The quote: “No one is an island” had me thinking a lot lately. Although as humans we have strong personality traits of wanting to be left by ourselves and need our alone time. Yet ultimately as much as we want to be by ourselves, no one is truly self-efficient we are in need of the company and comfort of others.

Being an introvert has always been difficult for me to make friends, I have always had the same friends since childhood. Some of my friends might have taken a back seat, simply because of the fact that I’m staying in a different city, but we try to stay in contact where we can. I also have been lucky enough to make a few new friends who have been there for me, they are the ones who work behind the scenes in my life, the support structure that plays a big role in my life.

I had a fair share of male and female friends who have impacted my life a lot over the years. During my high school year’s I had one close friend, who has played a big role in my life, he has influenced me to be a leader and sparked my mind to be more and use my voice, because it can make a change in another person life. I was at a conference once and my friend vouched for me to address the thousands of people at the main conference. I was so nervous but after I walked from the podium I was happy, I felt great that day. I am still grateful for all the lessons I learned from him both directly and indirectly.

Now in my adult phase of life, I have found that most of my friends are females. I believe it might be because of inspiration and care if find in a woman.

Many adults find it hard to make friends or to maintain friendships, however, it is crucial that we connect with people. Studies show that having friends in your life can help your health. You are almost always happy when you are surrounded by people, your friends. Friends provide support and prevent loneliness.

I try to keep in touch with my friends by texting, calling, and going out for a snack or coffee. Here are reasons one should consider when you maintaining your friendships.

Disadvantage of friendships

Besides all the advantages of building friendship and maintaining friendships, there are also certain friends we might have or faced in our life that has had a negative impact on our lives. The ones who are like rotten apples, if you hang out too much with them you yourself become rotten. Friends that might encourage you to do wrong or friends that have a bad influence on you.

Keeping such friends around for too long might affect your character as the saying goes “he who mixes with the bran will be eaten up by the pigs”. Sometimes one can get stuck in the wrong crowd and you might find it difficult to leave, but remember you were once by yourself and you were better off than those friends who are now leading you too the wrong.

It is important that you often reflect on the state of your friendships and let go of friendships that might influence you badly. Sometimes we think having a toxic relationship is good because it’s the friends we live and die for, the ups and the down, but what you are exposed to all the time, that will eventually become your reality.

Advantages of friendships

As much as friendship is important for your mental health and having someone out there that is a listening ear when you need them or a comforter when you going through the worst days, there are certain people who are better off by themselves, who do more without having to rely on others.

When I usually get home, I hear the water droplets falling in the sink and the sound of the crickets at night, then I wish my friends were around or I had someone next door that I could visit. Feeling lonely is not good for you, that’s why I would often resolve to my phone, check my chats and start texting my friends to fill the void and longing of having someone you can speak to.

Friends are beneficial in the following ways: 

  • It increases your sense of belonging and purpose when you are around your friends you feel a part of something and having people you can reach out to
  • Boost your happiness and reduce stress, you feel happier when you hang out with like-minded people
  • Other friends can encourage you to avoid or to change certain lifestyle habits, you are more likely to listen to your friend’s advice than listening to a random person you bump into at the market or street.

Those who invest in friendship/rich social life have a reduced risk of many significant health problems such as depression and high blood pressure. So if you are someone who has many friends keep them around for as long as you can otherwise make sure you make time in your busy schedule to reach out to others as often as you can.