This paper is focused on trying to provide a definition for friendship. It is suggested to discuss friendship as a backbone of any individual’s social life. This comparison is given in order to show that social life of an individual entirely depends on friendship, and though it is possible to live without friendship, such life will not be quite sound. Friendship allows a person to withstand difficulties. It is certainly easier for an individual to withstand difficulties if there is always someone to depend on, somebody to help, to support. Such support will not necessarily have to be of material kind. A friend does not necessarily have to do anything to support. It is oftentimes enough to simply be heard and understood. Such understanding will make things much easier; will inspire to continue the struggle. In this respect friendship is a backbone of one’s life, allowing one to withstand loads, challenges of life.
Another aspect which is important to pay attention to is that friendship goes through the entire life of a person, from the very childhood, when friendly relations are formed, and into late adulthood, when good friendly relations are particularly valued. It is very well known, that as remarked by Conger and Galampos (1997), the difficult time for friendly relations is the time when a person makes a transition from childhood, when friendly relations are the strongest, into the period of family building and career development, when friendly relations become less important compared with family relations (Conger & Galampos, 1997). Thus, just as the backbone goes through the entire organism of a human, friendship goes through their entire life starting in early friendship and, in the ideal case, lasting till the end of one’s life.
It is known, that backbone of humans contains chord. A very important organ of human organism, which, however, significantly influences one’s life. Such is friendship. Many researchers have pointed out, that friendship, and particularly early friendship relations, significantly influence one’s model of behavior and form one’s character (Kennedy-Moore, 2013). Kennedy-Moore (2013) particularly describes numerous instances, when problematic behavior or deviant behavior of children was influenced by their friendly relations. Children, who communicate with other children, who do not display signs of deviant behavior, are not very likely to develop such behavior themselves. At the same time children with problematic or deviant behavior have been found to belong to similar background, to have friends, whose behavior was problematic, anti-social, and deviant and so on. Exposure to the community of children with deviant behavior of a child, who has not displayed signs of deviant behavior priory, may provoke such a child to begin displaying signs of such behavior.
Some people would argue that having friendship is not crucial for one’s life; it is not something a human being is biologically dependent on. This is certainly true, but human life does not demurely depend on biological factors. Humans are social animals and social life matters a lot for them. Being socially successful without having friends is nearly impossible. It is critically important to receive emotional support which can only be provided by friends, it is important to be aware of one’s ability to develop and maintain friendly relations.
Thus, friendship is a backbone of one’s social life because it is necessary and a person depends on it, because it just as a backbone goes through entire human life from the childhood into one’s late years, and, lastly, but not least importantly, because it significantly influences one’s social identity, one’s social portrait, so to speak. This is why friendship is as important for a human being as backbone for biological functioning of an organism and in many respects reminds us of the functions, maintained by the backbone.