One of the major aspects that determine the quality of any friendships is the aspect of shared interests and activities. One article suggests that we have also seen that higher levels of interaction and common life points are related to higher levels of connectedness. This suggests that one potential direction to creating bonds is generating opportunities for similar people to have meaningful interactions.
Sanchez et al. in their article allude to the fact that two parties involved in friendship have mutual interests; it becomes easier for them to establish a bond that leads to a quality friendship. A lack of similar activities and interests among friends is a sign of the diminished or impoverished bond between them which creates a vacuum in their relationship. With similar interests, friends get topics to discuss as they interact and can easily create memorable moments with each other as they communicate over these shared activities and interests. For instance, if two individuals enjoy watching and playing soccer, it becomes easier for the two bonds since they have a common topic or issue that they can discuss and interact as they make their relationship deeper. However, when two friends have differing interests, it is harder for them to interact since they have fewer common likes which they can agree on. In view of this, shared interest and activities allow friends to have a common point of interaction that ensures they maintain contact with each other leading to a healthy relationship. Another factor that determines the quality of friendship is proximity.
Based on Alicia Moore-Dean et al’.s article “Friendship Characteristics of Children with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities,’ ‘Studies have found that children typically form relationships with others who are socially proximate (i.e., similar in demographic or behavioral characteristics)…”. Moore-Dean et al’.s article reiterate that healthy relationships are characterized by the parties spending significant time together. When individuals spend time together, they get the opportunity to learn about one another. As a result, they learn about each other’s fears and hopes hence making a deep connection with each other.
Additionally, spending time together creates a sense of trust between the individuals since they can easily interact face to face. In this scenario, individuals feel safe since they can open up to each other and quickly identify each of their characters. Proximity ensures that friendships grow further as the people involved can learn about each other and encourage one another. When associations lack the aspect of proximity, it becomes difficult for friends to maintain a connection since they can quickly forget about one another or establish a bond with other individuals whom they are closer to.
Proximity in various settings also encourages friends to display unique qualities to one another, which ensures the friendships are strengthened. Having a face to face interaction with an individual not only strengthens the friendship but it also creates a fondness between the parties involved that leaves them yearning for more of each other’s company. Furthermore, proximity is also important since it allows for friends to work through their issues easily without having to involve others who may cause confusion and worsen the conflict. As a result, proximity is an extremely important aspect of friendship that can be analyzed to identify the quality of a friendship. Furthermore, the similarity is also an important aspect that determines the quality of relationships.
Similarities are essential factors among strong relationships since they ensure that the individuals interact from a common platform or perspective. This aspect of friendship refers to the presence of shared characteristics that facilitate interaction between two individuals based on their similarities in the background. Unlike the aspect of share interests and activities, similarity entails shared characteristics of individuals involved in the friendship such as the age group or religion. For instance, in a case where the two friends are black, they can easily bond about the pros and cons of being black as well as share about the culture. This, in turn, allows them to create a deeper connection that can sustain them even when they might have different likes. It is apparent that sharing a characteristic with another individual might arouse curiosity about that individual which might also warrant social interaction to understand that person and whether or not they have another trait that you find exciting or you think is similar to yours. Young people have an easy time interacting since they all have a common characteristic, which is the interest in popular culture. These interests allow them to come together, share ideas, and in the process forge strong relationships that evolve with time.
Moreover, a lot of strong friendships have the quality of persistence. The aspect of perseverance and its impact on bond from the statement comes when examining student persistence as an outcome, as expected, we found positive associations between relationship quality and endurance.4 Persistency entails the continual support and company that people generate or encourage amongst themselves when involved in friendship. When two parties engaged in a relationship decide to show affection, concern continually, and dedication to each other, then the friendship moves to a whole new level of connection.
A lot of people involved in friendship fail to employ consistency in their activities, and as a result, they end up losing touch with their friends, and this causes a rift between the parties. Real friends always show concern for each other and foster the aspect of persistence in the relationship as a way of showing their commitment and dedication to each other. However, without persistence, there is no loyalty, and friendship is bound to fail. With this in mind, quality friendships are characterized by persistence to ensure that reliability and trust are fostered where each party knows they are valued by the other.
Also, social support is another element that determines the quality of friendships. One of the primary significance of friends is to ensure that one is supported social in any issue they face. When an individual has close friends around, they can be assured of support whenever they encounter a rough experience such as loss. Having friends that are there to support you during the hardships in life ensures that friendship gets strengthened since they assist each other in their times of need. “Friendship is made only on the basis of the ability to reach intimacy, trust, and reciprocity, which ultimately depend on the social interaction that individuals create and not on sheer technological features”. Through the aspect of social support among friends, individuals can quickly build trust in each other by ensuring they are assists each other whenever they face difficult situations. Moreover, social support allows the development of intimacy among the parties involved in friendship since it entails an individual’s vulnerable moment which he or she courageously shares with those they deem fit to lend a shoulder to lean on.
In view of this, it is evident that social support is an essential factor in identifying the quality of relationships since parties have the opportunity to assist one another in times of need. Intimacy is also an element that impacts the quality of relationships between individuals. Intimacy is essential for any relationship since it allows parties to connect at a higher level because of the emotional relations established.
Some authors have asserted that one of the significant aspects of a strong friendship as intimacy. Friendship is an intimate, caring relationship with attributes such as reciprocal tenderness and warmth of feeling; mutual desire to keep the friendship; honesty and sincerity; trust; intimacy, and openness of self. The importance of having intimacy in any form of relationship is identified as friendship is a crucial determinant in developing a quality friendship. Intimacy is vital since it allows proper connection between the parties in the relation. When intimacy exists in a relationship, it means that both parties love and respect each other to the point that they are not afraid to invest their emotions in the friendship. Such a relationship blossoms readily as all the parties put their feelings on the line and do everything in their power to ensure the connection is maintained correctly. Most of the friendships that end up failing usually lack the aspects of intimacy as a lot of people guard themselves against opening up to their friends, and this creates a barrier between the parties, which ends up destroying the whole relationship entirely. Given this, it is evident that intimacy is an essential aspect of any relations as it prompts the participants to be open with each other and to try investing time and effort into the relationship.
Being in a suitable environment is also an essential factor that can affect the quality of friendship. Studies have established that “mothers of children in integrated settings reported that their child played better and was more social due to the participation of children without special needs”. It is evident that they try to portray the importance of nurturing the environment and its impact on the social relationships existing in such a situation. When students are surrounded with positivity and are encouraged to be themselves and to explore different factors, they are more likely to create long-lasting relationships compared to when they are stressed and unable to have a piece of mind. This aspect is depicted in the quote above as the readers are given the example of special kids who find it had to socialize with others due to their physical or mental conditions. However, once the kids are in a nurturing environment, they have a better chance to explore their social skills and desires as they feel appreciated and understood prompting them to open up to new connections. This is an essential factor to understand because many individuals are confused as being introverts and unfriendly when in the real sense it is the environment surrounding them that limits their social interactions. When such people have a conducive environment, they can quickly get along with people and interact with them to create lasting relationships.
Therefore, the situations that individuals are exposed are significant determinants of the quality of friendships they are likely to develop. With this in mind, for proper friendship relations to be maintained, it is imperative to ensure that the surrounding environment allows for reliable connections to be made between individuals. Whereas the article managed to highlight some of the essential aspects that determine the quality of friendship, it has many limitations. First, the study did not adequately address the factors influencing the nature of friendship for children with developing disabilities. At the same time, the research failed to highlight the quality of friendship that exists between normal children and those living with a disability. Another limitation of the study comes from the assumption of the study that the environment influences the quality of friendship that individuals develop.
However, the study assumed that the general understanding of a suitable environment would is the same for all people. The failure to define and elaborate on the aspect of the impact of the environment could serve as a limitation of the study. Therefore, future studies may focus on the uniqueness of the environment and the general implications each setting has on the quality of friendship. Finally, while the study points out the role of technology in enhancing the quality of friendship, it falls short in pointing out the consequences that come with an overreliance on technology. It would be interesting for future studies to debunk the impact of technology on friendship in terms of its short and long-term effects.
In essence, friendships are an essential aspect of daily living. For one to lead a fulfilling and happy life, it is necessary to have good friends that can assist them in their times of need or celebrate with them in good times. Friendships allow people to connect emotionally, which is one of the essential elements of humanity. Nonetheless, it is crucial for individuals to ensure that they maintain beneficial relations rather than staying in toxic ones. In order to determine the quality of friends he or she has, they can look at aspects such as shared interests, proximity, similarity, mutuality persistence, social support, intimacy, and conducive environments. These aspects show whether or not the friendship is benefitting the parties involved or it has become unmanageable and toxic for the participants.
Additionally, the elements can be utilized by all the members of the friendships to gauge their participation in the associations to see if they can categorize themselves as good friends or whether they need to invest more in the bond. It is vital for friendships to be analyzed in such a manner to understand the significant aspects that impact the functioning of a relationship making it last a lifetime or just a short period.
Since in contemporary society a lot of technological advancements have been created that expand the social interactions of people especially youth, a lot of young people find themselves hooked to false relationships that end up becoming toxic thus leading to detrimental factors such as suicides, depression, and so forth. Having a proper understanding of what real friendships are supposed to be like allows young people to protect themselves from people who want to take advantage of them and use them. This knowledge can there be utilized to create awareness of what a quality relationship is supposed to look like to enable individuals to protect themselves from any fraudsters that use friendships as a way to steal, hurt or injure others.
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