Friends are the type of people in our lives that is more than an association or acquaintance. We share certain levels of personal information with them, emotions, desires etc. We trust them, we want what is best for them, and there is the presence of sympathy, empathy and support. As well as honesty, mutual understanding and compassion. All of these and more we do for our friends and our friends do for us. The relationship we have with our friends can sometimes develop into something more valuable that we sometimes consider them as a family member already (they can be more of like a father or mother, brother or sister to us).
However, having friends (the type which has all the characteristics you look for in one) is not something we could achieve overnight. It is not that simple or an easy thing to do, it takes some work. There are factors that could affect having such a very close bond and keeping it-more especially if there’s very high demand of time and effort from work, family and school. Now, for those people who still manages to maintain close relationships with their friends are really very fortunate. I admire them. While for those who weren’t able to because of personal reasons or restrictions should at least try to give the relationship a chance, reconnect and get to know them better because friends offer so much more than a sense of belongingness. So you may ask why friendships are considered to be important to both men and women. It is because of the fact (as per some studies conducted already) that friends could improve our health, mental health and longevity especially for the seniors or elderly.
BENEFITS OF FRIENDSHIPS:
Since friends offer a shoulder to lean on, advice and comfort through good times and bad, they can help us avoid unhealthy reactions to stressful situation. Thus, they are one of the major contributors to our overall health and well being. Just to be more detailed, friends can:
– Increase our sense of belonging and purpose
– Reduce stress
– Decrease risk of serious mental illness
– Boosts happiness
– Encourages us to change unhealthy lifestyle and habits
– Decrease risk of serious mental illness
– Helps us get through some of life’s very challenging and difficult moments, traumas, emotional and personal problems, loss, etc.
– At the same friends are also there to celebrate some of the happiest and memorable moments in our lives. The good times, success, etc.
In addition, since it has been very interesting to have known all the benefits our friends could offer, it is also wise to keep our friendships nurturing and healthy. Developing and maintaining healthy friendships involves give and take. Letting our friends know that we care about them and appreciate them will help ensure a strong and supportive relationship. It is important for us to be a good friend as it is also important to have one or better yet quite a lot of. Here’s how…
Eight (8) ways to make your relationship with your friends healthy and supportive:
Have a positive outlook – I know that sometimes life can be so unfair and can make you down and out but there’s nothing more inspiring and admirable to be positive and staying positive too despite the challenges. Try to find humor in things. Remember positivity and laughter are both infectious and appealing.
Go easy – Some friends want their privacy or space to be respected. Everyone wants some time alone for themselves every now and then. So don’t overwhelm your friends with too much phone calls, texts or e-mails. Communications can be brief. Find out the right time to contact them (how late or early). It’s just a matter of respect. But of course when there is crisis or anything that needs immediate attention or solution feel free to contact them by all means. What kind of friends doesn’t help their friends in times of need, right?
Listen up – Make a point to ask and check what’s going on in the lives of your friends every so often. You’ll never know how happy or appreciative it could make them feel when you find time to do so. Don’t talk about your own problems all the time. Being self-absorbed won’t make the friendship strong and what’s worst it probably won’t last.
Don’t compete – Don’t turn friendship into unhealthy rivalries and hidden battle. Who makes more money, more talent, coolest car, clothes, etc. Don’t fight over other friends too. It would be much better if you support each other and give each other a boost. Remember a true friend won’t pull you down.
Be aware of how other’s perceive you – Sometimes we only see the flaw of other people and not our own. So ask a friend for an honest judgment of how you behave towards them or other people. See the areas where you can improve to be a better friend or person in the end. I saw this quotation about friends and I just want to share it with you…”True friends stab you in the front” by Oscar Wilde. I’d appreciate it more than the other way around. Don’t you think so?
Adopt a healthy, realistic self image – Having so much pride, arrogance, being self centered, and insensitivity can be a major turn offs to the relationship and potential friends.
Resolve to improve yourself – Humility or humbleness, generosity, honesty and compassion are very good traits to make you a good and appealing friend.
Avoid complaining constantly – It is very tiring and draining on friendships and any other relationship as a matter of fact. I know sometimes it could not be helped. But really, change will come from us. It’s either we do something about it or just be unhappy every time. Our friends will be happier if we complain less and act more. But for sure friends will give support no matter what.
You see, friendships really pay extra. I hope people won’t think of friends as bothersome and complicated. My friend once told me that life is really simple and that people are the only ones making it complicated. If you find or have found the kind of friends that will treat you right, will not use or abuse you, betray you and treats you like a family member then they are worth the investment. They pay off in better health and brighter outlook for years to come. Your friends could also be your family, in-laws and relatives but it also never too late to build new ones or reconnect with your old friends. Friends really do make the world go around. Let us not forget also that before a man and woman became husband and wife, father and mother they became friends first and for the lucky ones out there they will remain to be the very best of for the rest of their lives. Let us all be wise in choosing our friends. Remember the truth is, friends can either make or break us. But either way, I still thank the Lord for all my friends. They have also (aside from my family) shaped me and molded me into what I am today . I’ll leave you with another quote from the movie, UP IN THE AIR…”If you think about it, your favorite memories, and the most important moments in your life… were you alone? Life’s better with company.”