In every culture around the world, unique symbols of friendship have been recognized as the greatest goods a person can have. Friends keep us from feeling lonely and help us to stay grounded, the least we can do is show our gratitude through a symbol of friendship. A strong friendship can give us support for both the good and the bad times in life, providing us with reassurance and help whenever things are going great or may not end up going our way.
A strong friendship makes a good base for most other types of relationships. Romantic partnerships that are grounded in friendship are stronger than those based only on passion. Family members who are also our friends can be a rock-solid presence in our lives, instead of yearly holiday obligations. Still, some of the best relationships in life remain those with people who are our friends. These friends can become as permanent as familial bonds and as close as intimate partnerships.
In honor of the loyalty of these special connections, cultures all around the world have developed symbols of love and friendship to represent the intense bonds between friends. Some of these are highly distinct from symbols of romantic love, family, or marriage, while in other cases the same symbols are used to represent several different kinds of close relationships.
Whether you’re looking for ways to show a friend your loyalty or are simply curious about symbols of friendship around the world, here are some symbols of friendship and their meanings.
Just as many married couples in Western cultures make public their commitment to one another by wearing wedding rings, many symbols of friendship around the world are meant to be worn. In subtle or obvious ways, these symbols announce to other people that this person is one of the most treasured friends to somebody else.
For people in the United States, the friendship bracelet is one of the most recognizable symbols of friendship. Friendship bracelets are significant partly because they are almost always handmade symbols by the friends involved. Traditionally, you make a wish when the bracelet is tied on, and if the bracelet falls off naturally—because the threads that tie it have worn through—the wish will come true! On the other hand, it is bad luck to remove a friendship bracelet. This can represent that the friendship has cooled between the friends.
Friendship bracelets are made using styles of macrame, a textile art that originated in South America. They spread to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, partly from use as symbols in protest movements.
The Celtic Claddagh ring is instantly recognizable as one of the symbols of love, loyalty, and friendship. According to popular legend, it was developed in the 17th century by a young Irishman who was kidnapped by Mediterranean pirates and sold into slavery. While enslaved, he was trained as a goldsmith. When King William III negotiated his release, he returned to Ireland with the first Claddagh ring. He gave it to his beloved, the woman who had waited faithfully for him for the 14 years of his enslavement. Since then, the Claddagh ring has been widely used in Ireland as a wedding ring—an inheritance often passed down from mother to daughter and one of the symbols of enduring loyalty.
No list of symbols of love, loyalty, and friendship would be complete without tattoos. Tattoos are a permanent inscription on the body, so they can be used to celebrate a friendship that we hope and wish to be permanent. People use many different kinds of tattoos to show and celebrate a friendship. Some of the most popular are matching tattoos or tattoos that are two parts of a single image. Many of the symbols of friendship and loyalty in this list can also be used as tattoos for a permanent sign of friendship.
Not all symbols of friendship are meant to be permanent. Sometimes they are small, temporary symbols from one person to another of the love, loyalty, and friendship between them. Flowers are one such expression of friendship.
Unlike red, pink, or white roses, which can represent romantic or even possessive subtexts, yellow roses are all about friendship. Sharing the cheerful color of sunlight, yellow roses express warmth and straightforward, uncomplicated love.
Yellow roses are a fairly recent innovation, discovered in the Middle East in the 1700s. In the Victorian era, where flower arrangements were highly stylized to send particular messages, they carried connotations of jealousy or a waning relationship. The cheer of the yellow rose, however, overcame these negative images. Today, yellow roses are tightly associated with a warm friendship, as well as new beginnings and get-well wishes.
Small, white, daisy-style chrysanthemums have long been associated with optimism, joy, and wishes for health and happiness. When given to friends, they are symbols of good wishes and cheer. In both Chinese and Japanese, the names for these flowers translate roughly as "gold flower." In these cultures, the chrysanthemum has long been an important symbol of friendship and happiness.
Appropriately, the chrysanthemums usually associated with friendship are part of a larger family of flowers called chrysanthemum, sometimes known as mums. Just like a good friendship, mums are very hardy. They also come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes, just like how a friendship can come in many varieties.
Somewhat more enduring than cut flowers, plants around the world stand for friendship. They symbolize the care and investment put into these special friends.
Native to South Africa and Mozambique, jade plants are succulents known around the world as symbols of good luck and friendship. They are often given as gifts to wish luck in friends' new endeavors, or in a new year. A flowering jade plant is an especially potent symbol of friendship because the plant won’t flower unless it is very well taken care of.
Since friendship can be one of the most enduring of relationships, it’s not surprising that some common symbols of friendship are gemstones.
Lapis lazuli is a deep blue gemstone that long been a symbol both of friendship and of truth. Lapis Lazuli has been mined in the mountains of modern-day Afghanistan for over 6000 years, and human beings have always been fascinated by the color and symbolic characteristics of this rock. It is shaped for use in jewelry but also carved into functional or art objects.
It is appropriate that lapis lazuli symbolizes friendship and truth. These two things are closely related. A strong, long-lasting friendship is also the most honest. We rely on our friends to tell us the truth when nobody else can or will. Friends who stand by us through thick and thin, and always tell it like it, are our true friends. These friends are worthy of a symbol as ancient and deep as lapis lazuli.
Topaz is another traditional symbol of friendship. Whereas lapis lazuli focuses on the strength of honesty in a friendship, topaz symbolizes fidelity. A strong friendship requires commitment and faithfulness. Arguments, misunderstandings, and distance happen in any friendship, but faithful friends are people who will keep showing up and working through these difficulties with you.
Many symbols of friendship aren’t objects, but rather written or drawn representations. These are often also made into three-dimensional objects, such as jewelry or keepsakes.
The infinity symbol, or lemniscate, is a mathematical symbol that has made its way into popular culture. Technically used to represent the mathematical concept of infinity, these interlocked curves with no beginning and no end are a rich visual symbol of our hopes and dreams for our relationships. The infinity symbol is also easy to modify, as the straight portion of the lines can be replaced with significant words, phrases, or names to personalize the symbol. At times, the experience of friendship gives rise to feelings for friends that are so strong that they seem inexpressible, hinting at something beyond our reach. The symbol for infinity embodies some of that deep and lasting connection from friendship.
Using words in different languages as symbols of friendship can play up the secret or exclusive side of a friendship. Secret codes or languages may often be a part of a childhood friendship. As adults, part of the delight of a close friendship is the ways that you “click” in a manner that isn’t shared with anyone else. It’s natural to look for ways to express this that have a leftover sense of code or secret language.
Some of the most popular language-based symbols of friendship come from logographic languages, where the characters stand for an entire word or idea (as opposed to alphabetic writing symbols like English, where letters stand for a single sound). Chinese and Japanese characters for friendship (Yŏuyí and Yūjō, respectively) are sometimes used as symbols of friendship for tattoos or written communication.
Two interlocking hearts are a common modern symbol of friendship. The ease of drawing this symbol is part of its attraction; it can be made by a child just learning to draw or incorporated into a sophisticated and beautiful jewelry design for two adult friends. A variation of the interlocking hearts symbol is friendship necklaces that are made with one heart split into two pieces. When friends are apart, they each have a piece of the heart. When these friends reunite, the hearts can be fitted together.
Friendship can be a powerful force for good in our lives. It is no accident that so many cultures around the world developed symbols for friendship that emphasize trust and fidelity. A stable, caring friendship can anchor us when life gets rough.
Unfortunately, friendship can be a source of pain as well as joy. Like any relationship, friendship leaves us vulnerable to betrayal and disappointment if the trust at the foundation of the relationship is broken by either of the friends. If you have ever told a close friend a secret, for example, only to have that secret get out among other people, you might have felt the disorientation of losing trust in a friendship. The very strength of these negative emotions shows us the significance of friendship in our lives.
If you have been hurt by a friend or experienced the end of a friendship, it is normal and healthy to feel sad, angry, and hurt. Friendship breakups are real, and in some cases, friendship breakups can be even more painful than romantic breakups. One of the hardest things about a friendship breakup is that the very person you would normally vent to about a breakup—your close friend—is no longer available to listen and provide comfort. If you are experiencing the sadness or loneliness of losing a friendship, you are truly not alone. A recent meta-analysis noted that 33 percent of respondents in a large survey reported experiencing loneliness within a four-week period and reported that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be an essential part of managing feelings of loneliness. An online therapist through BetterHelp can help you recover from a friendship breakup, from the comfort of your own home.
Online therapy is convenient and confidential; because you can arrange your sessions with a therapist around your schedule and lifestyle, you can meet whenever and wherever you’d like. If you are hurting from the loss of a friendship, you can process those feelings with a sympathetic, knowledgeable therapist at BetterHelp by video chat, phone call, or text messaging. If you think you could use some extra support from an expert in order to move forward from a lost or struggling friendship, you can get started today. Online therapy can provide a safe space to open up about any type of friendship in your life. Here are reviews from BetterHelp users who have found support for their relationships with loved ones.
I started working with Randy about a month ago. Since losing one of my best friends to suicide in college, I've gone through a couple of therapists. There's always been one reason or another that we didn't match up well. However, BetterHelp did a great job matching me up to Randy. Randy is the best therapist I've had because he's a very good listener. Randy made me feel comfortable talking about whatever was on my mind. He broke up the awkward bits with humor and made me feel in control of my own destiny. I highly recommend Randy to everyone and am very happy that BetterHelp matched us. Thank you!
What Is The Flower Of Friendship?
The flower is a common friendship symbol, and various flowers can show a friend that you care about this friendship. Here are some of them.
What Are The Symbols For Best Friends?
There is no universal symbol of friendship. You can find various friendship symbols across different cultures and countries. Here are some of the most popular:
What Is The Celtic Symbol For Friendship?
The Celtic friendship symbol is known as the Claddagh. The Claddagh symbol shows a heart with a crown being grasped by two hands. A Claddagh symbol can represent a special friend and can also be a sign of romantic love, such as when a Claddagh ring is worn as a wedding ring. Either way, it’s a beautiful symbol.
Why Do Arrows Symbolize Friendship?
Arrows of friendship are a common way to express closeness, and they symbolize many things. For one thing, arrows can symbolize protection, and when you have an arrow, you’re saying that you will be there for your friend no matter what.
Another reason why arrows of friendship are so strong is they can symbolize being on the same side. Two crossed arrows can mean that the two of you are quite alike.
Arrows can also represent direction. Perhaps the two of you are going in the same direction in life, and you’re there for each other.
What Color Are Friendship Flowers?
Any flower can symbolize good friendship, but the most common colors are yellow and white, especially yellow roses.
What Flower Means Hope?
Most flowers can give you a hopeful feeling, but two flowers that can especially invoke those feelings are chrysanthemums and irises. Another flower that can symbolize hope is a tree that is bearing fruit. This especially applies after a long winter, where you can finally see trees coming back to life.
What Is The Symbol For Kindness?
Many symbols can represent kindness. The orca whale is a common symbol of kindness. Another well-known symbol is two hands shaking, which can represent care and compassion. A hand holding a heart is another common symbol of kindness. Since kindness makes one feel happy and cared for, many symbols can represent feelings of care.
What Is A Symbol For Love?
Love is a deep emotion that has many symbols. Here are some common ones:
What Does The Lotus Flower Mean?
The lotus flower is a common symbol in Asian culture. It can be a Chinese symbol for purity and rising above difficulties. In Buddhism, the lotus is loved for its ability to grow out of mud. Therefore, you can look at it as conquering the struggles of life. The lotus is one of the best-known Chinese symbols and has become beloved in other cultures as well. The lotus can be interpreted as a symbol of friendship as well, particularly for friends who have grown up together or come through difficult times together.
What Does A Claddagh Mean?
The Claddagh ring is a symbol of friendship, loyalty, love, and similar elements. It’s made up of a heart with a crown, with two hands grabbing the heart. Therefore, the Claddagh represents a strong bond between two people. In addition to their purpose as symbols of friendship, Claddagh rings are also sometimes worn as wedding rings.
What Does A Triquetra Mean?
The triquetra, or three, is a Celtic symbol that dates back thousands of years. Its meaning has evolved over the years. It can symbolize the triple goddess in Pagan traditions; on the other hand, in Christianity, particularly Irish Catholicism, it can represent the Holy Trinity. It can represent life and its infinite cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
It’s a versatile symbol that can represent anything that consists of three parts. That’s why it’s been so well-known for so long.
What Do Three Arrows Mean?
Three arrows can mean unity, resistance against fascism, strength, and much more. The three arrows tattoo symbol, also known as the “3 V,” can symbolize strength, struggling against difficulties in life, or the power of a family or group of close friends that are showing strength in the face of problems in the world. It also can be a symbol of a resistance towards authoritarianism.
What Are The Colors For Friendship?
If you want to show your best friend care, one of the most unique friendship symbols you can choose is a color. Many colors will represent friendship, such as yellow, white, or pink. Pink can mean both love and friendship depending on the context.
For those who like the symbolism of a friendship bracelet, all the colors can represent friendship in their own unique way. For instance, the color green on a friendship bracelet could symbolize a calm and compassionate friend. The color black on the friendship bracelet could symbolize a strong, confident, mysterious friend. Meanwhile, orange on a friendship bracelet could mean a friend is exciting or joyful.
Friendship bracelets are fun to make, and the beauty of colors is that they are up to interpretation. When you’re making friendship bracelets, you and your friend can choose what they mean.
What Flower Name Means Love?
The rose is one of the most common symbols of love. The name “rose” is Latin for “flower,” indicating the rose’s long history as a treasured flower. Over centuries, the rose has become one of the symbols of love and friendship. If you love or care for your friends, one of the best ways to express this feeling is to give them a rose.
Which Rose Is For Friendship?
The rose is one of the most classic friendship symbols, and also one of the love symbols as well. We commonly associate the red rose with love, while the yellow rose is the one that symbolizes friendship and care.
The yellow rose does have an interesting history. In some circles, it can be used as one of the symbols of jealousy. However, these symbols have changed into something more positive over time.