Home » Blogs » Single at Heart » 25 Quotes about Friendship

25 Quotes about Friendship

I think friendship may be the most important relationship in 21st century life. It is also greatly undervalued, especially in comparison to romantic relationships, which suck up far more than their fair share of attention and esteem. Nonetheless, I do not have a syrupy view of friendship, so when a new book appeared in my mailbox – “The Joy of Friendship: A Thoughtful and Inspiring Collection of 200 Quotations” – I worried that it would be all lollipops and puppies.

Happily, it was not. Sweet tributes to friendship were interspersed with wry observations, sober words of advice, a variety of ideas about who counts as a true friend, and witty commentary.

I’ve selected 25 quotes out of the 200 in the book to share with you. Note the authors – I think you will recognize many of them. And be forewarned that some of the quotes were from a long time ago, when people thought it was perfectly fine to talk only about men.


“What if all everybody needed in the world was to be sure of one friend?”

–Richard Russo


“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.”

–Elie Wiesel


“Close friendships are one of life’s miracles – that a few people get to know you deeply, all your messy or shadowy stuff along with the beauty and sweetness, and they still love you. Not only still love you, but love you more and more deeply.”

–Anne Lamott


“I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.”

–Robert Breault


“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”

–William James


“Inner values like friendship, trust, honesty and compassion are much more reliable than money – they always bring happiness and strength.”

–Dalai Lama


“‘Stay’ is a charming word in a friend’s vocabulary.”

–Louisa May Alcott


“A single rose can be my garden; a single friend, my world.”

–Leo T. Buscaglia


“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.”

–Ray Bradbury


“Of all the gifts that wise Providence grants us to make life full and happy, friendship is the most beautiful.”



“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

–Anais Nin


Tests of friendship:


“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

–Walter Winchell


“One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they no longer mention.”

–Cliff Fadiman


“The real test of friendship is can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?”

–Eugene Kennedy


“Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”

–Oscar Wilde


“Anyone can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

–John Green


Advice about friendship:


“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”

–Octavia Butler


“The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.”

–Mark Twain


“Reprove your friend privately, commend him publicly.”



“Don’t flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become. Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them.”

–Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.


“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

–Zig Zigler


A bit of wit:


“You know a real friend? Someone you know will look after your cat when you are gone.”

–William S. Burroughs


“The capacity for friendship is God’s way of apologizing for our families.”

–Jay McInerney


“A friend is someone who knows where all your bodies are buried. Because they’re the ones who helped you put them there. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, they help you dig them back up.”

–Jenny Lawson


“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.”

–Ed Cunningham

25 Quotes about Friendship

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

Bella DePaulo (Ph.D., Harvard; Academic Affiliate, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara), an expert on single life, is the author of several books, including "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After" and "How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century." Her TEDx talk is "What no one ever told you about people who are single," Dr. DePaulo has discussed singles and single life on radio and television, including NPR and CNN, and her work has been described in newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and magazines such as Time, Atlantic, the Week, More, the Nation, Business Week, AARP Magazine, and Newsweek. Dr. DePaulo is in her sixties. She has always been single and always will be. She is "single at heart" -- single is how she lives her best and most meaningful life. Visit her website at

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
DePaulo, B. (2018). 25 Quotes about Friendship. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 25, 2019, from


Last updated: 7 Aug 2018
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.