As someone one’s said, ‘friendship is the cement that holds the world together. ‘It’s a great responsibility and not an opportunity but here are some strange facts you didn’t know about friendship.
1. Friendship is good for one’s heart and soul
According to studies, friendship helps foster good health, longevity and alleviates stress. When faced with major illnesses like cancer or heart attacks, people with a great social network are in a better position to survive. The loving support of friends helps them through the healing process.
Companionship also helps reduce stress effects on the body; it protects one from illnesses and hastens the healing process when sick. It makes people less susceptible to chronic diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and heart disease.
According to The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy by Dean Ornish, no other aspect in medicine, ”not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery – has a greater effect on how often we get sick than the healing power of love and intimacy.” He says that personal intimacy directly affects our bodies, leading to a stronger immune system, better functioning of the cardiovascular and longer life expectancies.
2. Lack of close friends is as detrimental to your health as carrying extra weight or smoking.
Friendship not only makes us happier but contributes to our health. The renowned Harvard Medical School Nurses’ Health Study found out that, a woman with more friends was less likely to develop physical impairments as she grew old and was more likely to live a joyful life. The results by the researchers were very significant that their conclusion was that, not having close confidants or friends was as detrimental to your health as being overweight or smoking.
3. In a lifetime, you go through 396 friends but only 36 last.
According to researchers:
- In a lifetime, one makes 396 friendships but only one in 12, (33) stands the test of time.
- Out of the 33, only 6 are considered to be close friends while the 27 are social friends i.e. workmates or drinking buddies.
- Best friends are not those one sees most often but those one thinks of most. Men see friends every five days while women see them every 3.5 days. Both sexes however see their best friend only once in eight weeks. (this study was done by MSN messenger)
4. Marriages last due to friendship
John Gottman, a psychology professor at University of Washington believes that “happy marriages are based on deep friendship. By this I mean a mutual respect for each other’s company.” They are also based on partner’s knowledge of the other’s likes, dislikes and quirks.
Spouses who are friends make “repair attempts” during quarrels. They try to keep anger from escalating beyond control. Gottman reports that partners who are friends and know each other well, know how to quell tensions during sticky situations. They stop the fighting and continue with their marriage.
Bill Hanawalt, a pastor at the Vineyard Christian Church of Evaston says that, “Marriage without friendship cannot work in our culture. …Couples that don’t give attention to developing their friendship often come apart.”
An article ‘Keys to a Happy Marriage (From Real Experts’) on the Huffington Post states that ‘Friendship is as important as love for a happy married life.’ Most people in happy successful marriages claim they were friends before they got married. Some of those, whose marriages failed, claimed they had love but didn’t learn how to be friends.