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Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of such bonds.
Such characteristics include affection; kindness, love, virtue, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, loyalty, generosity, forgiveness, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other's company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one's feelings to others, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.
"The workplace can crackle with competition, so people learn to hide vulnerabilities and quirks from colleagues.
Work friendships often take on a transactional feel; it is difficult to say where networking ends and real friendship begins." Older adults continue to report high levels of personal satisfaction in their friendships as they age, and even as the overall number of friends tends to decline.
This figure rose to 78% through the fifth grade, as measured by co-nomination as friends, and 55% had a mutual best friend.
Coaching from parents can be useful in helping children to make friends.
Eileen Kennedy-Moore describes three key ingredients of children's friendship formation: (1) openness, (2) similarity, and (3) shared fun.
and others, Kennedy-Moore outlines developmental stages in children's friendship, reflecting an increasing capacity to understand others' perspectives: "I Want It My Way", "What's In It For Me?
They gain the ability to empathize with their friends, and enjoy playing in groups.
They also experience peer rejection as they move through the middle childhood years.
Among the elderly, friendships can provide links to the larger community, serve as a protective factor against depression and loneliness, and compensate for potential losses in social support previously given by family members.