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Ever since we were kids, playing on the playground at school, we saw the benefits of friendship. Friends made recess more enjoyable and gave us companionship, as well as a feeling of brother or sisterhood to share experiences with. I remember some of the first people I ever became friends with… some of which I am still close to today.
A unique perspective of having friends and making new friends is that they can be closer to us than many of our family members. True friendships make your life more rich and complete, and as you get older, they give you someone to sit back, tell stories, and reminisce with.
As we go further into this article, we will explore the meaning of friendship and the qualities a true friend possesses. Then we will discuss 7 benefits of friendship… before wrapping up with our helpful tips for making new friends.
What is Friendship and What Makes Someone a True Friend?
We don't get to pick our family members in life, but we choose our friends. Friendships are like extensions of family that we select for ourselves.
A friend can see the best in you, even when you cannot see it for yourself. Also, a friend is someone who will have your back, defending you against all naysayers. In addition, a true friend will even tell you what you don't want to hear when your attitude or behavior is not in your best interest.
Friendships help our lives become more meaningful and enjoyable.
A true friend accepts you just the way you are. They will even give you the benefit of the doubt when others are ready to write you off. A real true friend never seeks to betray your trust and is someone who will keep your secrets without the whole world finding out.
I am sure you have heard the term “fair-weather friends.” Those are friends who are only around when things are going good for you. However, a true friend is there for you in the best and worst of times.
My father told me stories of being a teenager and getting his first car. He said after getting a car, he made new friends quickly and easily, but when his car broke down, he was back to walking everywhere he went. Sadly, many of his new friends left him afterward. Only his true friends stuck around.
A true friend will celebrate your successes without jealousy or feeling threatened by you. Despite life being hectic, they will also make you a priority and set aside quality time to catch up with you.
Furthermore, true friends will tell you the truth, even if you don’t care to hear it. Therefore, it is vital to have friends with excellent personal values and principles. They are open and honest and will tell you like it is.
True friends come in many shapes and sizes. There is no rule that our faithful friends will look, sound, speak, or act anything like us. They simply love you for who you are, not what they can get from you. Their love for you as a friend is usually unconditional.
Lastly, honest, true friends desire to encourage you to achieve your goals, use your unique talents, and fulfill your life's purposes. They also let you know that it is ok to be authentically you and help you be comfortable in your own skin.
Here are 7 Benefits of Friendship & Making New Friends
Benefit #1. Friendship brings more joy to your life.
Having friends or making new friends bring new joy and excitement to your life. It is an incredible feeling to hit it off with someone new or have someone to enjoy memorable moments with.
For instance, your job requires you to go to a week-long corporate meeting, hours away from home. You don't know many of the people you will see on this trip. However, after getting settled on your trip and going to a company meet and greet, you connect with co-workers from all around the country. You started out talking about the company and how things are in your individual community. But, before long, you realize you enjoy the company of particular people you have met and that you have a lot in common.
If it had not been for meeting your new friend, you would have had a lonely trip, but their companionship made the trip memorable.
Furthermore, the benefits of friendship bring you joy because a friend is always thinking of you. They know what makes you tick. For example, when your friend knows you are going into a trying or stressful situation at work, they do what is needed to give you confidence and brighten your day even before facing the issues standing before you in many cases.
Benefit #2. Friendship improves your self-worth and overall confidence.
A good friend often sees the best in us, even when we cannot see it within ourselves. One of the great benefits of friendship is to have a close fellowship with someone who sees how talented, strong, gifted, intelligent, and great we are and remind us of it. These great friends bring it to our attention in our most significant moments of weakness. After experiencing times of failure and disappointment, our true friends bring to light our strengths, personal value, and the greatness they see within us. They make sure that in times when we may personally fall down, we don’t stay down.
Benefit #3. Friends help you cope with loss and trauma.
When trying to maneuver life after the death of a loved one or surviving a traumatic occurrence, it is of great benefit to have a thoughtful, caring, loving, and patient friend. They give you the emotional support you need to make it through.
Your close friends know what to say and do to bring you the most comfort in painful situations. Furthermore, your friend may also be someone who understands how to get you to open up and communicate when others can't.
Benefit #4. New friends challenge you to get out of your comfort zone.
New friendships can help you to get out of your comfort zone. Existing friends can do this, too, but they often refrain from pushing you beyond a level they feel you have been unwilling to go to in the past. New friendships can bring new experiences.
As you learn what your friend enjoys and they learn about you, both of you can let your guards down and embrace the newness of the relationship. Moreover, having a diversity of friends is key to experiencing life outside of your comfort zone.
Benefit #5. New friends mean a brand-new start.
Making new friends is one of the great benefits of friendship because it gives you a fresh start. It gives you the ability to get to know someone in a relationship with a clean slate. In addition, there are also no real expectations other than getting to know each other and enjoying each other's company.
New friends don't know the past history of the other. You and your friend can simply put your best self forward and see what happens.
Benefit #6. New friends will introduce you to more friends.
Once you get to know your new friend a bit better, they will introduce you to others that they feel will benefit from knowing you as well. So, many of us have not only found lifelong connections through our friends, but we have also found boyfriends, girlfriends, business connections, and life partners (spouses). Moreover, who better to connect you to others than someone who knows so much about you and still sees you as a great person?
Benefit #7. Friends offer different perspectives on things.
It is one of the great benefits of friendship to have someone we respect to comment on our lives – and let us know that we are not seeing things from the proper perspective. True friends can talk to us and let us know when we let biases, prejudices, past traumas, anger, resentment, and other things cloud our judgment. Those friends will let us know when we need to look at things differently.
Moreover, good friends can also be of the opposite sex. Therefore, giving us a unique look into situations from the perspective of another gender can be very enlightening.
Tips for Making New Friends
Some of us find making new friends to be easy. Others may not. There is no particular rule that says you have to meet new friends a certain way. Based on our personalities, habits, and hobbies, we can meet new friends in various ways.
The key thing to remember is to make sure that you are true to yourself when you meet them. That way, your potential friend will get to know the true you. One thing we cannot deny, having true friends will enhance our lives.
Here are some great tips for making new friends, as well as things to avoid that may hinder your efforts.
Things you want to do to make new friends
Things you don’t want to do when trying to make new friends
Final Thoughts on 7 Benefits of Friendship & Making New Friends
After reading this, I hope you are open to solidifying your existing friendships – and cultivating new ones. It doesn’t have to be hard, you just have to keep an open mind and your eyes peeled.
Friends can be made in person or even online. In fact, so many people I know have found their nearest and dearest friends through social media, outreach and support groups. A common interest or experience is what brought them together… and is the glue that holds the bond in place, even if they never actually meet.
There are so many great ways to connect in the world today. So, put yourself out there and make new friends! You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Lastly, if you already consider yourself blessed with great friends, be sure to reach out to them frequently and let them know what they mean to you. Tell them how they have improved your life and made each day better. That is one sure way to keep and enhance true friendships!