While I mostly fell for the friends I adore because they are wise, kind, generous, and fun, I have loved them most acutely when they or I have been most sad, because there is a psychic proximity in desolate times that happiness does not match. –Andrew Soloman, Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

We know our friends by what they mock. –Eric G. Wilson, Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can’t Look Away

And though the waves might bring you down and though the currents might pull you under, the sky is always still right above you. And your friends will show you the way. –Iain S. Thomas, “The Bubbles Are Your Friends”

There are only so many of us born at a time and we are thrown into the world to find each other, to find the other ones who don’t think you’re strange, who understand your jokes, your smile, the way you talk.
         There are only so many of us born at a time and we only have so long to find each other before we die.
         But we have to try.
–pleasefind this, “The Limited Opportunity”

Sometimes you don’t make friends. I definitely went through some years in middle school with none. Eighth grade was one of them—a new school, kids I didn’t get, and I spent a year being left out and feeling mocked. And yes, you do have to learn to love other people and yourself, but sometimes you just need to get by. Sometimes you want friends, and honestly don’t know how to work that simple human problem out. –Gladys, in the comments section of the October 14, 2010, Dear Sugar column

Under a tyranny, most friends are a liability. One quarter of them turn “reasonable” and become your enemies, one quarter are afraid to stop and speak, and one quarter are killed and you die with them. But the blessed final quarter keep you alive. –Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here

Do not protect yourself with a fence, but rather by your friends. –Czech proverb

I had eventually come to understand that friendship was a delicate, gradual process that mustn’t be rushed or seized upon but allowed and encouraged to take its course over time. I pictured it as a butterfly, simultaneously beautiful and fragile, that once afloat belonged to the air and any attempt to grab at it would only destroy it. –Daniel Tammet, Born on a Blue Day

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back toward you.
–Rumi, “My Worst Habit”

What draws friends together
does not conform to the laws of nature.
–Rumi, “The Force of Friendship”

One may have friends all over the world, but very few will truly know your heart. –Chinese proverb

[What is a friend?] A single soul dwelling in two bodies. –Aristotle, as quoted in Diogenes Laertius’s Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Interests change. Friendship based on mutual interests is doomed. Real friendship is an unshakable faith in what was once truly seen, no matter how recently or long ago. –Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself

Will you be my friend, my friend of friends, beyond every one, everything, forever and forever? –Henry James, The Bostonians

Each friend represents in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. –Anaïs Nin, diary, March 1937

Have no friends not equal to yourself. –Confucius, Analects

Friendship needs no words—it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness. –Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings

We must accept or refuse one another as we are. I could tame a hyena more easily than my Friend. He is a material which no tool of mine will work. –Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends. –Virginia Woolf, The Waves

The holy passion of friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money. –Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson

When people are true friends, even shared water tastes sweet. –Chinese proverb

I have no trouble with my enemies. But my goddamn friends…they are the ones that keep me walking the floor nights. –Warren G. Harding, in David L. Cohn’s The Fabulous Democrats

The public does not matter—only one’s friends. –WB Yeats, in a letter to Edith Shackleton Heald

Fail, and your friends feel superior. Succeed, and they feel resentful. –Mason Cooley, City Aphorisms, Eighth Selection

In the misfortunes of our best friends we always find something which is not displeasing to us. –François, Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Réflections ou Maximes Morales, maxim 99

She’s my best friend. God, I hate her. –Winona Ryder, in Heathers

No one is completely unhappy at the failure of his best friend. –Groucho Marx

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies. –Gore Vidal, in The Sunday Times Magazine, September 16, 1973

Our chief want in life is someone who shall make us do what we can. This is the service of a friend. With him we are easily great. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life

A friend who dies, it’s something of you who dies. –Gustave Flaubert, Pensées de Gustave Flaubert

The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them. –Molière, Le Misanthrope

... the bond of friendship is more binding than that of blood or kinship, for the friends we have we choose for ourselves, but Fortune provides us with our relatives. –Giovanni Bocaccio, The Decameron

Friendship, therefore, is a most holy thing, not only worthy of singular reverence but to be commended forevermore as the most discreet mother of generosity and good conduct, the sister of gratitude and of charity, the enemy of hatred and avarice, always prepared, without waiting to be begged, to do virtuously for others that which it would have done for itself... –ditto

A true friend is the most precious of all possessions and the one we take the least thought about acquiring. –François de la Rochefoucauld, Maxims

May God defend me from my friends. I can defend myself from my enemies. –(?)

“Surely you have some low-life friends?”
“Almost exclusively,” I said.
–Sergei Dovlatov, The Compromise

A “friend” is the sort of person you could safely entrust the proofreading of your suicide note. There are depressingly few of them out there. –(?)

A friend is someone who will help you move; a good friend is someone who will help you move a body. –(?)

It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. –EB White, Charlotte’s Web

Our convictions and our friends are all we have to get us through times of troubles. Friends are the only things from this damaged world that we can hope to see in the next; friends and loved ones are the very light that brightens the Hereafter. –Dean Koontz, Seize the Night

You can handle anything, including the end of the world as we know it, if at your side are friends with the proper attitude. –ditto

Friendship required us to venture off the map of the known world, into areas that ancient cartographers couldn’t have imagined when they had inked those words Here there be monsters. –ditto

There are people you are born with and then there are the people you find … I have found my people in the cubicle next to me, in the apartment upstairs from me, and in my book club. One morning one friend brings another friend running, and it sticks forever. Other times the funny stranger across the table at an industry lunch is just who you need in your life. Don’t get me wrong. There aren’t loads of Your People out there. That is why it is important to be on the lookout. Your People are hard to find. –Satellite Sisters, Uncommon Senses

Anything, everything, little or big, becomes an adventure when the right person shares it. –Kathleen Norris

… would he comprehend the fierce, passionate love that comes over two women doing women things? There’s a certain joy to knowing that she’s like me, her breasts and hips and toenails, love and the possibility of pregnancy and the endless search for a bathroom. The comfortable safety of our arms around each other’s waists. This is not sexual; this isn’t anything like sex, but the fiercest, giddiest infatuation for a new and first, unprecedented, precious and most mundane best friend. –Goldberry Long, Juniper Tree Burning

Thank you for this, God or whatever the hell you are, fate or circumstance or coincidence. … Thank you for this magnificent, commonplace gift, this friend, this New Best Friend. I believed, for a precious moment, that there was a God to thank, and I laughed a hallelujah of gratitude to him. –ditto

Oh, the glorious relief, the wonderful relief it is when somebody knows what’s in your mind and tells it to you so that you are at last released from that long bondage of silence that seems so inescapable. –Agatha Christie

Friendship between women can take different forms. It can run like a river, quietly and sustainingly through life; it can be an intermittent, sometime thing; or it can explode like a meteor, altering the atmosphere so that nothing ever feels or looks the same again. –Mary Haskell

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art … It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that gives value to survival. –CS Lewis, The Four Loves, Friendship

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: First Series

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature. –ditto

Friendship is a union of spirits, a marriage of hearts, and the bond thereof virtue. –William Penn

We need to build our friendships on truth and wholeness and expansiveness. We need friends who can be with us in our loneliness, not people who will cheer us up so that we don’t feel it. We need friends who get furious with us when we are not being real or true to ourselves, not when we don’t do what they want us to do. –Geneen Roth

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you. –Elbert Hubbard, The Roycroft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams

We do not need the help of our friends so much as confidence that they will help us when we need it. –Epicurus

The language of friendship is not words, but meanings. –?

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person … –Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

I always felt that the great high privilege, relief, and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing. –Katherine Mansfield

A friend is a second self, another I. –Zeno

Friendship is a sheltering tree. –Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends. –Mary Catherwood, Mackinac and Lake Stories

If there were two men in the world, how would they get on? They would help one another, harm one another, flatter one another, slander one another, fight one another, make it up; they could neither live together nor do without one another. –Voltaire

Separateness is sweet but connection with someone outside yourself is surely sweeter. –Judith Viorst

… A time comes in every human friendship when you must go down into the depths of yourself, and lay bare what is there to your friend, and wait in fear for his answer. –Thomas Hughes

Friendship is the sweetest form of love. –Annie Gottlieb

Friendship is a miracle by which a person consents to view from a certain distance, and without coming any nearer, the very being who is necessary to him as food. –Simone Weil

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and the longitudes. –Henry David Thoreau

Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls; for, thus absent friends speak. –John Donne, “Letter to Sir Henry Wotton”

There is no wilderness like a life without friends; friendship multiplies blessing and minimizes misfortunes; it is a unique remedy against adversity, and it soothes the soul. –Baltasar Gracian

Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love. –Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hold that companionship is a matter of mutual weaknesses. We like that man or woman best who has the same faults we have. –George Jean Nathan

Sometimes, in a relationship, going through hell isn’t so bad if you come out of it a little stronger. I guess the same is true about friends. –Janeane Garafalo, in Felicity

If you can’t be an idiot with your friends, who can you be an idiot with? –Dustin Diamond, in Saved by the Bell

It’s the friends that you can call upon at 4am that matter. –Marlene Dietrich

Now I was a woman, hugging a woman, hugging someone, something, that was like me: soft, white, rounded, same size, same height. Both of our feet were on the ground, we were celebrating the picking up of ourselves, our survival, our writing—hers already begun, mine still to be, yet also, in its way, already begun.
         Different and identical, full circle. –Crescent Dragonwagon, The Year it Rained

Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship, never. –Colton

For without you, what am I to myself but the leader of my own destruction? –St. Augustine, Confessions

There is a gray place
where blackly I in darkness brooded
and wrote upon my ashy bones
hollow lines of wit.

But you, damnit, you
snuck in with a rainbow and tied me up,
led me weeping to a buzzing meadow,
and washed my face with flowers.
–R. Bruce Sundrud

Mother, my friends are no longer my friends
and the games we once played have no meaning
gone serious and shy and they can’t figure why
so they’ve left me to my own daydreaming.
–Suzanne Vega, “Bad Wisdom”

A friend in need is a fucking nuisance. –David Miles

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. –Alice Walker

Friendship among women is only a suspension of hostilities. –Antoine de Rivarol

Think twice before you speak to a friend in need. –Ambrose Bierce

The one thing your friends will never forgive you is your happiness. –Albert Camus

Emilio Estevez: “I always thought we’d be friends forever.”
Andrew McCarthy: “Yeah, well, forever got a lot shorter suddenly, didn’t it?”
–inSt. Elmo’s Fire

Friendship causes pain. –Simon and Garfunkel, “I am a Rock”

We really don’t have enemies. It’s just that some of our best friends are trying to kill us. –(?)

Never speak ill of yourself; your friends will always say enough on that subject. –(?)

Make friends of your enemies, or kill them. –proverb

He’s a fine friend. He stabs you in the front. –Leonard Louis Levinson

Your friends confine you in their worlds. –(?)