Our closest friends are among life’s greatest fortunes. It seems as though each decade brings along its certain bundle of friends, the ones most appropriate for that timeframe. Mutually venting about our ridiculous parents when we’re thirteen, sharing unwavering beliefs at a mere 23 like we have it all figured out, and if we’re lucky, we take a few of these friends into our thirties and forties when real life starts to happen.
Marriage. Parenthood. Grief. Mid-life crises. Milestones. And not necessarily in that order. Friendship allows us to laugh through hard times and cry without shame at our worst times. Friendship gives us honesty when we can’t see the truth and trust when we can’t trust anyone else. Friendship grants us the ability to know who cares most when we need it most. We fall back on our friends when we can’t stand upright on our own. This is friendship.
As with any relationship, the strength of friendship is determined by time, trust, and mutual effort yet the rewards are endless. As human beings, we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn’t give attention to the power of friendship and do everything in our power to not only find them but to nurture healthy friendships for our lifetime.
Friendship Intimacy | A Natural Barrier to Anxiety & Stress
The right friends should act as cradles against stress, not give you more stress. Friendship intimacy should allow you to take the weight off your shoulders, not add to it. With boundaries, we should feel comfortable taking an issue to a friend for support or advice and walk away from that discussion in a better place than when we initially arrived with our agony and confusion.
Friends relax us. In the presence of friendship, we get the opportunity to reestablish our homeostasis. Thrown off-kilter from daily conflict, stresses, and maybe even trauma, being with friends naturally brings us back to a place where we feel safe, where we remember who we are and that whatever we are enduring, we are not enduring alone.
The power of friendship is so powerful that it affects our health! Humanist Rob O’Connor has stated that women who are affluent in friendships live more well, more often abstain from alcohol misuse and other means of self-destruction, and live within an overall better state of emotional well being than those who don’t engage in frequent friendly interactions; assuming with the right individuals of course.
Friendship Intimacy | Healthy For Your Marriage, Too!
Did you know that the presence of friendship can improve your marriage? And we’re not talking about “being friends with your spouse.” Men & women who engage in regular communication & involvement with their friends can actually improve the outcome of their committed relationships at home. Research has uncovered that individuals who have friendships of depth are extra joyous in their intimate relationships.
On a personal level, friendships can unravel our creativity, bringing out ideas and expressions that potentially wouldn’t otherwise come to the surface. Great friends hold us accountable and keep us responsible. If you are lucky enough to have friends that fall into this category, then you have friends that will not let you fail. These friends will offer you a deeper sense of understanding when you can’t think clearly for yourself. Friendship intimacy is a friend taking it upon themselves to share a piece of you in order to support you, indefinitely.
Men & women in committed relationships; you must make the time to spend with your friends. Call a friend. Meet virtually. Plan a visit or outing. Not only is it good for you but it will serve you well when you come home to your partner, too.