People are social creatures who crave fellowship with others. There are varying degrees, from cave-dwelling hermit to social butterfly, but even those living in caves need some human connection occasionally. And those flitting little butterflies need a place to land where they can rest and enjoy the company of true friends.

In the midst of hectic schedules, buzzing newsfeeds, re-connecting with old acquaintances, and trying to tackle life on your own, it’s necessary to remember the importance of a best friend and/or a close group of friends who can keep you grounded, lend a hand, and make you smile.

Honesty is the best policy.

Best friends are honest with each other. Sometimes they can be brutally honest, but they have good intentions when it comes to delivering the truth, even when the truth hurts. A best friend will be straight with you when you ask for their advice or opinion, and they can offer another perspective. Their honesty will also hold you accountable to the goals you’ve set for yourself, whether for health, fitness, career, or education. They will know best how to motivate, encourage, and support you. A best friendship also offers a working example of how to be in honest in other relationships, which is essential for successful relational health. Those who lack a close group of quality friends miss out on deep, meaningful relationships based on mutual trust. It’s hard sometimes to be honest with yourself, so it’s advantageous to have someone you trust who will be honest with you when you need it most.

Talk it out.

Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is a legitimate tool used by therapists. While certain situations may warrant a specialist, there are some things in life that you can talk out with someone you trust. Talking with a best friend allows you to say things out loud, which not only offers an outlet to share things aloud with someone but also gives you an opportunity to receive insight and advice. It could help you come to terms with something you may not otherwise deal with or even make strides toward creating solutions to problems and finding resolution. Talk therapy between best friends also gives you someone who can share your burden with you. It can be very effective in relieving stress in a healthy way. When someone does not have a strong bond with a close friend it may prove difficult to overcome growing stress and new obstacles.

For better or worse.

A best friend knows the real you. They don’t just know first date you or interview you. They know all sides of you, from your greatest traits to your nasty habits. They’ve held your hand through the lowest lows and they’ve clapped their hands for you during the highest highs. Their friendship enriches your life with love, joy, laughter, encouragement, and goodness. And these things are important qualities to help create a healthy life. Friendships, like any relationships, can be messy and complicated. They have their bad days, but when you miss out on quality human connection, then you also miss out on having people who will shoulder your burdens, answer your questions, support your decisions, and celebrate your victories. A trusted friend will still love you in the midst of your crazy road rage during rush hour traffic; they may even make you laugh despite the gridlock. More importantly, you can trust that they’ll be there until death do you part.

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