The Importance of Having Friends
When we are children we know how valuable our relationships with others are. We make friends easily, for the most part, and always want to be around our friends. We actually prefer our friends over our family. But as we grow into adulthood, life gets in the way and so our friendships fall by the wayside or grow cold and distant.
Friendships can impact our health and state-of-mind positively.
The impact on our health: physically, emotionally, and spiritually, cannot be understated. Good friends, true friends are just as important as family. Nurturing these bonds of friendships can give us a sense of belonging, support, and affection.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one. ― C.S. Lewis
Having a true friend, someone you can turn to in stressful times, can reduce your stress and increase your happiness. Good friends support each other by encouraging the best in their friend.
Friends vs. acquaintances
While many people boast that they have a large number of friends, they probably mean they have a large number of acquaintances, and while it’s important to have a large network of people to turn to, not all would qualify as friends. The French actually have this right. They have seven words to qualify people they know: a kind of friendship index ranging from an acquaintance to a best friend. We have this too; we just don’t often think about it the same way as the French, but perhaps we should. Having a best friend, someone who will be there for us through thick and thin, is something that is cultivated over time and is essential to our well-being.
How can I Make Friends?
Some people find it easy to meet people and make friends while others who may be shy or introverted may take more time. If you know you need to make friends, or are feeling disconnected and lonely, you should make an effort to try to meet new people.
In order to meet and make long lasting friends, you must first be open to the idea of putting yourself out there. There are many online chat groups, forums, or communities that are local and have their members gather at a meet and greet for lunch or other formal event. Attending these events is a great way to meet new people.
Taking a class at your local community school, library, or craft store is also another way to interact and possibly meet people and make friends. Since you have a common interest, this creates a bonding experience of common ground.
Volunteering also is a way for you to meet new people and make new friends, especially since you are serving the community and others. Offering of your services will put you in contact with people who are like-minded and will give you opportunities to meet those you would not have otherwise met.
Faith-based organizations and groups are also a way to meet new people and make friends. Those who are seeking a similar spiritual experience can forge a bond based on a mutual goal of seeking a higher level of spiritual consciousness. Finding and making friends who are seeking to grow spiritually is desired since you are all working toward the same outcome.
In short, the power of friendships for the overall well-being of one’s mind, health, and spirit is critical for us as we are social beings who need the spiritual energy of the connection, affection, and comfort we find in friendships.
Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm & constant. – Socrates