“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.”

Marina Keegan (Magna cum laude student from Yale) wrote these words before she unexpectedly and tragically passed. It is people who give meaning to our lives and it is through them we find the true meaning. Friends are the epicenter of our finite life and it is in their presence we discover ourselves. The idiosyncrasies of friendship are unspoken but reside within every one of us. In my opinion, true friendship has four laws:

Authenticity. That euphoria is memorable when your friends go out on a trip without planning and still enjoy being stuck in bad weather. You love it when you tell your friend to fake your attendance in class when you know you would do the same for him. These anecdotes reminisce on the originality of our friendship.

Effusion. Your true friend knows about the first love of your life and indeed it is your friend who encourages you to seek the one. It is this ecstatic emotional exchange that always takes place between friends, it is an inevitable need of this relationship that you get everything out of your system in front of your friend. This assuage helps you to make room for more things in your mind.

Empathy. When you go out with your face red with rage, your friend always knows you have been up to something distressful. It is this strong empathy between you and friends that you almost can never hide your feelings from them. Without real empathy, friendship cannot exist.

Resonance. In a new class with new faces, you always, however absentmindedly, end up sitting with others who are like you. Resonance is at the base of friendship. There may be many things on which you would fight to the death but there is a lot of common ground between friends that keeps them bound together. It is this resonance that is at play here.

“Friendship … has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” - C.S. Lewis

Together these four characteristics are key fundamentals of good friendship. Experiencing all these together with friends can unleash the truest form of yourself.


Hassan Habib loves to read and discuss brain cracking ideas. Visit his blog here.


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