Woodrow Wilson once said,
Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”
Wilson’s take on friendship could not be any farther from the truth. Building a trusting and lasting connection with an individual offers a lot of benefits.
Friendship refers to a bond of affection between two individuals or more. There are different forms of friendship in which the characteristics of such friendship may vary. Some friends play a supportive role, while some are simply available to hang out. Regardless of which form of friendship you currently have, there are a variety of advantages.
Sometimes, we fail to realize the impact a friend can have in our lives. This may be due to previous experiences and unhealthy behaviors from trusted friends. However, it is important to realize that as we progress through life, many things are out of our control. We do not influence the choice of our parents or siblings. But we can make great choices when it comes to choosing friends.
Characteristics of a True Friend
Mutual understanding, tolerance, and shared interests are the elements of a good friendship. There is often a need to rely on our friends for encouragement, support during challenges, confidence, and happiness. The following signs are usually the characteristics of a great friendship. This includes trustworthiness, honesty, loyalty, empathy, selflessness, neutrality, among others. If these qualities are present in your friendship with others, your health and confidence are boosted.
Why Friendships Are Important
1. Friendships Improve Mental Health
Humans are social beings. Having someone to talk to through life’s challenges is beneficial to our mental health. A research study revealed that people with decreased social interaction are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health disorders than socially active people. Friendships give you a sense of belonging, boost your self-esteem, and helps you find direction in your purpose. All of which improve our mental health. Good friendships can also help an individual through a traumatic event or in quitting a bad habit, behavior, or lifestyle.
2. Friendships Relieve Stress
Oftentimes, our life is filled with activities that are often stressful to our mind and body. Medically, experiencing stress constantly affects our health. A Michigan study has shown that the level of the hormone, progesterone, is increased when women are bonding with another individual. Progesterone is the hormone that helps to release stress. On weeks where you have undergone a lot of stress, take the weekend to hang out and go on picnics, adventures, etc. with friends.
4. Friendships Boost Our Self-Confidence
Friendships also boost our self-confidence. It is important to engage in friendships that cheer you on when starting a new journey and celebrating your successes. There are times when our confidence level is at a low limit and we do not feel bold to embark on certain things. This is where friendship comes in. Having someone reliable in your corner to motivate and encourage you is blissful.
Friendships are important because they give room for both self and team growth. Choosing the right friend is as important as maintaining one. There is great joy in sharing moments with friends that matter. While desiring all the great qualities of a friendship, it is of essence that you possess these qualities as well.