EQI.org Home | Personal Growth | Romantic Relationships


A friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts who you have become, invites you to grow and supports you in your journey. (1)

Table of Contents

True Friends

Friends: Simple or Real

The Wise King

Friends Save Lives - Study finds friends are more helpful than family for living longer.

100 Friends Donation Campaign


True Friends - By S. Hein

All of us need true friends. But what is a true friend, and how do you know when you have found one? We can best answer that question in terms of our feelings. With a true friend you feel:

Approved of
Listened to

(These are very much the same feelings children need from their parents.)

When you are what I call emotionally enlightened, you attract and keep such people because:

  • You accept them rather than judge them.
  • You express your feelings and encourage them to do likewise.
  • You take responsibility for your feelings and never lay guilt trips on them for how you feel.
  • You show empathy, compassion, and understanding for their feelings.
  • You are sensitive to their feelings and needs, but you do drain yourself by feeling responsible for meeting them. You recognize that each person is responsible for their own feelings, so your friends do not become burdensome to you.
  • You do not blame them or attack them, so they do not need to feel defensive or to counterattack.
  • You do not advise them or tell them what to do, since you know that this will foster dependency, rob them of the chance to grow, and possibly create resentment later on.
  • You are honest with them, even when what you have to say is unpleasant for them, because (a) You respect them enough to honor them with the truth, (b) You want them to grow through awareness, and (c) You trust them enough to manage their own responses.
  • When you express concerns you express them as statements of your feelings, not of their character.

A true friend is someone who helps you reach your highest potential, someone who helps you be the best you can be. At the early stages of your friendship a true friend gets to know the real you by frequently asking how you feel about different things. They ask questions like:

  • What are your fears?
  • What are your dreams and desires?
  • What do you feel strongly about?
  • What’s important to you?
  • What infuriates you?
  • What excites you?
  • What are your values?
  • What are your beliefs?

To become a better friend, ask others how they feel on a scale of 0-10.

For example, ask how much they feel respected, understood, supported by you.

Then ask what you can do to raise your numbers if they are less than 10.

Also ask how much they feel judged by you, criticized by you, or lectured to by you. Then if it is anything over 0, ask what you can do to reduce it.

Friends: Simple Or Real?

A simple friend has never seen you cry. A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party. A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after he as gone to bed. A real friend is ready to talk to you whenever you need it.

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest. A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument. A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a major disagreement.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them. A real friend expects to always be there for you!

1. I think this quote is from Robert Myrick. If you know otherwise, please let me know.

EQI.org Home Page

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Intelligence | Empathy
Emotional Abuse | Understanding
Emotional Literacy | Feeling Words
Respect | Parenting | Caring
Listening | Invalidation | Hugs
Depression |Education
Personal Growth

Search EQI.org | Support EQI.org


You Don't Need to Protect Yourself From Your Friends - S. Hein

That is a thought I had one day. So I searched Google to see if anyone else had said it. i found once result. It was in a comment made by "Matteos" in a forum on textkit.com. He was talking about the gun problem in America. He said,

"Americans are afraid of each other because some Americans are dangerous. Why are some Americans so dangerous? How did they become dangerous?

To find the answer you probably have to make sure you’re asking the right question. The problem is that Americans are killing each other with guns. The answer is not to just take away the guns but ask ‘why’ Americans are killing each other with guns. ‘Why’ are Americans afraid of each other?

Later he said, "...you don’t need to protect yourself from your friends"

This makes a lot of sense to me. So the goal then, for peace, is to learn to create and maintain friendships, on both an individual and an international level between nations.

S. Hein

The Wise King

One there was a wise king who had no children. In the past, kings would choose one of their sons to take over as ruler of the people. But since this king had no children, he decided the best thing he could do was help the peole learn to live in peace without a king. During his lifetime he hand been the final authority when it came to resolving any problems or conflcts in the country. And during his lifetime it had been his responsibility to keep the peace among his people. But over the years he learned that this was too much responsibility for one person and it was much better to have others helping him. This thinking evolved into a belief that it would be best if the people did not have any rulers at all, but instead learned how to get along with each other without the need of rulers. In other words, he wanted everyone to become friends and more like equals than in the past.

Once the king came to be guided by this belief, he spent the rest of his life trying to develop his people in the skills of creating and maintaining friendships. The most important part of that, he decided was learning peaceful decison making and conflict resolution. The king has long been gone now, but to this very day that part of the world where the wise king once ruled is one of the most peaceful and prosperous to be found anywhere.

S. Hein




Friends vs Family For Longer Lives

A study in Australia found that friends may be more important than family when it comes to a long life.

Having a large network of relatives is not associated with living longer but having more friends is, according to Lynne C. Giles of Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, who spoke to Reuters Health.

'Older people with better social networks with friends were less likely to die over a 10-year follow-up period than older people with poorer friends networks,' said Giles.

Many studies have shown that people who are connected with lots of others tend to live longer lives. However, this is one of only a few studies to have examined whether different types of relationships -- with friends, partners, children and other relatives -- have different effects on longevity.

July 2005