Why Are Friends Important in Our Life?

As humans, we are naturally social creatures, and relationships are an important part of our lives. From family to co-workers, people come in and out of our life — but friendships often remain a constant.

While close friends offer us companionship and emotional support, they can also help to shape who we are as individuals. But why exactly is it so important for us to have meaningful friendships?

Below are reasons why friends are important and how they help shape and impact our lives in meaningful ways.

Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D.

Deborah Cohan

Professor of Sociology | Sociologist | Speaker | Author, “Welcome to Wherever We Are: A Memoir of Family, Caregiving, and Redemption

Friendships offer something that enriches our lives on all the levels

We benefit from friends on all levels:

  • Friends with whom we share a history, akin to sibling relationships who anchor us to our early years. 
  • Friends who have known all the major players in our lives and been with us through life’s major ups and downs. 
  • Friends we can enjoy doing something with, where perhaps the conversation is less intimate but where there is fun, laughter, novelty, and joy in participating in doing something that counters isolation.

Friendship is incredibly important as we age. For many, friends can feel like family, and if family dynamics are fraught with tension and competing demands, relationships with friends can provide an alternative source of support, connection, and comfort. 

Maintaining friendships over the years is helpful as we age, as those relationships are an anchor to our past. 

Our friends are like our memory banks providing us with information about our past selves, dreams, and desires, and this can serve to keep us on track to pursue our passions, chart our growth, and develop future possibilities. 

There are numerous challenges to making new friends in adulthood. Not only is making new friends harder as we get older but sustaining friendships can be hard as well. And, after college and beyond, most people don’t get to be part of such a diverse, built-in social network. 

This is particularly significant since the research shows us that strong social support is linked to healthy aging and positive health outcomes. 

Yes, we need solitude to nurture our creativity and our spirits, but we also need rich, deep, meaningful connections. Our mental and physical health depends on it. 

Importantly, research also suggests that elderly people are healthiest when they regularly interact with and have friends from all different age groups. We see the best health outcomes for heterosexual married men who have relied almost solely on their wives to meet their emotional and relational needs. 

And this is also why for women, and especially straight women in this case, the subject of friendship is so important because since women tend to live longer than men, they then tend to rely on their friends, usually other women, for companionship for many of the activities they might have previously enjoyed with their male partners. 

So, it is in our best interest to be thinking about how to nurture our friendships and cultivate this as young adults. 

The social psychologist Sherry Turkle who studies our intimacy with machines, says that our online presence often means that we are connected to an ever-widening circle of people more than ever before. 

This may result in a sort of “friendship lite” with lots of surface connection but not a lot of meaningful face-to-face time together. 

We might have over a thousand friends on Facebook and hundreds of followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, but there are likely fewer friends with whom we truly want to spend our time. 

We might have deep affection for our best friends or our oldest and most cherished friends. Yet, those are the people we may wind up talking with and seeing less often because of all our time at work and our preoccupation with time online with our acquaintances and more superficial connections. This paradox is powerful.  

Another challenge and problem are that women in their twenties and thirties often resort to meeting new women friends in much the same way that men “do” friendship with other men—over activities like a running or cycling club, a team sport, yoga class, etc. But this may not lead to a depth of emotional intimacy. 

These spaces are regarded as less threatening both for finding friends and for finding dating partners and an easy place from which to say, “Hey, wanna go grab a drink sometime?” 

The thought is that if two people both enjoy the same activity, they might have other things in common or at least can pursue more of that original activity and passion together. The drawback is that this can sometimes feel forced and unnatural.  

What I have found in my own experience is that when I look back on the friendships that are the dearest to me and that have produced a sense of sisterhood or brotherhood, we did not meet by trying to. 

For example, four years ago, I attended a fashion show at a department store and saw a woman wearing my favorite jacket that I also own. Still, she was wearing it in a way that looked more interesting than I did, so I approached her and told her. 

We wound up standing there for an hour talking about her daughter as a first-year student trying to adjust to college, which we both had a lot to say about since she is a therapist and I am a professor. 

We talked about meditation and a bunch of other things; we exchanged numbers and got together, and she remains a true sister-friend. The last place I would have expected to find one of my most soulful friends would be the mall, and yet there she was when we both least expected it. 

Deep friendships depend on some sense of spontaneity, and that was present in that first meeting. Her daughters joked that she had quickly developed a crush on me, and I couldn’t stop talking about her either, but it’s because there really is such a thing as friendship chemistry. It can be magnetic. 

Another issue that poses real challenges to friendships, especially for women in their twenties and thirties, is how they handle and negotiate choices and priorities around marriage and motherhood.

Many things cause that to be the case—some women will choose not to have children, others will choose to cocoon with their partners and children, and some will want to include their children in all activities without realizing that will affect the dynamic of conversations and friendship intimacy.  

While one might think young mothers risk social isolation, many report fulfillment in making friends with other new moms through breastfeeding support groups, specific groups for stay-at-home moms, or through libraries, parks, and daycare. 

Still, others complain that connecting through children is not enough—that there need to be more adult reasons that nourish and sustain the relationship.  

Also, when people are new to living together with a dating partner or spouse or become new parents, they are usually much less available for impromptu dinners out, long, meandering phone calls later into the night, weekend get-togethers, trips with friends, etc. 

Single friends may get impatient with the other person’s lack of availability or feel left behind. And married friends don’t always want to hear about a single person’s latest date or more spontaneous rhythm of life. The single person may be rendered immature and the married person more boring. 

During this period of life, people are making different choices for how to spend their time and resources. 

Some people are using the decades of the twenties and thirties to attend graduate school, others are traveling extensively, and still, others are settling down, buying houses, and starting families. 

Inevitably, these different decisions can dramatically impact people’s ability to do things together. 

One person may be earning a robust income and wanting an adventurous travel partner, while the other is eating ramen noodles in graduate school. In cases like this, even choosing a restaurant to meet at can feel stressful. 

The sense of power disparity can affect each person’s sense of themselves and their perception of the other person and create a chasm. Each person can feel a certain level of shame or guilt.  

Related: What Is the Difference Between Shame, Guilt, and Remorse?

Other issues can cause divisions and especially in this current time—for example, politics have created a wedge in people’s relationships. They can also be a determining factor for if people feel they can, or even want to try to, connect.  

Also, with the pressure in one’s twenties and thirties to launch a successful career, time is a precious commodity, and people generally get pickier about who they want to spend time with; they may also be starting the process of liking the skin they’re in and enjoying their own company more which is a good thing. 

So, sometimes I hear women say that if they are choosing between a person that might bore them or who drones on and on, or who has different values than they do, they are likely to choose to Netflix and chill on their own.  

Interestingly, some women report feeling “maxed out on friends” and unable to find time and space to fit even more people into their schedules. In this situation, friendship becomes just one more thing on a seemingly endless to-do list.  

Because of career pressures, people in their twenties and thirties are generally more on the move and may literally pick up and move across the country. So staying friends with people can be trickier when geographical proximity is lacking. 

Despite all the devices we may rely on to stay in touch, sometimes we simply cannot replace the feeling we get when we are in the company of our friends and can reach out and hug them, touch their arms as we talk, watch them laugh, etc. 

Those I have interviewed in their twenties and thirties report using all sorts of apps to stay in touch with long-distance friends, such as Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and house parties, yet rely on them far less to find new friends.  

And people can get tired of making plans that are not due to materialize for weeks or months; that can simply be unsatisfying. 

It can also feel overly planned, rigid, and almost transactional, relying on a few hours together just a few times every few months for essentially catching up but not transcending that. 

This also explains why research shows that the older we get, the more we can feel drawn back to relationships forged much earlier in life with people who know the backstories and with whom we can pick up where we left off without as much of the surface catching up.  

In a day and age where relationships may look more superficial and fleeting, there tends to be more ghosting. 

Just as teenagers are more and more frequently backing out of prom dates at the last minute if they get a better offer, adults are making plans, and when the date comes up, reporting relief when they have to cancel or when the other person backs out. 

There’s a sense of wanting to control how we interact and under what specific conditions. But this also limits how we experience friendship since, at the very same time, we often yearn for durable and reliable friendships. 

We might assume that making friends should be much simpler than finding dating partners, but the opposite is often true. 

While sexual intimacy may be a big draw in a dating situation and is often used to forge and deepen emotional intimacy, friendship has no crutch to rely on. It has to be interesting, reliable, spontaneous, fun, trustworthy, deep, and rich all on its own.   

Deep friendship means grabbing some immediacy together. And it also demands that we reveal a certain amount of vulnerability. This is not a quality that is at all prized on social media, and so people in their twenties and thirties, while just as vulnerable as ever, are understandably reticent to reveal that.  

Finally, quite noteworthy is the fact that there is the continually growing phenomenon of only children, many of whom come of age intuiting by necessity that friends are the family we choose. 

It might be through them that, as a society, we can better appreciate the powerful role of friendship in our lives. 

Celeste DeCamps

Celeste DeCamps

Keynote Speaker | Founder, Empowerment Through Movement LLC

Having and keeping close relationships outside our relatives is essential to our mental and emotional state. Even with a great support system within our families, our friends offer a different dynamic.

They help reveal a side of ourselves unknown to us

They help reveal a separate side of ourselves that we may not know we have if not for an outsider’s perspective.

For example, I’ve always loved to dance, but it didn’t occur to me that I could make it a full-time profession. Nor did it seem feasible to my parents to see performing as a career.

It was my friend who suggested I look into belly dancing because she saw my potential in a different light. She helped me with my first audition, and after I got the job, she told me about other agencies that booked belly dancers, and a new career path took shape for me.

Good friends are our cheerleaders and moral compass

Everyone needs someone in their corner, giving them the confidence to succeed and giving constructive criticism, especially when they lose sight of themselves. These are the people that make us feel like we can be ourselves and not fear harsh judgment.

Our self-esteem is higher because we have pals that will build us up when we doubt our abilities.

Before I do a presentation, I’ll get a pep talk from my friends, which always puts a smile on my face. It instantly energizes me and removes any misgivings I may have.

When we have solid companions, we can trust our innermost feelings and have a better chance of being strong and healthy.

We know that we are loved and cared for, which helps reduce the stress and anxiety in our daily lives. It staves off depression when we know we have someone to talk to about our worries and concerns.

When dealing with a rough patch or a significant loss, many times, it’s our friends that help us get through it. They don’t get tired or annoyed when we’re upset. Instead, they listen patiently and let us know we’re not alone. It’s what we do for each other.

They hold us accountable for actions or nonactions

Setting goals and staying motivated to reach them is where friends can make the difference between failing and succeeding. They hold us accountable for actions or nonactions.

For example, when working on developing a new project or creating a fitness routine, our confidantes can keep us on track. When we share each other’s resolutions, we can work together to strategize, encourage and inspire each other to reach our desired outcomes.

Everyone does better when they feel supported and know they will get called out when they get off course. The journey is always more fun when good people are along for the ride.

Friends are a big part of our network

When we need recommendations or referrals, it’s our buddies that we hit up first. We know they’ll have our best interests at heart, and we can rely on them to steer us in the right direction.

I love when I can help a friend find the right realtor when they’re looking for a new home or who to call for a bathroom renovation. My friends have helped me secure speaking engagements by telling event planners about me.

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing there are people that have your back and care about you.

Having close friendships, like any relationship, means putting in the time and energy to keep and continue cultivating that bond. Take time to phone and check in with each other.

Make solid plans to meet in person and follow up regularly. Life can get in the way sometimes, but we have the technology to communicate easily with friends. It takes a second to send a quick text to let them know you’re thinking about them.

The support and encouragement we give and receive from our friends go a long way in making us feel happy and fulfilled.

Chelsea Austin

Chelsea Austin

Author, Speaker, Certified Professional Coach, ELI-MP (Energy Leadership™ Index Master Practitioner), and Self-worth Advocate

Family is wonderful, but friendships are essential. Here are the reasons having friends is so important in our lives:

We get to choose them

We’re not all born into families that we fit into automatically or feel comfortable with, and the incredible thing about friends is that we get to choose them. We can decide who we let in.

Oftentimes we meet our closest friends doing things we love to do, which means that we have similar interests and things we can share that we may not be able to relate to when it comes to our family members or co-workers.

We can find people that support us in our wins, are there to lift us up during challenging times, and challenge us to make our world bigger.

No one person can be your everything, so whether your partner is your best friend or your family is always there for you, having healthy friendships creates a more fulfilling life and can add to the enjoyment we have.

Even if it’s just one friend, creating friendships can broaden our world.

They give us reasons to get out and about and try new things

Sometimes it’s easy to stay in our comfortable little cocoons, especially coming out of a global pandemic when going out into the world can be scary.

However, when we have friends, and we want to maintain those relationships, it can require us to get outside into the world and, thankfully, not alone!

Having a friend with you can make it easier to try new things, get back to the hobbies you love, and be adventurous. Having a buddy alongside to do all of these activities also makes it feel much less lonely or intimidating.

You don’t have to try that new restaurant or yoga studio or go bungee jumping alone. You can find a friend to join you and make the experience one you can share for years to come.

They stop loneliness from overtaking you

When you’re single or even if you have a partner, life can be lonely sometimes if you feel like you can’t share everything you’re thinking or feeling. Sometimes you just want someone to talk things through with, and those people aren’t in your family.

Friends can support you, listen to you vent, and help you solve problems while feeling supported, loved, and cared for. They can also help you feel less lonely in a world that revolves around comparison on social media, incredibly high drives for accomplishment, and feeling misunderstood.

Accountability buddies for the win

Starting a new exercise routine, stopping yourself from constantly scrolling on social media, or looking to make any change in your life can be a major challenge if you don’t have someone to hold you accountable.

When you can have a friend as your accountability buddy, it can feel less daunting and easier to keep pushing through the hard parts of making changes and to have someone to reassure you that you can get back up on the horse and try again if things don’t go as planned.

Dr. Ashley Elmer, DC, CACCP, CPD

Ashley Elmer

Maternal Health Coach, Perinatal Chiropractor, and Postpartum Doula

Pooh and Piglet. Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins. Harry, Ron, and Hermione. These fictional friendships have given us unforgettable stories, a healthy dose of warmth, wit, and wisdom, and an inspiring ideal for our own relationships.

The arts and science can teach us much about friendship. We now know, for example, that we are hard-wired for social connection, and friends are essential to our well-being. 

When we spend time with friends, our stress decreases, our health improves, and our lives become happier, richer, and more meaningful. 

Friendships improve health and longevity

Our social relationships are an integral component of a healthy lifestyle, right up there with a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, and physical activity. 

An analysis published by the PLOS Medicine journal, which combined data from 148 studies involving over 300,000 people, highlighted the centrality of friendships in improving health and longevity. 

The authors concluded that loneliness is a risk factor for morbidity and mortality. Being lonesome is as harmful as smoking or drinking alcohol and is even worse than being obese or having a sedentary lifestyle. 

Friendships make life more satisfying

In a society that is becoming ever more isolated, it pays to invest in a circle of friends. Several studies have shown that we become more satisfied when we have quality friendships with frequent interaction. 

Indeed, we need people in our lives who “get us,” those we can be authentic and vulnerable with, and who become our trusted confidants.

The pioneering psychologist, Abraham Maslow, understood how indispensable these connections were to the human condition. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Maslow gave a prominent position to love and a sense of belonging, with only basic physiological needs and safety ranking higher. 

When we feel we belong—and we feel accepted and appreciated—our sense of purpose and meaning is enhanced. We see that we are all bound to one another. 

We discover that our needs can be strikingly similar yet deeply personal. We celebrate what we have in common, but we also learn to honor the diversity that makes us, our communities, and our cultures intriguing and beautiful. 

Friendships multiply happiness

In addition to a sense of belonging, friendships bring us happiness and joy, which, as it turns out, is contagious in the best of ways. 

By analyzing data from the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that happiness can spread through communities by up to three degrees of separation. 

That means when we are generous and supportive to others, it not only brings us joy at the moment, but it also creates a ripple effect in our communities that comes back around again. 

In short, when friendship boosts our happiness, we positively influence all those around us. 

Friendships allow us to thrive

Finally, friendships help us flourish at every stage of life. We are there to support each other’s dreams and goals. To remind our friends of their magnificence and of what is possible. To affirm to our friends that they’re not alone and offer support when needed. 

Friendship allows us to cheer each other on, celebrate wins, and witness and ease the journey through life together. 

Over 20 years ago, a dear friend shared a proverb I still find to be true: “Friendship doubles your joy and divides your sorrows.” So, spend time nurturing those friendships because they bring good health, immeasurable joy, and enduring meaning to life.

Colleen Wenner-Foy​, MA. LCMHC-S, LPC, MCAP​

Colleen Wenner-Foy

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor | Founder and Clinical Director, New Heights Counseling and Consulting LLC

Friends are beneficial to both your mental and physical well-being

Friends can provide emotional support, which can help reduce stress and improve overall physical well-being.

Close friends have been shown to decrease the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. A strong social network can also help reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease and stroke.

Participating with a friend when involved in physical exercises provides motivation and support, which can help to improve physical health.

Friends give you companionship and a feeling of belonging

Having someone to talk to, laugh with, and share experiences with can make life more enjoyable. Friends can help us explore our interests and passions and provide guidance when making important decisions.

Continuing friendship also reduces feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Friends can make tough times easier to manage

Friendship provides comfort and gives you someone to talk to when you need it. They can also help you stay motivated and focused on your goals and provide a source of fun and laughter.

Good friends willing to confront you when you’re wrong can also help keep you on the right track.

Friends can boost your self-confidence

Having friends who are supportive and encouraging can be a significant boost to your confidence. They can help you feel more secure by offering praise and reassurance when unsure.

A friend who is always there for you, cheering you on and believing in your abilities, can make all the difference in how much you appreciate and love yourself.

Friends allow you to be yourself

Having a friend who accepts you for who you are can be incredibly liberating.

You don’t have to pretend or put on a show when you’re with them, and they will still love and appreciate you. This unconditional acceptance can help build your self-esteem and make it easier to be open and honest with yourself.

Rachel Kaplan, LCSW

Rachel Kaplan

Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist | Owner, Rachel Kaplan Therapy, LLC

One person cannot meet all of your needs

Even if you are someone who likes being alone, has a great relationship with your significant other, or is close with your family, it’s important to acknowledge that one person cannot meet all of your emotional and intellectual needs.

There may be some people in your life who are good at giving advice, others who you go to for emotional support and nurturance, and some who are the ones you seek out when you just want to have fun or need an honest and direct opinion.

Having relationships with an array of different people helps us to gain diverse perspectives and allows us to have our different emotional and intellectual needs met.

Having friends gives us a sense of belonging, kinship, and community

As human beings, we are inherently social. Since primitive times, we have been wired to gather in groups, as it is necessary for our survival. In the past, it was safer to travel in groups and delegate tasks to meet our basic needs.

In the modern day, having friends and feeling connected to others is incredibly beneficial for our mental health, as it decreases feelings of isolation, gives us a foundation of support, and provides feelings of belongingness and community.

Having friends helps us cultivate other parts of our identity and be more present

It may not be what first comes to mind when you think about why you love spending time with your friends, but surrounding yourself with others who stimulate you is an important aspect of friendship that helps us step outside of ourselves and be more present.

You may notice that when you spend a lot of time alone or feel lonely, you may get stuck in cycles of thinking or worrying about the same things or engage in patterns of self-doubt or heightened self-awareness.

Being with others that we care about and who care about us allows a process of cultivating other parts of our identity and being more grounded in the here-and-now.

Chad Daugherty

Chad Daugherty

Certified Addictions Counselor | CEO, Sunshine Behavioral Health

A friend provides connection more than a surface level

The phrase: “You can choose friends, but you can’t choose family,” is a great example of why friends are a much-needed part of our lives. Our friends are often our chosen family members and are those we can trust and rely on throughout difficult and happy times. 

A friend provides us with a deeper connection in some ways because you chose each other, making your connection more than surface level.

A friend is someone who is there for our ups and downs but also is not always needed to be attached to our hip at all times. We also go through many different changes and phases in our lives, which require us to have short-term friendships which are just as valuable as long-term ones. 

When we go through different life events, such as school, different careers, and hobbies, we meet many people along the way. 

In that time in our lives, we need “then friends” who can go through the motions with you because you both have a current similar interest that brings you together. 

You might not talk to your college best friend anymore, but at that time, you were close because you needed to rely on each other to get through it. Friends are always necessary for you to hold onto in different situations. 

A long-term best friend is someone who you can not talk to for weeks and then get together like nothing has changed. They provide a major support system for every event in your life (and vice versa), which helps you both cope with major life moments, good or bad.

Stephanie Roque, PsyD

Stephanie Roque

Licensed Psychologist, Counseling Associates of America

They give support, companionship, and love

Many people believe that having many friendships is a sign of success in their social lives, but that does not necessarily mean they are experiencing the true benefits of friendship.

The true value of friendship is the support, companionship, and love we give and receive from another person.

Friendships do not only have to exist in our platonic relationships but should exist in our romantic and familial relationships as well. Friendships serve to satisfy our human need for companionship, understanding, and a sense of belonging and should be the base of all of our significant relationships.

We learn to trust others because of friends

Friendships are where we learn to trust in others and learn to behave so that others trust in us.

Trust is arguably the most important factor in any relationship and the one we learn about at an early age at home and at school. We learn to trust that our loved ones will be there to care for us, spend time with us, play with us, and comfort us.

As we get older, our relationships and lives become more complicated, but more and more we see how the strength provided in our friendships helps people to pull through difficult situations.

Human connection, understanding, and compassion in relationships often provide people with a sense of strength and support that they do not feel capable of cultivating for themselves.

Jayant Gosain

Jayant Gosain

Chief Editor and Founder, The TechToys

A human being is a social animal, and for millions of years, our whole system has been destined to live in a group. In the modern world, we call that group of people “friends.” 

More than a friend, I would say a good friend is very important in life. You might be hanging out with a person or traveling with the person, but if that same person is not standing with you during a bad phase of your life, that is not a friend.

Here are reasons why friends are important.

They give us emotional support when we are at our lowest

Here I am talking about a genuine, real friend that gives us emotional support when we are at the lowest in our life, be it financially or physically. 

You will find some of the best people when you are at the lowest in your life. We can speak our hearts out to them, knowing that they will not judge us for what we are. Not just that, they also offer a different perspective of seeing things and give you a path to get rid of that bad phase of life.

How can we not talk about friends when we want to celebrate any milestone of our life? Friends are the real energy of any party. 

The best part about friends is you don’t need a fancy place to sit and celebrate. They will enjoy and celebrate your success anywhere and make the whole ambiance cheerful. 

Being successful and not having any friends to celebrate with is the worst feeling, and you cannot replace friends with anything else. Any celebration is incomplete without having friends around.

Friends act as a social support

Apart from emotional support during good and bad phases of life, friends also act as social support. You feel more connected to the community and get a sense of belongingness. They share their experiences and introduce us to new people, which also helps in understanding society in a much better way. 

An alone person sitting in a room is no more than a caveman, and we simply cannot expect any social growth from such a person. 

We can explore and experience the world, new cities, and new people with friends, and there is no one else you can replace friends with when it comes to exploring. When you are with true, genuine friends, you also get to learn empathy and gratitude.

Friends play an important role in keeping our mental health intact 

When you are stressed out or depressed because of work, relationships, or even family problems, you just need a person to whom you can talk and speak out. 

Sometimes we also want someone to believe in our capabilities. At that time, a true friend will not only motivates and believe in you but also acts as a support system whenever needed. Not having a trustworthy, genuine person is one of the biggest reasons why many people find themselves in severe, clinical depression.

Related: 15+ Signs of an Untrustworthy Person

Basically, at every point of life, be it good or bad, childhood or adulthood, friends play a very crucial role in everyone’s life. But one must possess enough mental maturity to understand who real friends are. 

A bad friend can affect your life on a whole worst level, and sometimes the results are dreadful and irreparable.

Chad Barnsdale

Chad Barnsdale

Lifestyle Design Expert | Founder, Unfinished Man

Friendship is a complex and multifaceted relationship that plays a vital role in our lives. From childhood playmates to adult confidants, friends provide us with a sense of belonging, support, and connection that is essential to our well-being and happiness.

The role of friends in providing a sense of belonging and connection

One of the primary reasons why friends are so important is because they offer a sense of belonging and connection.

In today’s fast-paced and often isolating world, it’s easy to feel disconnected and alone. Friends provide a sense of community and a place where we feel accepted and understood.

For example, I remember feeling overwhelmed and alone during my first year of college. I had left my hometown and the familiar support system of my family and high school friends and was struggling to adjust to the new environment.

It was during this time that I met a group of classmates who quickly became my closest friends. They welcomed me into their social circle and made me feel like I belonged.

It was through their companionship that I was able to navigate the challenges of college and feel less alone in the world.

The role of friends in offering support and comfort

In addition to providing a sense of belonging, friends also offer support and comfort during difficult times.

Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on after a breakup, or a listening ear during a tough day at work, friends are there for us through the highs and lows of life.

I remember turning to my best friend during one of the most difficult times in my life when I was struggling with depression and anxiety. It was her unwavering support and understanding that helped me to get through that difficult period.

She was there for me every step of the way, offering a listening ear and words of encouragement when I needed it most. It’s through her support that I was able to find the strength and courage to seek help and work toward healing.

The role of friends as a source of inspiration and motivation

Friends also serve as a source of inspiration and motivation, encouraging us to be our best selves and pursue our dreams. They challenge us to think deeply and see things from different perspectives, helping us to grow and learn.

For example, I have a friend who is an avid runner and triathlete. Her dedication and discipline in training have inspired me to take up running and push myself to be more physically fit. Through her encouragement and support, I’ve been able to participate in several half marathons and have seen significant improvements in my physical health and well-being.

The role of friends in providing honest feedback and accountability

In many ways, friends are like mirrors that reflect back to us the best and worst parts of ourselves. They provide honest feedback and hold us accountable, helping us to become the best versions of ourselves.

For example, I have a friend who is always willing to give me honest feedback and advice, even if it’s not what I want to hear. It’s through her candid and supportive critiques that I’ve been able to improve my writing and communication skills.

In conclusion, friends are important because they enrich our lives and make the journey of life a little less lonely and a little more bearable.

Just as a well-tended garden is full of beauty and life, so too are our lives enriched by the presence of close friends. They provide us with a sense of belonging, support, and connection and inspire us to be our best selves.

Whether they are lifelong companions or passing acquaintances, the friends we make along the way play a vital role in shaping who we are and the lives we lead.

Trevor Frayne

Trevor Frayne

Founder, Empowered Home Gyms

Friendships can make you physically healthier

Your closest relationships have the biggest influence on your habits.

Having friends that are interested in their health and well being are more likely to encourage you to be concerned about your own health and well-being. They can even be workout buddies or exchange healthy recipes with you.

Friendships can make you live longer

If friendships encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle, then it’s very likely that those healthy lifestyle habits you share with friends will help you to live longer.

Not only that, you can have a better quality of life in your senior years. Rather than having to sit around, you can still be physically active.

Friendships give emotional support and help reduce stress

There are going to be hard times in life. But it’s worse going through those hard times alone.

Friends can help you shoulder the burden of a hard time, even if it’s just listening. They may be able to even offer a different perspective or some wisdom to the current situation. They can also help you to remember the good times.

Friendships build confidence and encouragement to try something new

High-quality friendships will encourage you to try things you haven’t done before or had difficulty with in the past. They offer different perspectives and even experiences.

So with that additional wisdom, it’s easy to face a challenge. And facing a challenge with courage is what leads to having more confidence in the future.

This also reflects in trying something new. They can try it with you or guide you through the beginner stages. This helps you to become a better person.

Friendships help you network

High-quality friends help you to gain social confidence. Confidence which is foundational towards building a network for job searching, building a business, expanding a movement, etc.

Related: What Are the Benefits of Business Networking? (80+ Benefits)

Chances are they know people you don’t know. Whether it’s meeting someone they think you would connect with as a friend, a potential employer, or a business partner.

Good friends know you, and they know them. They have an insight that is valuable to both parties.

Friendships improve your mental health and give you safety

Good people help you to deal with toxic people. They help with protecting you from ill-intentional people. They also help you get out of your own head.

Our minds can be echo chambers for toxic thoughts. Good friends offer more perspective on a situation and help to challenge toxic thoughts.

Friends can help break unhealthy habits

Friends can help you break a bad habit like an addiction. Whether it’s being late or giving up smoking, friends can encourage you and help reduce stress. Even better, if they have already gone through breaking the bad habit, they may have some keen insights for you.

Michał Suski

Michał Suski

Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Surfer

Having close friends can provide us with emotional support, help us through difficult times or even offer advice when we need it most. They give us someone to talk to and share moments with, which makes life more enjoyable on many levels. Here are some of the main benefits of having good friends:

They serve as an outlet for venting out our problems and worries

Having close friends has been proven to reduce stress levels by providing an outlet for venting out problems and worries without feeling judged or embarrassed about them.

On top of that, their presence can also make stressful situations bearable thanks to their ability to make light of things as well as comfort you during hard times.

Friends are linked to increased happiness and positive emotions

Close friendships have been linked with increased feelings of happiness and joy due to being able to share positive experiences together, such as going out for a meal, having a laugh, or enjoying a movie.

Friends can improve our self-confidence

Friends can boost our confidence and help us to see the positive side of things when we are feeling down. They remind us that we are worth it and capable of achieving anything if we put in the effort.

Friends give us an opportunity to grow as an individual

Close friendships give us an opportunity to grow as individuals by learning from each other as well as challenging ourselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

We also learn how to trust others better through developing strong relationships with friends, which can be beneficial for all aspects of life in the long run.

Overall, having close friends is essential for living a healthy and happy life as they provide us with emotional support, make difficult situations more bearable, and help improve our sense of self-worth while teaching us valuable life lessons along the way!

Bowen Khong

Bowen Khong

Managing Director, Fractal Digital

As an entrepreneur, I believe that friends are incredibly important in our lives because they provide support, encouragement, and accountability.

Starting and running a business can be a lonely and challenging journey, and having a strong support system in the form of friends can make all the difference.

Friends help navigate through difficult decisions

Firstly, friends can provide a sounding board for ideas and help entrepreneurs to navigate through difficult decisions. They can offer a fresh perspective and help to bring clarity to complex problems.

It’s important to have people around you who can listen to you, offer constructive criticism, and give you honest feedback.

Friends provide encouragement and support during hard times

Secondly, friends can provide encouragement and support during the tough times that inevitably arise when starting a business.

Starting a business is not for the faint of heart, and there will be moments when the going gets tough. Having friends that can remind you of your goals, your strengths, and your passions can be the push that you need to keep going.

Friends can hold us responsible for our actions

Lastly, friends can provide accountability and hold entrepreneurs responsible for their actions. One of the biggest challenges when running a business is staying motivated and focused.

Having friends who know your goals and can hold you accountable can help entrepreneurs stay on track and achieve their objectives.

In conclusion, friends are an essential part of life, and they play a vital role in the success of an entrepreneur. They provide support, encouragement, and accountability that are essential for overcoming the challenges of starting and running a business.

It’s important for entrepreneurs to invest in building strong, supportive friendships and nurture them throughout their journey.

Life is more fun when experienced with others. Having quality friendships allows us to enjoy life more deeply and wherever it takes us. In my mind, friends add to our lives most clearly in the way they provide support and increase our joy.

Friends provide support

First and foremost, friends provide support. It’s hard to take on challenges or uncertainties alone.

A primary value of friendship is the way that friends can advise each other on what to do and what to watch out for. Friends are there to hold us accountable and push us toward our goals. And friends are there in the hard times to empathize and cheer us up.

Mutually beneficial friendships allow each person to know that they have others on their side to face and overcome whatever may come their way.

They boost feelings of happiness and enable shared memories

Sure, things can be enjoyed alone. However, when you add in others that you care about, the experience is heightened. Socializing is a key component of mental wellness. Seeking to spend time with friends boosts feelings of happiness and enables shared memories.

Both supportive moments and joyful moments are opportunities to bond and further establish a wonderful connection. The benefits above cannot be reliably found without good friends.

Fostering and investing in quality friendships pays off in the way those around you continually care for you and lift you up!

Surrounding yourself with wonderful people puts each person into a positive cycle of joy and prosperity that is bolstered by the bonds between them.

Max Shak

Max Shak

CFO and Founder, Nerd Digital

You only need reliable friends

When you’re young, having a lot of friends is important, but when you’re older, you don’t need so many.

It seems that friends are extremely important during school years. The number of friends you have and their status are key indicators of your perceived social standing among your peers.

As you grow older, this will change. Friendships will also change how you define them. School allows you to meet your friends socially several times a day. You may only be able to do it once a month if you have a career and children.

At least a few reliable friends have been a part of my life at some point, but many times I haven’t had more than that. My life is very happy, and I am a very happy person.

After high school, I realized that some people needed more social interaction than me and that the popularity contest was over. Knowing I didn’t have to worry about having 50 friends and attending all the cool parties was a great relief.

My solitary pursuits and my few close friends are more important to me than cool parties, and I wouldn’t mind having 50 friends to distract me from this.

Hence, that’s my tip — a sneak peek at how you’ll never run out of friends.

Larrah Mae dela Peña

Larrah Mae dela Peña

Editor and Writer, Archic Furniture

Friends are like the MSG in a recipe

Friends are like the MSG in a recipe. It brings the food to the next level. Life without genuine friendships renders it dull and unfulfilling. I don’t question those who live solitarily, but there’s a joy that only true friendship brings.

Often, friendships get overlooked in a society that thrives on individuality, but nothing beats a company you can confide in on a bad day or during grieving times. I could not imagine going through the grief of losing both my parents in the same year without my friends. They were my consolation. They always are.

Sometimes, they are more reliable than those you have blood ties with, at least to me. A genuine company also celebrates achievements with you.

Whether you’re getting your student’s driver’s license or getting your first job, the true ones always clap for you regardless of the magnitude of your achievements.

It is also good to have a circle where you can share dreams, goals, and people who can grow with you in all aspects of life. Most importantly, you don’t need a lot of them. Just a sprinkle, and life tastes different.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we nurture and maintain our friendships?

Nurturing and maintaining friendships requires time, effort, and commitment from both parties. To strengthen the bond with friends, it’s essential to communicate with them regularly, whether through face-to-face interactions, phone calls, or messages.

Show genuine interest in your friends’ lives and actively listen to them when they share their thoughts and feelings. Be supportive and understanding in times of need, and celebrate their accomplishments and successes.

It’s also important to be reliable, trustworthy, and respectful. These qualities are the foundation for a strong and lasting friendship.

Are there any potential drawbacks to having friends?

While friendships can bring numerous benefits to our lives, it’s also important to be aware of potential drawbacks. Some friendships can become toxic or unhealthy, causing stress, unhappiness, or even harm.

It’s essential to recognize the signs of a toxic friendship and take steps to address the situation or end the relationship if necessary.

It’s also crucial to balance investing time in friendships and focusing on other areas of life, such as family, work, or self-improvement, to maintain overall well-being.

How can we recognize a toxic friendship and deal with it?

To recognize a toxic friendship, one must identify patterns of behavior that consistently cause harm, stress, or negativity.

Some signs of a toxic friendship may include manipulation, constant criticism, one-sided support, excessive jealousy, or lack of respect for boundaries. To deal with a toxic friendship, start by openly discussing your concerns and feelings with your friend.

Also, consider setting boundaries to protect your well-being. If the toxic behavior continues or escalates, it may be necessary to distance yourself from the friendship or end the relationship altogether. Prioritize your emotional and mental health and seek support from other friends or professionals if needed.

How can you effectively maintain long-distance friendships?

Maintaining a long-distance friendship requires effort and commitment from both parties. Regular communication is critical.

Therefore, stay in touch with the use of various platforms such as phone calls, video chats, emails, or social media. Plan virtual get-togethers, movie nights, or game sessions to create shared experiences despite the distance.

Show interest in your friend’s life, celebrate their successes, and offer support when needed. Finally, try to visit each other when possible, and make an effort to create lasting memories during these visits to strengthen the bond.

How can we navigate conflicts or disagreements in friendships?

Conflicts and disagreements are a natural part of any relationship, including friendships. In such situations, addressing the problem openly and honestly is essential while remaining respectful and empathetic.

Listen to your friend’s perspective, and try to understand their feelings and concerns. Share your own thoughts and feelings clearly and use “I” statements to avoid placing blame.

Be willing to compromise and find a solution that both parties can agree on. Remember that preserving the friendship should be the primary goal, and strive to approach conflicts with patience, understanding, and compassion.

Can friendships improve our decision-making ability?

Yes, friendships can improve our decision-making ability by giving us different perspectives and insights. Friends can serve as sounding boards, offering valuable advice and feedback when faced with difficult choices.

By considering their experiences and opinions, we can make better-informed and well-rounded decisions. In addition, talking with friends can help us clarify our thoughts and priorities to better understand our values and needs.

How are friendships different from romantic relationships?

Both friendships and romantic relationships involve emotional connections and support but differ in terms of intimacy, expectations, and commitment.

Friendships tend to be based on mutual interests, shared values, and companionship without the added layer of romantic attraction or physical intimacy.

On the other hand, romantic relationships involve a deeper emotional bond, romantic love, and often physical intimacy. Friendships usually have fewer expectations and less formal commitment than romantic partnerships, allowing for greater flexibility in the relationship.

Can introverts and extroverts form strong friendships?

Yes, introverts and extroverts can form strong friendships by understanding and respecting each other’s differences. While introverts prefer smaller social circles and more intimate settings, extroverts often thrive in larger groups and more social environments.

By acknowledging and accommodating these preferences, both parties can find a comfortable balance that allows the friendship to flourish. This friendship can be enriching, as each person brings unique strengths and perspectives that promote mutual growth and understanding.

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