Friendships are important. As I’ve written in previous posts, humans are pack animals, much to the chagrin of those who consider themselves loners. But inherently, we are designed to be amongst our own and to travel in packs. It’s always been this way, and modern society has cultivated that instinct. This is why we gather and build cities and communities.
But what is a friendship? Well, according to what one might find online, a friendship is simply defined as a relationship of mutual affection between people and is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association. Obviously that’s a bit of a fancy way of simply saying that it is a relationship between friends.
There are a lot of benefits to cultivating and maintaining friendships. These might include a sense of belonging, increasing your confidence and self-worth as well as boost your happiness level and reduce stress. Friendships also help get us through the difficult times in our lives as friends tend to be a shoulder to lean on during difficult trials.
Unless you’re a teenager or in your early twenties, a friendship doesn’t necessarily mean you’re hanging out every day or spending full weekends together. But true friendship comes from the occasional communication simply to ask how you’re doing, or to lend aid when needed. Helping a friend pack a moving truck or having their back in a tough situation are good examples. As adults, friendships can be a bit more about the little things and less about the quantity of time spent with said friend. Quality over quantity, I suppose.
These differences are easy to spot. I have people I’ve known literally my entire life who have become too involved or too busy with the grind of daily life to even respond in a timely manner when I reach out. Can this happen? Oh, yes! Life can often make it difficult, and it’s understandable that things get in the way. The flip side to that is that I have some folks (and you know who you are) that I’ve only known for a few short years, some even less than years, who make an effort and reach out often before I can reach out to them.
Sometimes, the willingness to make an effort means more than spending a measurable amount of time together.
And hopefully, some of you will have caught the Tolkien reference I made in my title…