Friendship Can Not Exist Without Trust

My dear nephew-in-law, Michael Sterling , surprised me with a gift last week . He had a shirt made at BONFIRE after he read my article about BE NICE ME posted on . I proudly wore it and shared a photo of myself in that shirt with many friends – especially my Andover prep school classmates since Norman Allenby ( PA ’51 ) was the one who told me that years ago a five year old friend of his son, uttered these three words upon arrival for a play-date.

I thanked my classmates for having been NICE to ME !

Mike came for dinner yesterday, and we continued our conversation about FRIENDSHIPOLOGY. He emphasized that Friendship can not exist without Trust 信. I agree with him heartily, since my parents named me 李名信 Lee Ming Sing  (Lee is our Family name; middle name Ming means To Remember; third word Sing or Xing means Trust.)  It has been etched in my mind that I must always be trustworthy.

Indeed, I have constantly been reminded that my Great-Great Grandfather李也亭 Li Ye Ting is considered a historical figure in Shanghai and XiaoGang, Ningbo, my ancestral home. He was known for his business acumen but most importantly for his Accountability, Reliability, Good Intentions, and Total Trustworthiness.

However, Be Nice and Be Trustworthy are reasonably straight forward.  To Induce Deep Friendship sometimes requires Empathy and Forgiveness.

I remember a situation a few years ago.  A few friends and I made an agreement with another acquaintance to promote a Good Cause. There were mutual financial commitments. Abruptly, this acquaintance could not and did not deliver as he promised. My friends mostly thought that we were cheated.  Legal actions were suggested. I was torn and upset, but fortunately decided to give the acquaintance a pass. I did not think that he intentionally deceived us and the Good Cause Project he led must be appreciated and not be smeared.  I had lost a bit financially, but gained a good friend who has recovered and is still promoting his Good Cause Project.



From Google Search – GoodTherapy

Trust issues often come from early life experiences and interactions. These experiences often take place in childhood. Some people do not get enough care and acceptance as children. Others are abused, violated, or mistreated.


Signs a person may be excessively mistrustful include:

  • Lack of intimacy or friendships
  • Mistrust that interferes with a relationship
  • Dramatic and stormy relationships
  • Suspicion or anxiety about friends and family 
  • Terror during physical intimacy
  • Belief that others are deceptive or malevolent without evidence

Social rejection in one’s teens may shape their ability to trust. Some teens are bullied or treated as outcasts by peers. This can influence later relationships. Being betrayed or belittled by others impacts self-esteem. Self-esteem also plays a large role in a person’s capacity to trust. People with low self-esteem may be less likely to trust others. Those with higher self-esteem may be more self-assured.


WHAT BUILDS TRUST ? – Billy Googled 

Building trust doesn’t happen overnight . When it comes to building trust, try to keep a long-term approach. Be honest, honor your commitments, admit when you’re wrong, and you’ll be well on your way to being seen as a trustworthy person.

Core elements needed to start the process to build trust:

Authenticity. Being authentic is about being real and truly yourself. …

Objectivity. Openness , Without prejudice, Fairness

Consistency.  Reliability, Even Tempered

Vulnerability.  Modesty, Empathy & Compassion

Communicativeness. Intelligence, Clarity & Inspiration

Ways that you can build trust within a team:

Provide opportunities to build Relationships and Trust among team members.

Offer networking opportunities for team members to share their capabilities.

Speak the truth, respectfully.

Highlight successes from Team work.

Encourage transparency. Give Credit when Credit is deserved.

Admit when you don’t know something.

Be honest and supportive. Helping others grow generates Trust.

Be quiet sometimes. Not overly and publicly critical.

Be consistent.

Model the behavior you seek.

Keep roles and responsibilities clear.

Build in accountability & sense of reliability.

Extend empathy to others.

Make feedback part of the culture.

Empower your team to be self-organized


Words That Describe a Good Friendship

Have you ever thought of what friendship really means? It is really hard to put into words. Friendships are mutually beneficial, meaning each of you get something out of the relationship. Friends are there when you need them, whether to comfort, support, congratulate, or just listen. Browse this list of words that describe a good friendship, or a true friendship.


Words to Describe Qualities of a Good Friend

When you think of how to describe your good friend, what words immediately come to mind? Explore adjectives to describe a friend for great ideas on how to talk about your BFF.

givinggood listenerhonest

Great Sayings About Friends

If you are composing a speech or writing a paper and need some sayings or quotes about friendship, consider these famous quotes.

  • “The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” – Vincent van Gogh
  • “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
  • “Friendship is a sheltering tree.” – Samuel Coleridge
  • “The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen…A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.” – Rachel Naomi Remen
  • “Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” – Mark Twain
  • “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wise Words on Friendship From Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie wrote one of the first ever self-help books called How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1937. In the book, he explains how to handle people, make them like you, and how to influence them. He stresses the importance of:

  • not criticizing or complaining, but giving honest opinions
  • the need to smile, remembering their name, and being sincerely interested in people with whom you want to make friends
  • being a good listener, getting them to talk about themselves, and then continuing the conversation about things that interest them

These things make the other person feel important and that can be the beginning of a friendship.

Carnegie’s Tips on Making Friends

Dale Carnegie had many words that describe a good friendship and advice on making friends. He also shows the importance of a positive attitude, and that can help you make friends. Here is a sampling of his wisdom.

  • The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.
  • When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.
  • Do things for others and you’ll find your self-consciousness evaporating like morning dew.
  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.
  • When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

Words for Friends

Talking about a good friend or friendship should be fun and inspiring. Now that you’ve got some great words to describe your best friendships, learn words to show your appreciation for those important people.

Michele Meleen – Staff Editor, Your Dictionary.Com



from < > -Staff Editor Michele Meleen

Examples of Words of Appreciation

Who doesn’t like to hear a “Thank you” or “I appreciate you” every now and then? Whether you’re thanking someone for a gift or favor or just for being a good friend, words of appreciation are always appreciated! Sometimes, however, it’s hard to know what to say. Luckily, we’ve got your back. From short and sweet messages to longer phrases of appreciation, here’s how to express gratitude anytime, anywhere.

Common Words of Appreciation

You don’t have to give a big speech or write a long thank you letter to let someone know you appreciate them. Sometimes short is sweet.

·  Thanks.

·  Thank you.

·  I am indebted to you.

·  Dinner was delicious.

·  I appreciate you.

·  You are an inspiration.

·  I am grateful to/for you.

·  You are a blessing.

·  You are a true friend.

·  You’re so great.

·  This is great.

·  You light up my life.

·  My sincere thanks.

·  You’re the best.

·  You make me happy.

·  You’ve been very helpful.

Common Appreciation Sayings

If you’d like to say more than three or four words of appreciation, these phrases help make your sentiments feel more powerful. 

  • I don’t know what I’d do without you, and I hope I never have to find out!
  • I only hope I’m able to someday give back to you what you’ve given to me.
  • “Thank you” doesn’t feel like enough, but it truly sums up how I feel. I’m so thankful for what you’ve done.
  • Your thoughtfulness has not gone unnoticed. It will stay with me forever.
  • The world is lucky to have someone like you, who is always there for others.
  • Beyond the word “thanks,” I hope you’ll feel my gratitude and appreciation for a very long time.
  • You deserve recognition for the kindness you’ve shown me.
  • My heart and soul are forever indebted to you. Thanks for being awesome.
  • I wish you could feel the gratitude I’m feeling right now.
  • I appreciate your thoughts and actions. It’s not every day I get to experience such kindness.

Words of Appreciation for Gifts

People always appreciate it when you take the time to thank them for a gift, especially if they didn’t get to see you open it.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

·  You are one of the most generous people I know.

·  Are there no limits to your generosity?

·  You are so thoughtful and generous in your gift giving.

·  Thank you for the delightful gift.

·  You must have read my mind because your gift is exactly what I wanted.

·  You picked the perfect gift for me.

·  Thanks for being so thoughtful.

·  Your gift means a lot to me.

·  If you could see my face right now, you’d see a look of gratitude.

·  Thank you for showering me with gifts for the baby.

·  You made my birthday a special day.

·  I am grateful for you and your generosity.

·  Thanks for thinking of me; you made my day.

Words of Appreciation for Help & Support

For someone who has been there for you or encouraged you during a difficult time, a message of gratitude is a great way to thank them.

·  How can we ever thank you enough for all you’ve done? We’re forever grateful.

·  You helped me right when I needed help most.

·  If anyone deserves thanks, it’s you.

·  I really appreciate your support in this endeavor.

·  You have been extremely supportive through this difficult time. I could not have gotten through it without you.

·  We must thank you for your support at this time.

·  I want to thank you for all the support and concern.

·  That was very kind of you. How can I ever repay you?

·  Your support has made me a stronger person and I will forever be grateful.

·  Thank you for always being there for me.

·  Taking the time to help me was a very nice thing for you to do. Thanks so much.

·  Thank you for thinking of me and taking the time to be kind.

·  You are the most beautiful and wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I’m so lucky!

Words of Appreciation in the Workplace

To help keep things positive in the workplace, a few words of thanks or support can make employees feel appreciated and valued.

You are a great employee and a positive force around the office.

·  I want to acknowledge everyone’s extra effort.

·  You did an excellent job on that report.

·  I want to thank you publicly for your hard work and dedication.

·  Your attitude and work level suit us here, so keep up the good work!

·  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with me.

·  You have been a valuable member of our team.

·  Thank you for giving me the chance to fulfill my potential here.

·  Your commitment to this project is second to none.

·  I appreciate you supporting me at the meeting.

·  You have a winner’s attitude.

·  Thank you for sharing your vision.

·  Your commitment to excellence has inspired others.

·  We appreciate your innovative thinking.

·  Your attention to detail puts you at the top.

·  Thank you for taking the initiative and getting it done.

Show Your Appreciation

Showing appreciation through words in cards, texts, social media posts, or face-to-face conversations can turn someone’s day around. Find the right way to say thanks to everyone in your life.



by jgl – 12 July 2022

The Universe is totally orderly. It’s ruled by the laws of physics…many of which we know,

even though many of the details remain a mystery. One of these basic laws is entropy…in nature all systems break down. That is the natural order of things. It’s a plodding, predictable process. The explosion of a supernova may look chaotic, but it isn’t. However, a human sitting quietly on a chair is a seething cauldron of contradictory, living, biochemical activity in contrast to the comparatively sedate, inanimate supernova.

          Life is chaos. Life is the only disorderly system in the universe.  It actively fights against entropy. Take our immune system, for instance. Life tries to repair itself.  Life also actively tries to replicate itself with thousands of genes per species genome. Volcanoes, tectonic plates, solar flares, and galaxies do not try to either repair or replicate themselves.  They simply disintegrate without complaint.

          Living organisms comprise an infinitesimally tiny percentage of the mass of the Universe and contain perhaps even a smaller percentage of the energy of the universe.  If the mass and energy of living organisms on Earth were spread out uniformly even in just our tiny solar system, they would be undetectable…unlike those distant, cold asteroids in the Kuiper Belt. Thus, we have no idea how common life may be in the universe. All we do know is that there doesn’t seem to be any lurking around us anywhere within many light years .

          These observations help us understand why our lives, towns, countries, and cultures are so desperately chaotic.  The most chaotic substance in our solar system is packed into a space that’s 36 billion times smaller than our solar system and 330,000 times smaller even than our Sun.

            Let us not wonder why our lives and cultures are such a living mess. Let’s just all be very glad that they aren’t worse. Better yet, encourage the only three elements in our natures that can turn down the chaosEmpathy, Reason, and Humanism.  All other human mental processes add substantially to the chaos. Do not do unto your neighbors that which you would want done unto yourself. Rather, do unto your neighbors that which they would want done unto themselves.  This caveat does not apply, of course, if your neighbor is a masochist or psychopath or is otherwise mentally befuddled. Then you must apply Empathy, Reason, and Humanism to determine what is best for that person. If you’re not sure… don’t do anything. As Hippocrates said: “The first principle is to do no harm”.



I deeply appreciate this “Cup of Wisdom” from my dear friend “jgl”. We basically think alike. While I promote “BE NICE ME. NO HURT EACH OTHER”. (See recent post: “TWO PLUS YEARS OF FRIENDSHIPOLOGY – WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?”), he quotes Hippocrates’ “THE FIRST PRINCIPLE IS TO DO NO HARM.” CHEERS !



Billy Lee – July 2, 2022

About two years ago, my young friend, Li YiLu from Beijing, created for me this bilingual website: “Billy & The World”.  It became https://Friendshipology.Net .

I started to invite various friends to write about Friendship, their thoughts, their experiences, and their stories. I also added a few of my own stories and items I found especially interesting like poems, cartoons or photo-arts.

Last week, my dear nephew-in-law, Rich Hogan, referred me to an article by Ms. Julie Beck of The Atlantic Monthly.
    Sadly to learn that Beck was actually saying “goodbye” to her Friendship Files audience after one hundred deeply perceptive Friendship Interviews in roughly three years. She concluded succinctly that there are six forces that help form friendships and maintain them through the years: Accumulation (time involved ), Attention ( being open to chance encounters ), Intention ( make efforts with joy ), Ritual ( special acts enhancing bonding ), Imagination ( different creative ways ), and Grace ( Forgiveness and The Space that creates for Connection and Reconnection – that feel nothing short of miraculous ).

I was inspired to evaluate what I have learned from the two plus years of . Yes, the 175 articles so far collected, covered many different aspects of Friendships.  One wrote about Evolution of our Genes; one on Yi and Yi Chi and the Middle Way, one related how to introduce oneself to a golf group missing a fourth player, one resented and asked,” How can I really befriend these snobs ?”; one offered the essential principles in Mediation; one told how two long time friends got upset at each other arguing over a tennis call ( it was more about their pride than their eyes ). There were many wonderful Friendship quotes – from Aristotle, to Lao Tse to Charlie Chaplin. There were also beautiful photos of different animals nudging humans and each other affectionately and naturally, etc. etc. .

So, I have really learned a great deal from all of them, but among all, one indeed impressed me most clearly, simply, and holistically . It was from the story told by Norman Allenby, my Andover/Yale classmate.  His story involved Shawn, a four year old boy who was having his first play date with Norm’s son Robert. Before crossing the threshold of the open front door, Shawn announced a governing principle of Friendship: “Be Nice Me”. Wow, I think that’s it, that’s what we all really want, need, and should try to follow as Our Golden Rule. To those of you who love to write poems, can you please write a poem or song for me- titled “Be Nice Me. No Hurt Each Other”  Cheers ! Always Seeking Essence about Knowledge & Goodness.


By Billy Lee – July 2022

Be Nice Me,  for I really like to be Your Friend.

Be Nice Me,  for you surely want me to Be Nice You.

Teachers teach us to Be Nice to Each Other, to Everyone, even Those who aren’t nice

I will Be Nice You, for  I really like to be Your Friend.

Don’t hurt me, for it hurts when you take my toys and sometimes break them.

It really hurts when you ignore me or tell me that I’m no good.

It takes away all Trust when you tell others lies about me.

Please don’t force me to dislike someone else who actually has been nice to me.

Be Nice Me for we can share Joy & Fun.

Be Nice Me,  for we can build sandcastles together, and we can paint together and give our best drawings to please our grandmothers or Nai Nais.

Cheers !  Let’s All Just Be Nice.