The Value Of Making And Keeping New Friends As We Grow Older
Oh yes, those days of our youth, being young and carefree, dreading but feeling excited about school, but how easy it was to make new friends. All that was required was sharing similar values, hobbies, laughter on the playground, or just being neighbors.
Unbreakable bonds as a result would instantly develop, becoming blood brothers or sisters forever. This type of friendship is just as if not more important later in our lives.
But people will invariably always drift apart, move away, life circumstances and difficult experiences and perspectives eventually set in. Friendships when young made these experiences easier to bear when with a good friend.
A recent survey revealed that close to 95% percent of all young children and adolescents will see and spend time with their best friends on a daily basis, while 76% percent of adults who are 65 years or older will attempt to do the same.
So aside from the obvious benefits, there are the physical as well as the emotional advantages which a close, for better or worse, friendship can provide. Those who you consider your closest brother (sister) from a different mother.
Why Having Close Friends Are Beneficial
During our down and leisure times, spending time with close friends is found to be extremely gratifying for most, and it’s known to carry some beneficial side effects as well. Not only sharing a laugh with a friend improves our self esteem and mood, doing so also reduces stress which lowers the risk of illness.
Maintaining lifelong or developing new friends, however, has been proven to be difficult during those mid and older years of adulthood.
What happens is that this thing called life begins to interfere, we begin placing more priority on our careers and family, this in the quest for a longer happier and fulfilling life. All justifiable and all worth the extra effort.
The True Value Of Friends
What friendship offers is an excellent cushion, a sounding board for all of the physical and emotional pain which life throws at us. Friends, people who think like us and shares similar values, has to ability to increase our sense of purpose and belonging, while reducing pain and uncertainty.
The hurts and the mistakes that we make in our lives such as divorce, accidents, unforeseen illness, job loss, all become more bearable. This the reason why it’s no surprise people will value their close friends, at times, even more than their spouse.
It’s those friends who we turn to the most in times of turmoil, when there’s crisis in our lives, even before we turn to our partner or relatives, who may just be part of the problem.
The Emotional Jolt Of Friendship
Our emotional levels of health will usually perk upwards when we confide in a friend, which in turn improves our physical health. According to various studies, social connections helps in relieving harmful stress levels, which directly affects the arteries of the heart, insulin functionality, while bettering the immune system.
Friends are the rock which strengthens as well as encourages and motivates us to recover from any type of debilitating mental or physical injury. Good friends are extremely good for your health but also difficult to find and keep.
What Classifies As A Good “Friend”
The criteria for children to be best friends are easier, but once as adults, what then becomes a true friend. Usually, the easy answer is a mirror of ourselves. What our closest friends have are similar attributes such as when we were kids, experiences and interests which are common and similar with ours.
Also, most adults will choose friends near or at the same age, same marital status and usually the same sex. Experts in this area explains that although some individuals will maintain “friendships” with people of the opposite sex, but differing overtones usually makes these relationships complicated.
Married couples are also more likely going to develop friendships with other similar married couples or couples, rather than having single or separated single friends.
Should you be so lucky to have your spouse or partner as your best friend, that’s a true gift. This since these friends along with our romantic partners are among the very few select and significant people which we choose ourselves.
The instant bonds, the chemistry that we share are voluntary and spontaneous, enjoyed equally by both, each person remaining free to make the relationship more intense without question or approval.
This as a result the reason why true genuine friendships are usually less complicated and not as difficult to maintain than any other form of relationship, although they can be just as rewarding.
The Benefits Of A True Friend
Although the benefits of genuine friendships may come naturally, the friendship itself usually doesn’t. It can prove to be a difficult task to find people who has similar interests and values.
But because of social media, there are a number of ways that friends, previous acquaintances or classmates can now meet up or at the very least keep in touch. The likes of Skype and Facebook allows former friends to be able to communicate easily, even if they’re a continent apart.
Making New Friends Last
So as adults, is it even possible to make new friends. The easiest and most obvious way is by starting a conversation with others at work, the fitness gym, where you volunteer, anywhere that you frequent and share the same interests.
So inviting someone new out to lunch or coffee is an excellent way of learning more about someone without it getting uncomfortable. Likewise, social networking sites have proven to help adults make new friends without the awkwardness of a face-to-face meeting.