Beyond a doubt, we must know and remember that true friends can and will improve our lives. A friend is usually someone you are not related to by either birth, marriage or from any legal ties that bind you. Normally, a friend may be a casual, close, best, realist, nurturer, motivator or role model friend. But some friends will be more than just a close or role model friend, for example, and may even be a nurturing and best friend as well. Whatever kind or category of friend someone has, if the person is a true friend, then there are some distinctive good reasons why real friends are important.
Real friends can be a source of self-esteem, affection, and good times. In times of despair, for example, true friends will offer hope. The right friends can help someone feel worthwhile. Real friends are even known to significantly assist a friend get elected a class or student president, and even the President of a country. Some of us will remember that school, work, parenting, and senior citizen life are better and more fun when shared with friends. But for the friendship to be real, some factors are necessary and must be present in true friendship. Some of the factors are honesty, faithfulness, similar religion and culture, loyalty, being a good listener, love, having ideas in common, and to a lesser extent, age and intelligence. Now these are all characteristics that can be acquired and practiced in a very sincere manner to enhance a current friendship-relation and also to gain additional friends.
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But there are other reasons why real friends are essential. Friends are important to even happy people or married couples. Friendship affirms and validates in a more distinctive way than even the positive romantic or blood tie. We must be very aware that real friendship is vital throughout life. But you can quickly discover real and good friends when you are down or when you require their assistance the most. Why? Because a real friend will not desert you when you are down, and will not turn against you in jealousy, for example, when you succeed.
True friends are needed in some cases, for example, for shared income and living arrangements. But we need to cultivate real friendships based on likes and dislikes, and not just on proximity and convenience. We also need to learn and teach our younger relatives, friends and neighbors, how to keep a friendship going even if a friend moves away, or if disagreements arise. Few will disagree that children with friends do better in school or that those with friends are more likely to survive a heart attack or major surgery, and may even be less likely to get respiratory infections or cancer.
For children, true friends offer opportunities for intimate peer interactions that may be unavailable at home, especially if a person is the only child of a couple. In the United States and other countries, as working mothers of school aged children increase, real friendship will offer such children an alternative intimate relationship at school and/or after school play, different from the parent-child maternal relationship. Even married adults (especially women) may confess that they cannot function well in their daily lives without their childhood and new true friends. For our elderly, friendship offers opportunities for close relationships. Friendship may mean feeling wanted and useful in their older years instead of alone and isolated.
Real friendship even offers intimacy to singles. Why? Because for the unattached or unmarried, divorced, or widowed singles, true friendship will impact on a person mental health until he/she start their own family, or if a person decides to remain or even become single for much or all of their adult years of life. Some marriages are enhanced and are the beneficiary of the emotional and intellectual stimulation of friendship, as someone may need to understand and relate to others outside the one dimensional role of parent or spouse in a marriage. And we must not forget that true friends often provide each other with some of the career continuity once offered by lifetime employers. Here friends will offer continuity to a career or the special advice needed on available job attainment.
To gain and keep real friends, the factors mentioned above are important. But others include learning sympathetic and empathetic ways to bring friends together; the art of self-disclosure and what to reveal, when and to whom; how to be for others the kind of friend that you want others to be for you; how to increase the likelihood of befriending those who share your values; better predicting of long-lasting friendship than just doing things together or being nearby; and others. Better Friendship Principles can be put into practice on a daily basis for a more rewarding life.
Therefore, real friendship is very essential to everyone of us in our daily lives. Adults and children alike need true friends - new and long-time friends. The important factors that make people become friends and how to keep a good friendship going are necessary, can be learned and practiced. We all need at least one real good friend, but to have many is even better and more desirable.