“Friends are the family you choose,” Isabella, a character in my book, said to Leah, a Mootoan woman who has much to learn about her new Earthling comrades. As the story explores the different cultures and hierarchies of Mootoan and Earthling culture, some things are universal such as friendship.
This sentiment is especially true. While we as humans cannot choose the family we are born into, we can determine the people we would like to spend most of our time with. While society has emphasized romantic relationships, friendships are just as meaningful. Here are some reasons why:
1. They have an enormous impact on our mental health and happiness. Having a loving and supportive friend reduces our stress levels, boosts our mood, and provides us the opportunity to improve our social skills. They also add benefits to our lives as we grow older, thus making us happier individuals in the long run.
2. They motivate us to reach our goals. Whether it’s losing weight, quitting a bad habit, or engaging in a new hobby, real friends serve as motivation to help you reach your best self. While it’s true that you should also adopt healthier habits for your own sake, having friends makes the payoff of your effort more worthwhile.
3. They act as a support network. Friends shouldn’t just be there for you when things are easy. They should ideally also be there for you when things are complicated. They also provide compassion, kindness, and advice when one is feeling lost. Additionally, you should also extend the same courtesy to them so they, too, will feel loved and appreciated in your relationship.
Friendships are just as meaningful as any other relationship. As we grow older, we find that having a healthy support network can make all the difference in the world. Call your friend today and let them know how much they mean to you.