I believe the importance of friendship is something that simply cannot be overstated. Nevertheless, friendship is something that we as a society pay little attention to.
We seek to make money, achieve success, find love and have a family, but we often mislay making friends somewhere in the category “and others”, which we’ll eventually focus on if we have the time.
As a social confidence coach, I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of friendship. And I think it’s time to give friendship the right of way it deserves. Here’s why.
We Are Social Creatures
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence in fields like anthropology and evolutionary psychology that we humans are an extremely gregarious species.
For most of our history we lived in bands, tribes and communities where we knew many people and we interacted with them on a regular basis. Being social was the norm.
This until recently, when we started isolating ourselves from others in our spacious houses and apartments, perhaps living with one or two other people that we expect to fulfill all the crucial roles we require in our lives.
Not only that we humans like to socialize with others, but we need it. People who don’t socialize for prolonged periods of time begin feeling lonely, depressed, physically ill and even suicidal. Not having a social life is no joking matter.
This makes a solid case not only for the importance of friendship, but for the importance of a rich social life overall, which includes friends, colleagues, acquaintances and so on. Now let’s take a look at some of the particular benefits that friends bring into one’s existence.
1. Friendship Equals Deep Connection
A good friend is someone you have meaningful commonalities with. Maybe you believe in the same cause, you have similar core values, or you are passionate about the same things.
These meaningful commonalities create a deep connection. There is a strong bond between you and your friends. And this bond with other people gives life a lot more purpose.
2. Your Friends Accept You As You Are
The way I understand friends, they are individuals who know you as you are, with your strengths and flaws, and they accept you and respect you as you are.
Thus, they make you feel appreciated and more importantly, they make you feel worthy of appreciation. You don’t feel the need to impress them and you can always be yourself around them.
3. Interacting With Friends Is Extremely Fun
Since your friends are people you connect with at a deep level and people who accept you as you are, hanging out with them couldn’t be anything other than fun.
When me and my friends go out, we can talk about something as trivial as chinaware, and we’ll still have a blast. Because when it comes to chatting with friends, the people make the experience a lot more than the things you talk about.
4. Friends Are There For You
True friends help each other out. Even more significant, they know that they can count on each other for support, whether it’s a piece of advice, a few words of encouragement, a small loan or a hand to move the furniture.
Being able to rely on a bunch of people like that makes your life better and it also gives you more confidence to go for what you want in life. That’s one of the main reasons why the importance of friendship is stupendous.
So, What’s Next?
Now that you understand the importance of friendship, it’s time to capitalize on this know-how.
The first thing I encourage you to do is to take a good look at your friendships. Based on the ideas I’ve underlines here, would you say you have true friends? How many of them?
If the answer to these questions is “No” or “Yeah, about 0.75 friends”, this is an excellent moment to consider revamping your social life.
I can tell you from experience that no matter who you are, you can have many true friends and enjoy a rich social life. They key is to meet lots of people, interact with them, be open and cultivate the relationships with those people you resonate with the most.
And the key to all of this is to have social confidence. If you lack social confidence right now, this is the crucial trait that you’ll want to develop.
By the way: check out this presentation I created to learn how to gain social confidence and feel at ease socializing with anybody. I think you’ll find it very useful.
Grasping the importance of friendship is the first essential step not only towards making friends, but also towards building an overall better life, in which you are happier, more driven and more successful as an individual.
Will you take the other steps as well?
Image courtesy of jillis