Mélina Lamarche

By Mélina Lamarche

August 26, 2015

Health

Good Friends? Good for Your Health!

Article revised on 16 June 2017

We humans are social animals. We should nurture our friendships, because of the many benefits associated with companionship.

Friends can:

  1. Reduce feelings of loneliness
  2. Help you go through difficult times (divorce, job loss, illness…)
  3. Reduce stress
  4. Reinforce a sense of belonging
  5. Improve your self-confidence and feeling of self-worth
  6. Promote the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits

Friendships, like all other types of relationship, require a certain amount of effort on both sides. Beyond the things you have in common, there’s always a certain amount of give-and-take.

Do you devote time to developing and maintaining your friendships? Are you a good friend? Do you enjoy good companionship?

Nurture your friendships by:

  1. Sharing your feelings
    Reinforce ties by letting your friends know how important they are to you.
  2. Accept yourself
    Work on building your self-esteem, and cultivate a realistic self-image. A huge ego or too much insecurity can harm potential friendships.
  3. Be realistic and positive
    Constant complaints or criticisms are not fun for those around you. It’s encouraging and enjoyable for everyone to be around a person who is positive and realistic.
  4. Accept others
    We are all entitled to our opinions, and no one is perfect. Don’t judge your friends. You want them to be open-minded toward you, and they deserve the same of you.
  5. Don’t be competitive
    Celebrate your talents and accomplishments. True friendship is never about who is more successful or has the most money.
  6. Listen
    Take an interest in what is going on in the lives of others. When your friends are going through hard times, be empathetic. Only give advice when asked.
  7. Be discrete
    A certain amount of confidentiality goes along with friendship. You need to know when information is being shared with you because of your friendship.
  8. Respect boundaries
    Let your friends know if you are uncomfortable about certain situations. And take the initiative. Instead of saying “We really should get together,” plan a visit.

Focus on quality!

When it comes to friendships, quality is way more important than quantity. What’s the point of having hundreds of “friends” on social networks if you can’t rely on them when you need help or support? Instead, focus on building and maintaining closer ties with a few people you really like, who will be there for you through thick and thin.

Source : Mayoclinic.org

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