The Importance of Friends

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It seems like among all the wedding hype and boyfriend/girlfriend, lover, spouse talk, we seem to forget about our other relationship, our friends.  I can’t count the number of times I have heard a girl cry about “being alone” because she is single, I’m sure I have friends that could vouch that I’ve said it a few times…but in reality I was never alone, in fact when I was saying those words I was probably talking to one of my best friends who wanted to go to bed but stayed up to give me a shoulder to cry on.  I recently came across the 2009 New York Times article, What are Friends For? A Better Life?,  which looks into the effects of friendship on health. In fact, the article talks of several studies showing friendship having an even greater effect on health than a spouse or family member.

The article isn’t talking about Facebook “friends” but those friends that are there to pick you up when you fall, that stay up listening to you cry all night and that know you inside and out.  As I get older, I realize how hard it is to make those kind of friendships but great news, proximity does not seem to be a factor when it comes to the friendship-health benefits.  In fact, in a 2006 study of women with breast cancer, it was found that women without close friends were four times as likely to die from the disease as women with 10 or more friends. And notably, proximity and the amount of contact with a friend wasn’t associated with survival. Just having friends was protective

The article is a great read, and a great reminder how lucky I am to have such amazing girlfriends.  Read the article here, and remember, next time you are feeling lonely I’ve bet  you have a good friend out there to keep you company.

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Categories: Relationships

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