For the Love of Friends

Answers from our reader survey on friendship

What do you do when you’re 
with friends?

“Watch TV at home after dinner.”
“Ride motorcycles with our Harley owners group.”
“Meet at one of our houses, have a big meal together, lots of snacks, and the kids go crazy. No matter the time of year, it ends with a bonfire.”
“Shopping and lunch.”
“We do as many things as
possible. Friendships take time, 
and each event helps me learn more about my friends.”
“Talk and talk and talk.”
“Go for a walk or horseback ride.”
“Sometimes we do ceramics or go paddleboarding or see a movie.”

What friendship dynamic do you appreciate the most?

“Being there for one another 24/7.”
“We share a similar level of positivity.”
“We have gone through many milestones together, so we can honestly confide in one another.”
“My friends help me to see the 
high road.”
“We understand what makes each other tick.”

If you have pets, do you consider them your friends?

Do you have childhood friends you keep in 
touch with?

Do you consider your family members to be friends? Your friends to be family?

No, family don’t count as friends, say 16% of respondents, while 60% say that some family members do belong in both categories. The remaining 24% consider their whole family to be friends. Meanwhile, 80% of readers think of non-related friends as part of their family—maybe even figuring larger than their kin relations.

Do you have friends whom you’ve only met online?

Do you consider your coworkers to be friends?

The majority of 
respondents find work an overall friendly place: For 26%, they have many friends at work, and 52% say they are friends with at least a few coworkers. Only 22% draw a firm line between work life and social life.

How often do you spend leisure time with friends?

What do you see as the most valuable quality in a friend?

The runaway winner (38%) was a friend’s propensity for understanding. Next was 29% for trustworthiness, followed by 13% for compassion. Another 15% of the vote was divided between positivity, generosity, sense of humor, and sharing similar interests and passions. Finally, 5% of respondents named other qualities such as self-awareness and honesty.

How do you keep 
in touch with long-distance friends?

This article appeared in the August 2018 issue of Mindful magazine.

Make a Friend out of a Foe
Could You Connect More?