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A Good Friend Is Much Cheaper than Therapy — and Ten Times As Helpful!

"People report being happier when they are with friends than when they’re with a spouse or child,” according to research cited in a recent cover story in Psychology Today magazine.

This, indeed, is something to ponder seriously. To repeat, people actually experience greater joy while spending time with their friends than while spending time with their children or their mates. This should give you an idea of the importance of friendship.

Interestingly, friendship is one of the most researched subjects on the Internet. This indicates that millions of people are interested in creating new friendships and enhancing old ones.

Given how important friendship is in our lives, have you ever noticed how little has been written on the subject? Compare, for example, the number of books written on how to handle money to the number of books on how to create and maintain great friends.

Yet in many ways friendship is much more valuable to us than money. Indeed, our human interactions, particularly those with close friends, provide most of the joys or disappointments we have in life. It follows that you can’t experience real success in life unless you have real friends.

Taking into account that passing time with friends provides us with so much joy and happiness, the question you have to ask yourself is, “Do I have enough close friends?” According to a study reported in the June 2006 issue of American Sociological Review, American adults, who shocked pollsters in 1985 when they said they had only three close friends, said they had just two in 2006.

Moreover, the number who said that they have no one to discuss important matters with has doubled to one in four. The study found that men and women of every race, age, and education level reported fewer intimate friends than a similar survey indicated in 1985.

Unfortunately, the modern work world makes our individual lives busier and more fragmented. Thus, many people neglect to devote time to making close friends. “Friendship seems to be the last thing that anyone’s getting to,” says Jan Yager, an American sociologist and author of several books on the art of friendship.

Yager adds, “Friendship is not something that you get to when everything else in your life is taken care of. It’s an important relationship even after the school years for emotional health, for career advancement, and for physical well-being.”

Great friendships are important for creating a new sense of community that translates into social, emotional, and physical well-being. Several research studies conclude that people who have intimate relationships with others live happier, healthier, and longer.

Friendship should be a universal and all-encompassing topic for each and every one of us. Companionship is essential to a full and rich life. It ranks right up there with fulfilling work and good health. Many individuals have pleasantly discovered that a good friend is much cheaper than therapy — and ten times as helpful!

People in our society likely do not speak often about their yearning for friendship, as important as it is, because they do not want to appear needy and desperate. Not many people care to admit how lonely they are or can be at times in their lives. Surveys reveal that loneliness is one of the biggest problems humans face. To many people, it is the biggest.

Of this you should be certain: Life can be a really lonely experience without great friends. Above all, great friends can provide you with things that you can’t. The reverse is also true. Plautus, the Roman playwright whose works influenced Shakespeare and Molière, proclaimed, “Your wealth is where your friends are.”

Put another way, the more people who truly care whether you get up in the morning, the richer you will feel. You will find this to be true whether you are wealthy or broke. Taking into account the importance of friendship in our lives, the richest person in this world is the one with the most real friends — and not the one with the most money.

ARTICLE COPYRIGHT © 2011 by Ernie J. Zelinski

  All Rights Reserved 

Friendship Book - 101 Really Important Things

Note: This article is excerpted from the book 101 Really Important Things You Already Know But Keep Forgetting by Ernie J. Zelinski

Friendship Quotes and Sayings

about the Importance of Friendship 

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy,
like art . . . It has no survival value; rather is
one of those things that give value to survival.
— C. S. Lewis

Friendship ... is essential to intellectuals. You
can date the evolving life of a mind, like the
age of a tree, by the rings of friendship formed
by the expanding central trunk.
— Mary McCarthy

Friendship isn't a big thing — it's a million little
— Unknown Wise Person

Even the strongest man needs friends.
— Mario Puzo 

Friends broaden our horizons. They serve as
new models with whom we can identify. They
allow us to be ourselves—and accept us that
way. They enhance our self-esteem because
they think we’re okay, because we matter to
them. And because they matter to us—for
various reasons, at various levels of
intensity—they enrich the quality of our
emotional life.
— Judith Viorst

I know what things are good: friendship and
work and conversation.
— Rupert Brooke

A great sense of self-worth comes from
sharing important experiences with good
— Unknown Wise Person

The better part of one's life consists of his
— Abraham Lincoln

Mighty proud I am that I am able to have a
spare bed for my friends.
— Samuel Pepys

But friendship is precious, not only in the
shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks
to a benevolent arrangement the greater part
of life is sunshine.
— Thomas Jefferson

No man is the whole of himself. His friends
are the rest of him.
— Unknown Wise Person

My friends have made the story of my life. In a
thousand ways they have turned my
limitations into beautiful privileges, and
enabled me to walk serene and happy in the
shadow cast by my deprivation.
— Helen Keller

COPYRIGHT © 2011 by Ernie J. Zelinski
All Rights Reserved


Top-10 List of Best Things Ever Said about Friendship

Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a
— Plautus

Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.
— Sicilian Proverb

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be
stupid with them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

On the road between homes of friends, grass does not grow.
— Norwegian proverb

If I don't have friends, then I ain't nothing.
— Billie Holiday

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
— Samuel Butler 

To be rich in friends — is to be poor in nothing.
— Anon

A mere friend will agree with you, but a real friend will argue.
— Russian Proverb

Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A loyal best friend is someone who sticks up for you even when you're not there.
— Anon

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