“Ya gotta have friends,” Bette Midler singing those lyrics came to mind when I noted that September is Women’s Friendship Month. Without your friends you wouldn’t be who you are today…even the friends who are no longer your friends.
Friends are the family you choose…they accept you…encourage you…hold you accountable…and celebrate you!
Study after study found in Psychology Today repeatedly stressed the impact of having friends have on our lives. While we may have many acquaintance and casual friends, true friendships, which have weathered the test of time, and witnessed everything from bad haircuts, inappropriate wardrobe choices, horrible bosses, to unhappy love affairs, really matter to your long-term well being.
Friends come into your life perhaps for a season (are you still in touch for your college classmates?); for a particular reason (remember your next-door neighbor when you bought you first home); or for an entire lifetime (you know who these special people are). They give you vital life skills by sharpening your mind, contributing to your happiness quotient, knowing yourself better, becoming inspired to reach your goals, and living a longer and healthier life.
-don’t judge and never leave you alone…when you are silent, they sit beside you and start talking. They would not let you be sad and demoralized.
-solve each other’s problems…they listen to you when you are in a bad situation because they know that in their difficult times you would make yourself available for them as they have done for you.
-motivate you to achieve your goal in life and they’ll even help you in achieving that goal.
-give you a reality check because they are able to see things that we can’t, and aren’t afraid to share their dose of reality with you.
-with friends, you can effect social change. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fight for a cause, raise money for charity, or even just make a few small improvements in your community on your own. Friends are the first step.
-giving the gift of being influential can be one of the greatest joys you pass on to your friends.
Friends matter to you and because they matter to you, you matter to them…you need friends and they need you.
By the way, this picture is of my dear friend Cindy and I after one of our Creativity adventures. We bonded at what we lovingly refer to as “the worst writing workshop” we have ever attended. I’m happy to report that the best thing to come out of the workshop is our lasting friendship!