We often use the word “friend” so casually that the actual meaning is lost. We identify acquaintances, co-workers, or the neighbor next door as friends when in fact, they are only someone we know.
In other cases, we choose not to have friends, because we don’t know how to make friends or for some other reason.
When we do all these, we miss out on the benefit of having true friends. Friends who care about us and have our back against all odds. If you’re not sure about the importance of friendship, here are 10 reasons why you should make friends.
Importance of Friendship: 10 Reasons to Make New Friends
There are so many reasons why friendship is important in our lives. Some of them are:
1. Fight Loneliness and Social Isolation
It is true that people can be lonely even without being isolated. But, social isolation is often the leading cause of loneliness. For instance, a study by the American Psychological Association showed a high spike in the level of loneliness around the world during the pandemic. Why? It’s because physical and social contact with others was nearly impossible.
This study proves that when you’re away from your old social network, loved ones, or you’re unable to find quality friendships, loneliness might set in. On the other hand, the warm affection, care, and commitment that comes with meaningful friendships can help combat these feelings of loneliness and isolation.
2. Opportunities and Personal Development
Making friends is also one way to gain opportunities and develop personally. Your social network can give you access to valuable information or even the support you need to grow all around.
Also, there are some powerful people you can only meet through referrals. If your friends know such people, they can get you a foot in the door or even directly connect you to such individuals.
3. Emotional Security
Good friends understand and accept you for who you are. Their acceptance and understanding allows you to be vulnerable around them.
Also, you’re confident to open up about what you’re going through without fear of criticism. You can count on true friends to be there for you when you share your hope, dreams, pains, or happiness. No matter what life throws at you, they have your back.
4. Encourage Healthy Behaviour
“Show me who your friends are and I will tell you what you are”– Vladimir Lenin.
To a greater extent, friends shape our behavior. This means that positive friendships institute healthy behaviors. For instance, seeing a friend trying to lose weight can motivate an individual to maintain a healthy weight.
The reverse is also the case. So you need to pay attention to the importance of friendship so as to make better choices when choosing your friends.
5. Improve Mental and Physical Well-being
A 2021 study found that participants who received social support were more likely to have higher levels of cognitive resilience.
This shows the importance of friendship on our mental and physical health. Having friends who actively listen and support you may help relieve stress and improve your health. It can also help improve your mood and get you through difficult times.
6. Outlet to Express Yourself
Friends provide great outlets to express yourself. For instance, there might be some conversations you feel your boyfriend or family may not understand. You can also talk to your friends about the troubles in your relationship, your dreams, ideas, or opinions that you feel others might not accept.
With friends, you can vent and express hurt from work, or family without worrying about being judged.
7. Improve Social Skill
Interactions with friends help you improve social skills. These skills include verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, cooperation, team spirit, and solving problems.
Here’s how it works: when friends ask for your advice, you put your problem-solving skills to use. Discussing with them helps build communication skills and active listening. Planning hangouts or setting goals together require cooperation and team spirit to achieve the desired result.
8. Increase Self-esteem and Life Satisfaction
Another importance of friendship is to have a contented life and increased self-esteem. According to a 2018 study, how often a person sees their friends and how satisfied such an individual is with the overall friendship is positively associated with life satisfaction.
Beyond that, friends also provide us a strong sense of companionship that could contribute to our self-esteem.
Good friends motivate you to be better and keep you active in pursuing your goals. For instance, if you’re having difficulty running your business and thinking of giving up, a great friend is usually the first person who helps you to assess whether you’re making the right decision. Where giving up isn’t the right step, they remind you of how far you’ve come and how much more you can achieve.
Also, they encourage you to do better when you backslide. When you set goals, they’re always there to push you towards achieving those goals.
10. Self Re-discovery
You know your core values, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses.But most times, we have down times where you lose sight of those values. The importance of good friends is to help you remember who you are when you forget.
Having friends can help you re-discover yourself. For instance, you might date for reasons that doesn’t align with your values. Or maybe you’re unconsciously doing something that doesn’t uphold your integrity. Friends who know your core values will draw your attention and help you get on the right track again.
Also, in situations where you can’t understand who you are or what you like, good friends who truly know you can give honest opinions that’ll nudge you in the right direction.
Quality friendship offers many advantages. It can help you improve your mental and physical health, build your self-esteem, and get valuable connections. However, these benefits only come in when you have true friends who care about you the way you care about them.