|F is for friendship. Today's A-to-Z.|
How many friends do you have? How many friends do you need? Who is really a friend? According to Facebook I have 160 friends. These are 160 people I have met or have interacted with to some degree. Do you consider your social circle your friends? How many of your social media friends would you call on for help?
There are several things from this 3/18/2015 TIME article that I find interesting. Friends are necessary for our good health and our happiness. I believe that.
According to data from the General Social Survey (GSS), the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has roughly tripled in recent decades. “Zero” is also the most common response when people are asked how many confidants they have, the GSS data show. And adult men seem to be especially bad at keeping and cultivating friendships.
My best friend is my husband. I have three others that I consider close friends and we correspond regularly, but have not seen each other in years. I have some "friends" that I see on a semi regular basis but I would not share intimate details with them or call if there was an issue. There are very few people I would actually call with any problem. If my three besties were closer I wouldn't hesitate to call them.
Apparently 15 is the magic number for how many close relationships we should have when it comes to our best mental and physical health. I don't know that I have 15 individuals, friends or family, that I would consider close. I also do not feel deprived.
I enjoy my social interactions, but I can also put my phone away and enjoy the time with my best friend. I started a blog in 2003 and wrote regularly. I loved the social interaction. I craved the back and forth of blogging and discussion boards. I didn't have that interaction at home and looked for it online. It had an element of fulfillment. I decided to start another blog this year and it isn't the same. It is work. I still have some of the same friends, but I have a true best friend. He is someone who cares about what I think. Listens to my ideas, complaints, frustrations, and celebrations. He also shares his own. We have a wonderful partnership in all aspects of our life. A healthy friendship makes a difference in having a healthy life. I am now emotionally fulfilled by my relationships. I am happier with me. I am happier with life.
I don't think it is healthy to rely on your friendships for your emotional fulfillment, but I do think that friendships are an element of good emotional health. How many friends do you REALLY have? Do they know that you value them? That's the other thing, let people know that they have value. You can contribute to their well being.