Updated: Mar 1
Welcome to the second episode of the friendship series and today we are going to be talking about why friendship is important.
Take this scenario. You are given the opportunity to visit all of the most exotic and expensive hotels around the world and eat the most expensive food. On one condition that you go alone everywhere, and you cannot take pictures to share with others. This sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime but most of us would decline. Not because we do not love ourselves or because we cannot stay on our own but things like these are much better when they are shared with loved ones around us. The following are the four main reasons why I believe friendships are important.
The first and most important is that friends help you deal/ cope with stress. Imagine being in a stressful situation and you have no one to help you or even talk to you. The stress becomes more intense as you will feel like it's just you against the world. According to Harvard Medical School, social connections help relieve stress by reducing the amount of cortisol, a chemical that the body produces under stress. Stress I would dare to say is the starter for most mental health issues so having people who can help you out with it is the best option. Without support in a stressful situation, you are more likely to progress to depression and even attempt drug use for momentary relief.
The second reason why friends are important is that they challenge you and cause you to be your best. This point is not applied to every friend as some friends may harm rather than help you out. If you happen to have the right friends around you, one thing you will notice is that they are able to cause you to be your best sometimes even without saying anything. This is why it is important to have friends that share a common interest with you. Once you see your friends working hard to attain their goals, you will feel challenged and motivated to work hard towards yours too and that is how friends motivate each other. If you also happen to have friends who are generous, selfless, and family-oriented, you will pick up these behaviors whether you like it or not. Therefore, you need to pick your friends carefully and this is why parents need to pay close attention to people their kids call friends. We pick up behaviors that we see, and it is through an unconscious process. Great friends can shape you to your best version and prime you for success.
The third reason why friends are important is that friends can put you in line when you go wrong. In simple terms, they can give you a reality check. There have been times where my friends went blunt honest on me with things I was not doing right. This is part of the friendship journey. As we age, we do not spend as much time with our parents, so they do not see most of the things we do outside their view. It is these friends we roll with that see us. Frankly, it is extremely hard to find that a stranger will walk up to you and tell you of a mistake you make in our "modern-day" society. So, we need our friends to be able to talk sense into us, to encourage us, and sometimes to even forcefully push us out of incoming danger we do not perceive. If your friends cannot correct you or talk right to your face about what you did wrong, the person is not right for you and can’t help you develop the right way.
The last reason why I think friends are important is that being a friend helps your friend. In the first episode of this series, I mentioned that friendship is like a two-way street where both parties are expected to benefit from. You need to be a friend who can correct the other person even it means they get mad at you and you need to be a friend who can challenge the other person to do their best with your actions. If all parties involved in the friendship do their best and not care for just themselves, they are all most likely to succeed.
Don’t expect that you will immediately form some special friendship with someone and that’s it. Friendships that help you or promote you takes some time and effort. Not all friendships are worth it so always analyze yourself first and what you want before you jump into any friendship. If you do not analyze yourself, you might end up in a friendship that will cost you your goals.
Always remember, it’s just you and us.