The Importance of Friendship

The New Year gives us the opportunity to evaluate our lives and realize what’s most important to us. Hopefully topping that list for you are the people who make life less lonely—your friends.

We tell children how important making good friends can be because our friends have a great impact on our outlook on life and learning to be a good friend is just as crucial for development. But I think we forget just how important friends continue to be for our health and well being in adulthood.

  • Friends make you happier. Happiness is contagious and when you surround yourself with people who encourage you to see the brighter side of life, you’ll find more to smile about when life gets monotonous. Friends also usually laugh harder at your jokes and crazy work stories, which always makes me happy.
  • Friends encourage you to reach your goals. It’s a lot easier to reach your weight loss or career goals with people you love and trust cheering you on. Accountability makes goals more attainable because some days you will want to give up and you’ll need that encouragement to keep going.
  • Friends make you less lonely. Everyone wants to feel like they belong and having a group of friends gives you that belonging. With your friends by your side, you’re not an outsider and that goes a long way in fighting the feelings of loneliness we all struggle with sometimes.
  • Friends support you in times of grief. Our pain and struggles seem a lot bigger when we face them alone. Words often fail in times of great sorrow, but a good friendship goes beyond words. Having someone simply be there for you to listen or do practical things like provide meals gives great comfort during difficult seasons.
  • Friends enrich your life. I believe life would be boring if I didn’t have great people with whom to share it. Life is about making memories not money. Memories are best made with people who will make you laugh and hold you when you cry—your friends.

But a good friendship is always a two-way street. If you feel like your life is missing good friendships, start being the type of friend you want to have and you’ll find most often people will reciprocate. So make a resolution this year to invest in your friendships—they are vital to your mental health and happiness. And never forget to thank those friends who make life a lot more fun.