As children, teenagers, and young adults, our lives more or less revolve around out friends. We spend most of our waking hours with our peer group, and they are the ones we naturally feel the most connected to. As we enter the truly difficult period of teenage, this fact becomes even more obvious; it would be very difficult indeed to carry on without a great group of friends who are there to support us and help us move in the right direction. In fact, the power of friends can be seen in examples both good and bad; just as a good friend can become the guiding light in our life, the wrong kind of person has the power to lead us into true darkness. In this article, therefore, we will look at the immense advantages of having the right kind of friends.
Friends are a source of comfort
Nobody’s life is a bed of roses, and there comes times when we really need an impartial person who would not judge us for what we are feeling, will not try to give advice, but simply be a shoulder to cry on. And that shoulder always comes attached to the most unconditional relationship we can ever have- the best friend. Each of us can vouch for the immense comfort that lies in being able to tell a truly sympathetic ear of our troubles and sorrows, and each of us will agree that there is no better person to share our innermost thoughts with than someone who knows us inside out.
Friends keep us grounded
Are you dating the wrong person? Being too full of yourself? Choosing the wrong travel destination? Or is your career actually eating you from the inside? Trust your friend to know the truth, even if you do not know it yourself. The right kind of friend is like a guardian spirit, without any of the annoying guardianship that we dislike. Our best friends know us inside out, because they are the ones we have poured our hearts out to since forever. They will be the first to notice if we are going down the wrong path, and the first ones to tell us off in the gentlest way possible. The best part is, even if their dissuading us from our chosen path does lead to a fight, there is a kind of ownership at play on both sides, so that we will both know the fight cannot last. They know us best, so they will be the best ones to explain matters to us, and guide us to the right path. Friends can indeed be the greatest inspiration to make a better life for ourselves.
Friends make social interactions comfortable
The age old saying goes: no man can live as an island. And this is extremely true. It is impossible for anyone of us to live a completely secluded life, away from all social interactions, except the ones we are forced to do a school or in the professional environment. And friends form the crux of this social milieu. Without a group of friends, or even one really close friend to confide into and hang out with, you will likely become the kind of introvert that is dangerous to themselves and the society. That is not to mention that being so lonely is extremely painful. The right friends will know that you are your own person, and will give you the space you need and yet draw you out when they feel it is becoming necessary.
Friendships instill sportsmanship
Having friends instills the spirit of companionable competition in a person. If a child grows up without any friends, but only a peer group, it is likely that they will never know the meaning of healthy competitiveness. They will only play a game of one-upmanship with their peers, which can become extremely unhealthy in the long run. On the other hand, if a child grows up with a group of friends, they will learn the benefits of healthy competition. While they will certainly compete to do as well as and better than their friends, the elements of jealousy and hopelessness will be eliminated as they rejoice in their friends’ successes and take cue from the same for their own benefit.
Also read: Essay on Sportsmanship
Friendships are good for health
Having friends is healthy, not just for our minds, but for our bodies as well. People who have happy, healthy friendships have been found to live longer, and be less prone to chronic heart and gastric ailments. The underlying cause for this may be that having someone to share our sorrows and joys with, and having a companion who will stand by us through thick and thin, makes life less stressful for us. This makes us less susceptible to the ailments associated with stress and unhappiness, such as cardiac issues, weight issues, and depression, among others.
Friends are truly the spice of life. They are the pillars we lean against, and the pillows we lean into. As we grow up, friendships change and evolve; some friends we lose touch with, and with some we bond with for life. Friendships are formed between the most unlikely of individuals, and in the most improbable of scenarios. Friendship transcends gender, race, and age; take a look at people with their pets, and you will know that it transcends species too. Such is the power of friendship.