Cultivating healthy relationships is a must to have a fuller, more meaningful and enjoyable life. Having solid, non-toxic friendships must rank up there with exercise and proper diet as necessary investments for the good of your well-being.
Friendships that are hale and hearty make aging more pleasurable. They also help lessen grief and offer a camaraderie that helps you achieve your goals in life.
The Importance of Friends
Did you know that socially-engaged adults age more gracefully than those who prefer to be alone all the time? Based on a survey conducted by a lifestyle network, women over 60 with social lives and involved families are happier as they age.
Happiness is contagious. It’s probably the only infectious thing you need to spread around. A healthy friendship can trigger your happiness. If your friend is happy, you become happy by association. And your happiness will be spread to the people who surround you.
If you’re happy, your friends will be happy for you. And the people around them will benefit from this chain of happiness. A healthy friendship doesn’t mean happiness 24/7. It means that even during the bleakest of days, you have people around you who will lift you up.
Support from true friends can do a lot to lessen sadness and grief. This is why during unfortunate events like unexpected death or loss, even when you want to be alone, there’s a pull that gravitates you toward your friends.
Also, healthy friendships offer encouragement and boost willpower. When you’re ready to throw in the towel, your trusted circle of friends will push and support you to move forward and to succeed. Sometimes, you don’t even have to see them. If the friendship is healthy and true, just their voices will give you strength to push for what you want.
The End of a Toxic Friendship
Friendships, even when you hold them tight, can end for many reasons. People change. People’s lives change. Sometimes, a friendship ends because one is moving away or there is an increased amount of commitments and obligations.
One of the main causes of a broken friendship is disagreement. If this happens to you, step back and assess the situation from a different point of view. You owe it to yourself and to your friend to resolve the differences before walking away for good.
If there’s no intersecting line where you two can meet, then agree to disagree, then move on. Unless the disagreement affects both of your lives, let it rest. Accept your friend even if you don’t agree with him or her all the time.
However, you should also consider ending a friendship if it becomes unhealthy. This is when your friend gets whatever he or she wants at your expense. End it as soon as the signs of an abusive relationship occurs, like:
- Physical, verbal or emotional abuse.
- Humiliation and domination.
- Use of intimidation or threats.
- Use of financial or sexual coercion.
Start With Yourself
Don’t just look for a good friend. Be one.
Start the ball rolling and let your friends see how a healthy friendship can benefit you all.