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What is a good friend in Buddhism and how do I find one?

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A: Relationship problems are opportunities for you to grow and mature. Such problems can be character building, if you don’t let them defeat you. That’s why it’s important not to isolate yourself. No one can exist apart from others. …

Buddhism teaches that we should associate with good companions (see The Lotus Sutra and its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 114), meaning that we should be careful to choose good people as our friends and role models. It also instructs that we should distance ourselves from bad company. Nichiren Daishonin, referring to a Buddhist scripture, states that even a good person who associates with evil people will, in two or three cases out of ten, be tainted by that evil (see “Reply to Sairen-bo,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 310). We should therefore have the attitude, he says, to rebuke wrong, to rebuke destructive behavior. 

By pointing out to someone that their actions are inflicting suffering and hurt on others, we can urge them to move in a more positive direction. Our honesty, in fact, can open the way to forging deep bonds of genuine friendship with that person. In other words, it’s quite possible for a “bad” friend to become a good friend. …

Bad friends cause people trouble and grief through delinquent behavior. Good friends, by contrast, warmly encourage others, give them hope and inspire them toward self-improvement. …

To have friends like that, the first thing you must do is become such a person yourself. For example, when you notice someone is worried about something, offer a kind word. You could say, for instance: “You don’t look so happy. Is something wrong?” When you make a promise, always keep it, no matter what. If you try to be that kind of person, you’ll soon come to find yourself surrounded by good friends. …

Friendship forms an important foundation for our humanity. It gives sustenance and impetus to the struggle for world peace and the betterment of society. By expanding our circle of friendship, we create the basis for a peaceful society. (Discussions on Youth, pp. 315–25)

The Dragon Girl

My Life Is Actual Proof of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo