This article was contributed by Pink Moods.
How are you feeling?
They say a friend is someone who knows everything about you but still loves you. You might think you know everything about yourself, but you’d be surprised just how important a friend is in forming who you are. You are essentially a version of your friend, and they are a version of you. Here are 11 things you didn’t know about friends and how they influence you.
Your creativity, logic and memory have been proven to be more accurately assessed by your friends than yourself. Because of our egos, we try to be vaguer when describing our cognitive ability. Also, we have fewer reference points to measure it. Our friends feel the impact of our cognitive ability more and are more honest about your intelligence levels as a result.
Naturally, we tend to talk our character down. We place less value on our good qualities and see certain attributes as weaker as they are, due to being able to criticise ourselves more intimately. Your friends will be more positive about your character, but essentially will be more accurate because they don’t possess your self-esteem. [Why our friends define us]
Your friends can see the bad in you too. Be careful! There are bad traits that you don’t recognise in yourself that they can see, most likely to be prejudices you hold against certain people or ideas. Because they are your friend, they won’t argue with them about you, but realise that if they’re close to you, they can undermine you should the friendship end badly.
Friendships are normally the most consistent bond you’ll maintain in your life – a fact that grows in likelihood the older you get – but who those friends are can change a lot. On average, you will lose half of your close friends within 7 years of meeting them. If you are younger, the faces of your close friends can change year upon year for some.
‘Frenemies’ is a real thing, it seems. Studies show that more ‘ambivalent’ friends will make your blood pressure increase more than those you deem to be enemies. The mix of positive and negative feelings associated with less close friends can cause tension within you.
In terms of relationship role, you are more likely to feel equal and less dependent on a friend, which can make you feel less lonely. There is a mob mentality that comes from a friendship, unlike members of your family or romantic partners. With family, you have to often take a certain position of superiority or inferiority, and with partners, you have to undertake more responsibility for the relationship to be maintained.
It’s often noted how friends impact our social habits, from phrases we use in speech to our personal interests and hobbies. Friends can have a much more serious impact on you, even helping you undertake a drastic life change. Research indicates that you are more likely to become religious, lose a serious amount of weight or change your career path because of a friend’s encouragement. [Why you become the people you spend the most time with]
Good friendships can help you be more productive and enthusiastic at work, which in turn correlate with pay rises and promotions. As well as becoming wealthier, spending time with friends makes you feel better about your wealth, because you’re less focussed on how it makes you feel, but what it enables you to do.
Being social and maintaining relationships is key to extending your life expectancy. The body unconsciously ‘shuts down’ when the brain is unstimulated by connections with other people. This phenomena is used to explain why we are likely to die not long after our spouse does. It is thought that those with a strong support system are 50% less likely to die in a given situation than some with a less stable support system.
Psychologically, especially in today’s world of social media and overexposure, we focus more on finding flaws in our physical traits when judging our looks, which skewers our self-perception. Therefore friends, who also see you in motion when you can’t, have a better view of you than a mirror can give, and it tends to be more positive! [7 Ways friendships can help to build your confidence]
Your friendships only end when the relationship is bad. Drifting apart because of different paths in life just makes it harder for you to be close – it doesn’t mean the friendship is over. You are very likely to be able to pick up an old friendship after many years if you never officially ended it. Don’t assume your friends don’t like you if you’re not sure why you’ve drifted apart.
Friends are incredibly valuable, and hopefully these 11 facts illustrate just how valuable they are. Be appreciative of the people in your life and recognise how much you rely on them, even when you don’t realise it.
Photo Credit: Copyright: yellowj / 123RF Stock Photo
This article was contributed by Pink Moods.