Friends play an important part in our lives

Friends play an important part in our lives, and although we may take the fact of friendship for granted, we often don’t clearly understand how we make friends. While we get on well with a number of people, we are usually friends with only a very few---for example, the average among students is about 6 per person.

Moreover, a great many relationships come under the general term “friendship. ” In all cases, two people like one anther and enjoy being together, but beyond that, the degree of closeness between them and the reasons for their interest in each other vary greatly.

At the beginning, much depends on how people meet, and on good first impressions. As we get to know people, we consider things like age, race, looks, economic and social status, and intelligence. Although these factors are not of the greatest importance, it is more difficult to have a good relationship with people when there is a big difference in age and background.

We pay attention to actual behavior, facial expression, and the way a person speaks. Friends will stand closer together and soft voices also express friendliness, and it is because they may give the wrong signals that shy people often have difficulty in making friends. A friendly look with the wrong facial expression can turn into an unfriendly stare, and nervousness may be wrongly understood as unfriendliness. People who do not look one in the eye are not trusted when, in fact, they simply do not have confidence.

Some relationships are a result of argument and discussion, but it is usual for close friends to have the same ideas and beliefs, the same opinions and interests---they often talk about “being on the same wavelength.” The more closely involved people become, the more they depend on one another. People want to do friends favors and hate to let them down. Equally, friends have to learn to make allowances for each other, to put up with annoying habits, and to accept differences in opinion. Imagine going on a long trip with someone you occasionally meet for a drink!

In contrast with marriage, there are no friendship ceremonies to strengthen the relationship between two people. But the mutual support and understanding that results from shared experiences and emotions does seem to create a close and lasting relationship, which can overcome differences in background, and break down barriers of age, class or race.

Select the most appropriate answer for each of the following questions.

1. According to the passage, a friend is_________.

A . somebody we usually take for granted

B . a person with whom we often go out with

C. someone with whom we occasionally go for a long trip

D . not just anybody we get on well with

2. Which of the following factors does the author believe are very important in developing

friendships ?

A. Age and background.

B Economic and social positions

. C. Race and looks.

D. Same interests and behavior.

3. The passage tells us that sometimes a face with the wrong expression could be mistaken as a sign of ___________

. A. nervousness

B. confidence

C. unfriendliness

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