Friendship means different things to different people. Some will tell you they have many friends. Others use the word with gay abandon; he’s friend of mine, she’s a friend of mine. When did you meet them? Oh, about an hour ago. To these folks everyone they chat with is a friend.
This type of “friendship,” is in truth anything but. It is using a word for the sake of using a word. Like the term “Have a nice day,” started of as a warm and positive way to start a day and ended up a cheap cliche so is friendship within this context a shallow nothing.
There is another, you could say more serious cross-section of people, that holds the word friend to a much higher, more meaningful standard. To them a friend is someone they are particularly close to, can share just about anything with and would do almost anything for. Here friend, and friendship, has deep and binding meaning. Oftentimes these people are closer to their friends than to members of their families.
There is a distinction to be made however between a friendship and being friendly. The two are distinctly different. To be in a friendship, is to be in a relationship. A friendship depends on another individual. Strictly. That doesn’t mean one cannot be in a friendship with several people; one most certainly can, however, each friendship has a distinctive feel and nuance. To offer a crude example, a despot may have his chief henchman as a friend, as well as being in a friendship with a loving and caring physician whose only purpose in life is to save lives.
Being friendly on the other hand depends on no one. A friendly person is a friendly person. Full stop.
Like a fragrant rose gives off its sweet scent whether someone is passing by or not these individuals are friendly whether alone, in groups, with animals or nature. They are always affable, gentle and kindly.
You could go as far as to say that genuinely friendly people are ahead of the curve because to be friendly to that which surrounds you, you need to be friendly with, and within, yourself.
As one cannot give away something that he or she does not have, neither can one offer friendliness and all that goes with it, without having that quality within the self.
Friendliness radiates, gently envelops and kindly offers itself to everything, and everyone with whom it comes into contact.