One of my closest friends said to me recently that I was her chosen family.
It’s one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever been given.
I’m lucky that I’m still actively friends with people from when I was 3 years old, so for me friends have always been there and hopefully always will. See my infant school photo above. Two of my dearest friends (and me) are in the photo!
But up until the point of being called “the chosen family” I had never given the concept of a friend much consideration.
I since have.
The famous Psychologist, Abraham Maslow created the Hierarchy of Needs in 1943.
It was a model that outlines what every human being needs for survival all the way through to personal growth needs.
As you can see, Maslow identified that the need for friendship sits just above the need for safety and physiological needs (breathing, eating, sleeping).
So, in other words, he considered friendships uber important and here is why:
My Grandma Doreen found her best friend when she was 80 old.
The story of Doreen is a valuable one when demonstrating the importance of friendship.
Like many people of her generation, Doreen didn’t have many friends; her life was working, my Grandad and her family.
This was all ok, until she retired and then (later on) my Granddad died and she was suddenly lonely.
Thankfully, she then met Betty
My god did they laugh.
In fact, I’d never seen my Grandma having so much fun.
She said she wished she had become friendly with Betty earlier and made more of an effort with friends when she was younger.
She was having such a good time!
So, my point to this story is this; friends are not a nice to have, they are a necessity.
A survival necessity.
Not to be a pessimist, but you never know when you will be faced with a lonely life.
Perhaps your marriage will end OR your kids will move away.
You just don’t know.
Having a friend could be the difference between being lonely OR having lots n lots of fun.
Friends Get you Married!
I know I’ve personally got two of my friends married.
Either I introduced them to their now husband or I encouraged them to keep dating there now husband.
In fact, a survey of 2800 people in 2015 confirmed that 39% of its recipients met their now husband or wife through a friend.
It was the top performing category by far.
The next being meeting whilst out in a social setting (22.3%)
Then at work (17.9%)
Surprisingly, On-line marriages being only (9.4%).
I’m not sure I believe the On-Line stat (it’s too low) but regardless it shows how by far and away, the best way to meet your future husband or wife is through a friend.
See how important they are?
I can honestly say, whenever I spend time with my friends, I come away feeling the happier for it.
I suppose this is underlying reason why we were friends in the first place.
We became friends because we liked each other’s company; we had fun.
This is the crux of making friends.
To share experiences and to have lots of fun.
Looking back over my life, some my happiest memories have been with my friends.
So, if you are looking to boost your happiness, organise to see your mates!
I know that I can go to my close friends and feel comfortable asking for constructive criticism.
I can do this in the confidence that I won’t be verbally attacked or given underhand crappy advice.
They genuinely care for me and want me to thrive, therefore any criticism is given in love and with support.
Friends give honest, constructive criticism, provided from the much-needed perspective which isn’t that of your spouse or family.
When the sh*t gets real, it’s the support of my friends that always reignites my faith.
It’s friends who promote new business ventures, provide advice, spend time with you when you’ve broken up from your boyfriend, take your screaming baby when you can’t take anymore, lend you their clothes and stand behind you when your world may be falling apart.
We make friends based on common interests and having fun but we stay long life friends based on support and trust.
Looking back, so many of “life experiences” have been with friends.
Without my friends, I wouldn’t have travelled as much, enjoyed school and university, gone on holiday, started horse riding, lived in a new city, moved to a new city, sung karaoke, bought my first property……….
My friends have shaped my life.
Invest in them.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C S Lewis
ps – can you spot me in the photo?