News • 23 Dec 2020

The importance of friendship

The importance of friendship

Whilst we may not have been able to see each other face-to-face as often as we wanted in 2020, the importance of friendships has never been more important.  

If you have anxiety, you may find it difficult to make and keep friends.  This issue may be so severe that you avoid friendships altogether. 

Although you may convince yourself that you don't need friends to get along, there are many good reasons to want to have friends. Here are some reasons as to why friendships are important for everyone. 

Friends Can Encourage Healthy Behaviours 

Friends can be great at encouraging you to make and stick to healthy lifestyle changes that can have a direct impact on your well-being. For example, your friends might encourage you to eat better, exercise, and get more sleep.  Friends can also watch out for you and give a heads-up when any unhealthy behaviours (like drinking too much) get out of hand. 

People are more motivated and likely to stick to a weight loss or exercise program when they do it with a buddy. It's much easier to get out and stay active when you have a friend by your side. 

That friend may also suggest activities that you may not have considered on your own—thus, pushing you outside your comfort zone to challenge your anxiety. 

Friends Help Us Interact with Just About Everyone 

The people we bring into our lives as friends will show us how to forgive, laugh, and make conversation. The basic components of any relationship; be it with co-workers, a romantic relationship, are all founded in friendship.  

We learn how to interact with people because of our friends, even the ones that are opposite from us or share a different worldview. We don’t just talk with others but learn from them. We understand the process of meeting new acquaintances and finding out what makes them tick. These people help push us out of our comfort zones while still providing a safe emotional space for us to be totally ourselves. 

Friends Give You Emotional Support 

Friends and social support are especially important during times of crisis and turbulence. If you find yourself going through a hard time, having a friend to help you through can make the transition easier. 

Friends Help You Beat Stress 

Everyone goes through stressful events. If you know you have people you can count on or that you can turn to, you may be less likely to even perceive a tough time as stressful.  

Spending time with friends can also help reduce stress. Friends can also help you cope with stressful situations.  

As the song goes: “We all need somebody to lean on.” 

A lack of friends can leave you feeling lonely and without support, which makes you vulnerable to other problems such as depression and substance abuse. 

Friends Push You To Be Your Best 

Friends can also provide a positive influence. If you make friends with people who are generous with their time, help others, or are ambitious or family-oriented, you are more likely to develop those values yourself. 

Great friends have the power to meld you into the best version of yourself. They see you and love you for who you truly are. They encourage you and push you to do better and be the person you want to be—your "ideal self".