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Happy To Call You Friend…

Over a lifetime I have been fortunate to know a hand full of true friends. These friends came into my life at different times to help me through tough times or provide encouragement when needed.  I still enjoy two friends from my childhood which I treasure as they have known me the longest.  Some friends have passed away, but the memories of our friendship still comfort me as new friends continue to enter my life providing new perspectives what the future may hold.

Friendship means different things to many individuals.  We collect a network of acquaintances through many avenues including social media.  Your friends may come from many sources but it’s the mutual benefits and quality of these relationships that matter.

What is the meaning and benefits of friendship? How important are our friendships? And are you a friend to others? Let’s look at some of the answers to these questions. 

Meaningful friendship is respect and warmth for each other.  You have common ground, mutual outlook on life, enjoy each other’s company, have trust and a sense of comfort.  This connection to another can bring inspiration to be your best. A relationship with another person grows over time where you care and want good things for each other.  Sometimes a friend will become like a family member. Many of these friendships began early in life and have continued through time. 

Benefits of friendship bring mental and physical enrichment to your health. The Mayo Clinic states that your health can improve with friends.  Friends not only help you celebrate life but improve your self-confidence.  They are there to help you through life struggles with support and feedback.  Friendship with others can improve your overall health by reducing health problems. Also, as we age we are more likely to live longer than those without strong friendship bonds.

Being a friend to others can bring mutual benefits.  Friends are good listeners, truthful and honest because feedback comes from a shared understanding.  Acceptance of the other without conditions, even if you differ in opinions, increase the friendship bond. Confidences between each other are respected and friends are generous towards each other.  They celebrate, support and console one another when appropriate. 

Friendships can change. These ties can be so close you are in contact daily and later you may only talk occasionally.  A strong bond with another will last the test of time.  Let the friends in your life know what a treasure they are to you by contacting them and telling them how much they mean to you.  A phone call, card, email or text may be all you need to let them know you are thinking of them and appreciate who they are in your life.  Be grateful for the friends you have by returning your friendship in ways they will know how special your relationship is to the other.

 “The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when.” - Simon Sinek


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