a friend ‘because,’ says he, ‘I shall have one to help me when I am sick, in prison, or in want.’ A brave man should rather take delight in the contemplation of doing the same offices for another.” ―Seneca
  • “Friendship is nothing else than the most perfect unity with respect to religious principles and humanity, joined with benevolence and tenderness…. Without truth there is no friendship…. The ground for the steadfastness and constancy for which we are searching in friendship is faithfulness…. In friendship there is no fiction and no disguise: all is genuine and free…. Worthy of friendship are those who in themselves possess the ground of love, a rare species of man, as, generally, all excellent things are…. Make it a holy law of friendship that we demand nothing shameful and that we accede to no such request…. Friendship is possible only among virtuous men.” ―Cicero
  • “There are three kinds of friends that are beneficial, and three that are harmful. To make friends with the upright, with the faithful, with the well-informed, is beneficial. To make friends with the plausible, with the insinuating, with the glib, is harmful.” (Analects of Confucius, XVI.IV)
  • “Of the things which wisdom provides for the blessedness of one’s whole life, by far the greatest is the possession of friendship.” —Epicurius, The Principle Doctrines XXVII
  • “A Friend is one who incessantly pays us the compliment of expecting from us all the virtues, and who can appreciate them in us.” — Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
  • “What is commonly called Friendship even is only a little more honor among rogues.” — Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
  • “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” —C.S. Lewis