Topic #10: Why are friendships important to you?
When you were younger, you learned all about playing nice, playing fair, sharing and taking turns. Some days you just didn’t want to share! Who needed anyone else besides your ridiculously compliant stuffed animal collection or your Tonka Truck toys to keep you company? Besides, you could play “school” or have the best tea party without any other human-being around to ruin your time.
As you got older, by middle school and definitely by high school, your friends were probably your entire life. What they thought of you meant the world and you certainly thought they were the bomb! You wanted to talk alike, dress the same, and act as one. Some people might have been a bit mean, others tended to stay quiet. Hopefully, you got to experience having at least one, two or maybe even three really good friends you could just be YOU with.
Well, now you are older and your spouse, kids, job, etc. all take first priority. You hopefully have some old friends left in your life as well as some new, but what do they all mean to you now? How often do you talk or see them? How often do you make time to call them on the phone instead of text. How often do you actually plan a night out – again, instead of text. Some relationships worth having take a bit of effort. Not that kind of effort like “ugh, I have to call/see this person out of obligation…” effort, but more like, “I really want to see this person, but just don’t have the time!!” Well, there’s good reason to make the time.
For both men and women, maintaining your close relationships as adults may mean more to your mental health than you know. An article written by a staff member at the Mayo clinic stated that friendships are good for your health for the following reasons:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boost your happiness
- Reduce stress
- Improve your self-worth
- Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
How do you feel after a call that reconnects you to someone you love? How much more do you appreciate your friends after a night out filled with a myriad of emotions such as laughter, sadness, comfort, competition…all encompassed with that amazing ability to vent without judgement? How do you feel about YOU after either of these situations? Supported. Loved. Appreciated. If you haven’t in a while, pick up the phone today and make the time. It’s important for you, them and everyone around you.