When it comes to friendships, more doesn’t always mean merrier. While having a wide circle of friends can have upsides, nothing beats true friendships in helping boost our well-being.
Real friends are oases and havens. Are you having a challenging time at work? Your relationship with your significant other going through a rough patch? Real friends may not be able to solve your problems for you. However, just having someone with whom you can confide in can make a world of difference.
Essentially, true friendships provide a safe place where one can be their true self, seek sincere and helpful feedback, and confide without fear of being judged. How’s that as a benefit of true friendships?
Litmus Test: The Marks of True Friendship
Undoubtedly, the positive impact of true friendships on our health and well-being cannot be disputed. However, in this day and age of social media, the line that divides mere acquaintances and true friendships can sometimes get blurred. Thus, it is crucial to know their difference. Here’s how to tell if your friendships are built on solid foundations:
- They accept and love you for who you are – warts and all. You don’t have to wear a mask or pretend to be someone else. With real friends, you can lower your guard and relax.
- True friendships empower and uplift you. They celebrate your successes and cheer you up in moments of defeat. Get yourself lifelong cheerleaders by cultivating true friendships.
- Real friends are not afraid to call you out. True friendships look out for one another and will not allow one member to go astray. Be grateful if you have friends who tell you to clean up your act and go back to the straight path.
- Most times, true friends can read you like a book. They know how you feel even before you say anything about what’s bothering you. With true friends, what is not said is as significant as what you say.
- True friends give you room to grow. True friendships are not restrictive and limiting. They understand that life can be demanding, and priorities exist. The best part of having real friends – you can pick things up from where you left off.
Cultivate True Friendships for Health and Well-being
Loneliness and isolation is a growing social problem. Many countries see an increase in depression and anxiety. This phenomenon is attributed to the increasing epidemic of loneliness and isolation. Why? Humans, as social beings, naturally crave connections. Establishing meaningful relationships allows us to respond to this vital human need. Through meaningful connections from true friendships, feelings of loneliness and isolation are decreased. Finding your own tribe is a great way to inspire a more upbeat and positive disposition in life and help boost confidence.
Indeed, true friendships present a host of positive impact on a person’s mental well-being. But there is also a rich body of evidence that supports its health benefits. People with strong social support have lower stress levels, recovers faster from illnesses, and has lower risks of developing chronic diseases. Social connections encourage positive habits, too. Exercising, eating healthier, and pursuing a healthier lifestyle is more fun with friends.
True Friendships are Worth the Investment
Friendships that can withstand the test of time does not happen overnight. True friendships require investment and need to be nurtured and cultivated. It starts by reflecting on your personal beliefs and values. Friendships built upon shared values are off to a great start. Secondly, bonds are strengthened through open and honest communication. In fact, any form of relationship will only thrive through open communication lines. Lastly, ask yourself the hard questions. Do you see yourself being friends with this person even in old age? If not, be brave and let go so you can focus on the friends you would like to keep.
True friendships help us draw out our best qualities and become better versions of ourselves. In essence, real friends should help us live happier and more fulfilling lives. And this makes true friendship worth the investment.