Think about it. What would your life be like without your close friends? Your friends list will likely include people with different personalities, backgrounds, and ideas. However, they all have something in common. Strong friendships True friends are people who really know you and are still your friends anyway. They accept you for who you are and they know that you do the same for them.
Why do you have friends? Is it just so you have people to socialize with, or are the benefits on a deeper level physically, mentally, and spiritually? Here are ten reasons why close friendships can be the key to happiness and a fuller life.
10 reasons why having strong friends is key to happiness
Here are ten great reasons why friends can unlock the key to happiness in your life.
1. They offer a purpose to your life
Think how boring this world would be without your friends. When you cultivate close friendships, you add more purpose to your life. You hope to spend time with them.
Sharing life with friends gives you a better sense of belonging. As you relate to others, you get a better picture of humanity and realize that you are not alone. Maintaining a purposeful life is the key to happiness.
2. Reduce your stress and improve your mood
How many times have you been stressed out and reached out to a friend for guidance? Countless studies show that spending time with a close friend can minimize your stress and the accompanying symptoms. The empathetic ear of a friend may be what you need to calm your nerves and refocus you.
3. Increase your confidence
While compliments are superficial, genuine compliments from your friends can make you feel better about yourself. It feels good when someone you respect values your opinions and efforts. They can lift your spirits on a bad day and give you the boost you need to get through this crazy life.
4. Provides strength after a loss
Have you heard the old saying about the world laughing with you and then letting you cry alone? When you have a circle of close friends, they don’t leave you when the going gets tough. A true friend shines even more in the shadows of your pain, which is an essential key to happiness.
5. Offer commitment and responsibility
Friendship is the key to happiness, but it can also contribute to better health through responsibility. Multiple studies suggest that having a network of close friends can lower your risks for certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
If you are trying to lose weight and exercise more, you will often get better results if you have a friend who works with you to hold you accountable. Camaraderie also has a positive influence on helping people break other unhealthy habits, like drinking and gambling. Your friend can see a problem while you can’t.
Friends care about the interests of others and are not afraid to tell you good and bad things. However, accept constructive criticism when it comes from someone you love and trust.
6. Provide honest opinions
A true friend will be honest with you, even when the truth is difficult to confront. They can approach challenging problems with compassion and grace. It may take a genuine friend to tell you that your new outfit doesn’t fit as well as you think, or to broach the topic of a cheating partner.
When trying to make a crucial decision, close friends can be a valuable source of wisdom. They won’t pressure your opinions on you, nor will they offer unsolicited advice. As a key to happiness, true friends care enough about you to be honest.
7. Lasting friendships can help you develop romantic relationships
Did you know that you often learned some of the best skills for a healthy romantic relationship from your childhood friends? You learned to care for others, to share, to be honest and faithful. The first few friendships also taught you a lesson in the healthy boundaries that are necessary for a stable romantic connection.
8. It can contribute to a longer life
If you talk to the older people in your life, they will likely share that the key to happiness and longevity is being around friends. Many people in their golden years are still friends with people they knew as children. Due to the many benefits of close friendship, many people live longer, healthier and happier lives.
9. Strong friendships provide new interests, skills, and hobbies.
Wouldn’t it be a strange life if they were all the same? Fortunately, we all have different points of view and interests to make a more complete society. Friends often share and teach their skills and hobbies with each other. This is how skills and art have flourished from the beginning.
Think about the things you know how to do and who suggested and taught them. It is a combination of family, school and lifelong friends. You have probably also shared many of your interests and skills along the way.
10. Valuable friendships can help us keep our brains sharp
Your brain is like any other part of your body. To be healthy and strong, you must nurture it and use it frequently. When you have friends, you are continually considering new opinions and ways of doing things. They do fun things together and often try to find solutions to difficult situations in life.
As a key to happiness, friendship keeps your brain busy with critical thoughts and challenges. Studies have shown that people with a close network of friends may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other dementia conditions in later life.
Maintain close friendships
As you go through each stage of your life, friends will come and go. It’s not always that you’ve forced them to walk away. Sometimes you just get over friendships or they fade with distance and time.
However, you may have close friends who have been with you for most of your life.
Like a garden, friendships will not survive negligently. It is a mutual responsibility of cultivation and care. It is not always an easy task, but it is often vital to happiness. Here are some tips for maintaining close friendships.
Nobody wants a friend who has two faces or who cannot be trusted. For a real and lasting friendship, always be honest with your friends and other people. Show your friends that you can be trusted by keeping confidential things private and don’t gossip.
When people decide to befriend you, it’s because they like you, not because you’re someone else. Be genuine and don’t try to brag or act like someone you’re not. Most people can pick up on a fake friend and will walk out of the picture.
Do you have that particular friend who is chronically late to every occasion and wastes you time and time again? Such thoughtlessness can quickly dissolve a friendship. Instead, strive to be trustworthy.
The world is already full of many hateful people who tear others down with intolerance and cruelty. Kindness is a virtue of any friendship and it must be mutual. If you are in constant competition and offer people ambiguous compliments, you are not a friend.
Be a good listener
You may hear your friends talking, but are you listening? Good listening skills are a must if you want to make and maintain quality friendships. Remember to use neutral body language and try to reflect the other person’s emotions. It is often helpful to summarize what the speaker has said for clarity.
Have you ever been part of a one-sided friendship? These are unfortunate relationships where one person needs all the attention and demands the other without reciprocity. Be considerate and follow the guidelines of mutual respect.
Be fun and friendly
What are some of the qualities that you like in your closest friends? Not only do you appreciate their honesty and integrity, but you also love that they know how to have a good time. Nurture your friendships with fun, laughter, and quality time.