5 Important Reasons Why We Need Friends

Women Friends

Be with those who support your being. Rumi

The greatest gift you can give is to show someone else their highest value.

We have often come across the adage—A person is known by the company they keep. Almost every language on planet earth has some equivalent to this proverb. This is a clear indication of how important it is to choose the right friends. We could extrapolate this statement and say that it is essential to choose the right kind of people to be around.

Friendship has changed drastically in modern times. No more is it about having people physically present around you to qualify as friends; in fact, people who you have never met could have a lasting friendship with you. The Internet has drastically changed how the world perceives friendship.

Humans Are Social Creatures

We cannot live in solitude. We must live in the company of other people. People who live in desolation are considered aberrant, and the world does not take to them kindly.

At the same time, people who live in the company of others do not always know how they can make the most of it.

Human beings are often described as social creatures. We are almost never found alone, and even when we are physically alone, we are constantly thinking about other people in our lives. When was the last time you thought of a plan that did not include anyone else? When was the last time you had a dream in which there were no other people but you? Everything that we do consciously or otherwise has people in it. That is the way nature has ordained us to be.

From the point that we are born till our last breath, we want people to be around us. Maybe the only time in our lives when we do not want people to be with us is when we are sleeping, but even that is not entirely true.

The most impressive thing about this socialness of our behavior is that we can induce habits in other people. The way we live—the social part of our living—influences other people whether we want that to happen or not. It brings about a change in their lives, however small that might be.

We are the sum of the people we live with. They are our identifiers; the whole concept of individual identity is a myth. Our identities are so closely connected with the people we live with that we cannot talk about it in absolute terms.

Think about it. Don’t people in our home do things for us, and in the process, develop their own habits? A mother who gets up early to prepare her son’s school lunch is altering her habit because of her son. If you wait for someone to go to the gym, you are changing your habit according to their routine. Don’t even get me started about the relationships of love where people change themselves for each other so dramatically that there is no concept of individuality at all.

We need people around us to help us. We need them to do small and big tasks, and we do things for them as well. We need people to live with us. We need people to share our thoughts and ideas with. We need people to go to work with, to study with, to exercise with. These are things we do not do alone.

Whether we accept it or not, at every living instant of our day, we are doing things with others in mind. You work for money, but at the end of the day, you know that whatever it is you are selling is needed by someone. Businesses would not have existed on earth if we had not been social beings.

Friendship is just a tiny part of being social; it is just one aspect. But in the 21st Century, the implication of friendship has become much broader. It is no longer necessary that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” The definition has gone beyond ‘need’; friendship is now the epitome of our very lives.

Why You Need Friends

Why do we need friends after all?

Why should we put in the effort to make friends and then make more effort to retain them? Some people think in a business-like manner about this. If they invest in creating and keeping friends, what are they getting at the end of the day? Are the returns commensurate with the ‘investment’?

Let us look at what Maslow had to say.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a significant theory in psychology, which was postulated by the noted American psychologist Abraham Maslow. In the five tiers of these needs, the third one is the social needs of belongingness and love that comes after physiological and safety needs. This level of the hierarchy outlines the need for friendship, intimacy, family, and love. Humans have the need to give and receive love; to feel like they belong in a group.

At this level, human behavior is formed from the desire for emotional or interpersonal connections. We all know that human beings are sociable animals that enjoy belonging to a group and exchanging ideas about what is important in life with those around us. In one way or another, it fosters a sense of community. People join social networks, communities, informal groups, and other social spaces because of the things they have in common. In order to develop friends, one must have a strong desire to form close relationships with others. Humans, according to Maslow, exchange love, affection, and a sense of belonging in order to combat feelings of isolation, fear, and depression. Friendship, social activities, familial ties, social networks, and professional associations can all help you meet these needs.

A great significance of social needs of love, affection, and belongingness is sound mental health.

Friends Are Our Emotional Support and Anchor

One of the most significant reasons why we want friends is because they support us emotionally. Outside our family, who do we go to if we are exceptionally happy or exceptionally sad? Whom do we want to tell when we are angry about something? Whom do we like to share our secrets with? It is with our friends. If you have friends, you will realize how important they are to your life.

Our friends know what we want; especially the ones who have spent a long time with us know precisely what reactions a particular thing can evoke in us. It is because of this reason that they can comfort us when we are despondent and celebrate with us when we are happy. They know what can cheer us up when we are feeling low and what can make us miserable.

We need that kind of support. We cannot live a lonely life. You may have understood that already if you have had to live alone somewhere in a new place or, if you have ever relocated, you will have felt what I am talking about. Although there are several people around us wherever we go, having just one friend can make things so much easier.

Friends Are Our Company

We are social beings, and for that reason, we need to be with people most of the time. However, strangers won’t do. We eventually try to make friends with strangers too—and that is the point of this article—but the truth is that if we have an already existing friend to help us, it can make a lot of difference.

We need friends to be with us on all kinds of occasions. Even if it is a small thing, like company for going to a movie, we want our friends. If you are feeling lonely, what do you do? You call some friends up and hang out with them. This is how we are made. We feel comfortable with the people we have spent time with. This ties in with something I said earlier, we form habits in people. When we are with our friends, who have been with us for a long time, we have developed some habits in them. They have formed some habits in us too. It is because of this reason that we like being with them. We feel comfortable and at ease when we are with our friends.

Friends Give Us Courage

A significant part of our courage in life comes from the friends we have. Our friends are great people; they know us precisely well, and for that reason, they know how to encourage us.

True friends will stay with us through whatever we do. They will give us their support and help us with their physical contribution as well.

Most importantly, just being there gives us a lot of courage. We feel motivated to go on. When we are alone, it becomes challenging to achieve things, but with someone loyal to support us,

things become very different. We can elevate our potential and reach greater heights of glory just because someone was with us.

Most people who have become successful in life have become so because they had people to support them, or they influenced people enough to support them in their efforts. In effect, these people already had good friends, or they made friends on the way. But whichever way they went about it, the gist is that they needed to have friends. They understood the importance of having friends and stuck with them. Their friends proved to be a significant contributor to their success.

Friends Help Us to Discover Ourselves

Outside the family, friends are the only people whom we can open up to. We do not mind speaking about our innermost thoughts to our friends. We tell them what irks us; we tell them what makes us happy.

If there is something that has not gone down well with us, we can tell them. We can tell them of our lean times and our best times.

It is when we share so many things about ourselves with our friends that we truly start to discover ourselves. When we are telling our friends things, subconsciously, these things are also playing in our minds. We are reinforcing our likes and dislikes, the lessons we have learned, the emotions we feel, and so on. We are telling ourselves what we are like. By simply exchanging our thoughts with our friends, we get to know ourselves in a better way.

That is how friends can help us in rediscovering ourselves. This gives us a powerful sense of self-expectancy and self-sufficiency. We know what we are about, and we can play to our strengths. That is why, just by being with our friends and exchanging things with them, we can go a long way in our lives.

Friendships Keep Us Healthy

Friendship can be a fantastic prescription to all forms of emotional and physical pain. In fact, according to some medical experts, friendship can boost a person’s sense of purpose and belonging. It is also said to increase one’s happiness, decrease stress, enhance self-worth, and assist in coping with traumas, like serious illness, divorce, loss of employment, or death of a person’s loved one. That is why it is not surprising that a lot of people value their friends and usually turn to them during times of trial, even before relatives or spouses.

The benefits of emotional health you acquire from your friends also affect your physical health. Based on some studies, social interactions can help you ease stress levels that can potentially harm the arteries of your heart, insulin regulation, immune system, and gut function. In addition to this, having your friends around can also improve your immune system and can encourage you to recuperate from a devastating injury. To simply state, having good friends can do well for your health.

Staying up to date with friendships can be difficult, especially in our adult years when family and work are usually more of a priority, yet, for a more fulfilling, happy, and longer life, it is definitely worth your effort.

Even though the benefits of friendship come naturally, usually, finding a friend does not. It can be challenging to find people that have similar values and interests. This is particularly true during the stage of adulthood, where responsibilities such as education, family, and career can significantly restrict your social life. That is why, if you have true friends, keeping a regular connection with them should be a priority.

Having friends around is very beneficial. Friendship is one of the most significant relationships a person can have, so make sure you keep the friendships you presently have, especially the good ones.

These are just a few of the most important reasons why we need friends. Speaking from experience, everyone has their reasons for having friends. You will have your reasoning as well. Also, we have different reasons for needing friends at various stages of our life. When we are children, we need someone to play with and share our studies with. When we are in college, we need someone to hang out with. When we grow older, we need people for a varied number of reasons. So, our expectations from our friends change as we keep growing.

But, one thing remains, we need friends at every stage in our life. We cannot do without them and, the more friends we have, the merrier we are.

Visit my Free Resources page to download the checklist: A 10-Step Checklist to Make and Keep New Friends


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