Friendliness is reaching out to others with warmth and caring. It is the willingness to be an intimate companion. Friendship is essential to our souls. We value ourselves enough to know that we deserve true companionship. We attract others by what we are willing to contribute. What we give, we get. The presence of a friend can soothe us, unleash our laughter, amplify our joy, and diminish our sorrow. Friends are compassionate witnesses to one another’s stories. We share our time, attention, love, and, above all, ourselves. We look upon strangers as friends we haven’t met yet. Friendliness is the best cure for loneliness.


I don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends I can be certain of.

— Alice Walker

 The Practice of Friendliness

  • I make others feel welcome.
  • I trust that I am worthy of companionship.
  • I have compassionate curiosity.
  • I take genuine interest in others.
  • I share my laughter and my tears.
  • I invest my time and attention in friendship.
Definitions and practices of virtue are used with permission from the Virtues Project™. 

In Family Life

In the family unit, friendliness is demonstrated through the genuine warmth and caring that family members extend to one another. It starts with a willingness to be intimate companions, forming deep and meaningful connections within the family. Friendliness within the family acknowledges the inherent value of each member, recognizing that they deserve true companionship and support.

Family members attract one another through their willingness to contribute positively to each other’s lives. They give their time, attention, love, and, most importantly, themselves, fostering an environment where mutual respect and empathy thrive. In this familial bond, the presence of a family member can soothe, bring laughter, amplify joy, and provide solace during times of sorrow.

Like friends, family members serve as compassionate witnesses to each other’s stories, sharing the highs and lows of life. This approach extends beyond the family, where family members often see strangers as potential friends they haven’t met yet, reinforcing the idea that friendliness is not limited to blood ties. In essence, friendliness in the family is the antidote to loneliness, creating a nurturing and loving atmosphere where every member feels valued, understood, and cherished.

Balancing Friendliness

Friendliness is a virtue that brings immense joy and connection into our lives. When nurtured in a balanced way, it can heal loneliness, amplify our happiness, and enrich our human experience.

Several virtues can help keep friendliness in check and ensure it thrives in a healthy way:

  • Courage: Courage empowers us to speak our truth and set boundaries when necessary, preventing the overdevelopment of friendliness.
  • Wisdom: Wisdom guides us in discerning when to extend our warmth and when to exercise caution, preventing us from being overly trusting or naive.
  • Empathy: Empathy allows us to connect with others on a deeper level, fostering genuine relationships without becoming excessively dependent on external validation.
  • Compassion: Compassion ensures that our friendliness is rooted in genuine care for others rather than needing approval, making our connections more authentic.

By cultivating complementary virtues like courage, wisdom, empathy, and compassion, we can ensure that friendliness flourishes without losing its essence, making us better companions on life’s journey.