“The friend is another me. Without friendship, man cannot be happy. ” This is a phrase pointed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. And it is that friendship has always been considered one of the most important interpersonal relationships that human beings can have.
Friendship fulfills a social support function since it allows us to generate feelings of acceptance, both by society and by oneself.
Having a friend and being a friend is one of the deepest experiences that can be lived. The forge of this type of relationship itself is already different from the others, since we seldom ask ourselves what characteristics someone should have to start a friendship, nor do we usually make a mental image of what the ideal friend would be like. Simply, and from the beginning, the relationship begins to grow from the only essential requirement that the other person be nice and pleasant, the rest is created by time.
Friendship brings with it different facets that can only feed this type of relationships and that can hardly be found in others such as love, family, work … Each of them has its own characteristics and the importance of friendship is explained through these unique qualities and certain essential factors for life in society:
Joy and enthusiasm:
Having friend’s means having activities to do, participate and propose plans, share experiences, listen and provide advice … Friendship allows us to continuously interact with other people and have a much more active life.
This harmonious coexistence with a group of friends encourages the brain to secrete endorphins, known as “the hormone of happiness” that, in addition to having a very beneficial impact on the immune system, provides us with the feeling of joy and enthusiasm so valued today.
The feeling of belonging to a group:
People who feel an important part of a larger group often have a high level of self-esteem. Active membership in a group of friends where to receive and propose plans, ideas, advice, experiences … allows us to feel a fundamental part of a whole.
Our opinions and experiences are usually heard and valued and, therefore, we feel more appreciated by others, which raises our self-esteem and allows us to feel better with ourselves.
There are hundreds of studies that attempt to connect friendly relationships with good mental health. We have already seen that friendship causes a feeling of joy and enthusiasm while improving self-esteem, and all this manages to maintain a strong and optimal mental health.
Good social relationships directly moderate the effects of stress and allow better recovery of emotional impacts (ruptures, losses, negative feelings, work problems …) as it generates a feeling of essential support to overcome, rebuild, overcome and improve.
Although it seems difficult or unlikely, various scientists and psychologists specializing in this social aspect have a direct relationship between good physical health and proper friendship.
We have talked before that friendship increases the generation of endorphins, a hormone that, in addition to providing the feeling of happiness, also causes improvements in the immune system.
In fact, it is said that social relations can become the best medicine at our reach, since they transmit many positive effects in the organism and diminish the negative impacts on many harmful or threatening vital circumstances, just as they accelerate disease recovery…
A feeling of company and protection:
Having a healthy friendship allows us to get away from the feeling of loneliness, something absolutely necessary today. And, according to the sociologist Luis G. Tojar, “we live in the most individualistic society in history.”
In fact, the contemporary world is characterized by increasingly volatile social relationships, easier to do and get rid of and more interest-based. Therefore, having a relationship of authentic friendship can lead us to feel protected in our complicated moments and suffer less lonely moments.