Friendship is an interesting relationship, and it flows into so many other relationships. When a child is born, the purest of relationships and friendship is between parent and child, even on some level. That quickly replaces parent and child, and if there’s too much friendship in between, the parenting suffers! Young children under five love to play together even if they are not engaging verbally, and friendship is reflected in their similar play styles and temperaments. As children age out of early childhood into grade school, many roles get formed, including the leader, follower, social, quiet, and everything in between! Middle school and high school friendships become slightly more complicated with socio-cultural and economic norms. In reality, boys have a bit more ease practicing forgiveness and moving on from the conflict that can arise from friendships, whereas girls can have a bit harder time doing this. As gender has majorly changed within the last few years, it will be interesting to see how gender roles and changes affect friendships.Friendship means different things to different people. Ideally, the very best friendship people create is with themselves. What does that mean exactly? It means that a person can genuinely enjoy their own company, whether it’s going on a hike, sitting in a restaurant, or watching a film. They engage their own thinking, feelings, creativity, and interactions as they enjoy life’s activities. Becoming engrossed in cooking, gardening, or reading allows the brain to escape and develop that inner friendship and relationship so key to joy.More traditionally speaking, friendships are extremely important throughout life. Whenever long-standing friendships are dating all the way back to early grade school, those relationships can be very supportive, binding, and help with esteem and identity. Friendships mean having people to enjoy life’s adventures with and having someone to talk to you in a time of joy or crisis. Friends CAN form in every stage of life, and it is never too late to develop connections. Friendships can make a commitment, and they can take some responsibility and ensure they continue, especially as people age into adulthood and life gets even busier. It’s important to understand what friendship means to each person to come together with similar expectations. And as people grow and change, it is natural for some friendships to fade and some that build anew.