You've probably heard the famous quote by Mark Twain, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel like you too can become great,” but have you ever related this to your friends?
Our friends are an important part of our lives: for some of us, they are family. Not only are they the people with whom we spend most of our time, but they are also the people who know us best.
Sometimes, friends use this knowledge to bring us down, but true friends use it to build us up.
These are just a few of the reasons why having good friends is so important. Here are seven more reasons why our friends are an important part of not only our present, but our future as well.
1. “Birds of a feather…”
The more time we spend with our friends, the more we tend to become like them be it in small or big ways.
We pick up words and phrases that they use when talking, and start using these ourselves, or we notice the kind of clothes they are wearing, and slowly start to shop at the same stores they shop at; sometimes, even start dressing like them.
Their influence can extend to the choices we make daily, the habits we pick up and the kinds of things we spend our money on. Be sure to surround yourself with people whose influence will push you in the direction you want to go in, and will help you to form habits that will be of benefit to you now and in future.
2. Friends are an example of true love in human form
Our friends are some of the first people who love and accept us as we are. They appreciate our quirks that we think no one will ever quite get, and they notice things about us that we don't even realize are there.
On the journey towards loving yourself, it helps to have people around you who can remind you of your wonderful qualities, especially when all you can think of are your not-so-wonderful qualities.
The more people you have around you who openly love you for who you are, the more you start to see yourself as worth loving, and the more comfortable you become with loving and affirming yourself, too. When you find such people, make sure to keep them close.
3. They are your ear of solace
Whenever I go through a tough time or need advice before making a major decision, my friends are the first people I turn to.
For one, they usually see things from a different perspective, which is a great help to me; secondly, they have my best interests at heart, and aren't afraid to tell me the truth when I need to hear it—even when I don't want to hear it.
They have saved me from making many bad decisions that I would have regretted making, and have also helped me make many good decisions that I later came to appreciate. This has reduced the number of ‘what if’ moments that I may have had—and will probably have in my lifetime.
4. They pick you up when you're feeling down
Right next to eating chocolate, having a conversation with a friend is one of the best cures for the blues. Friends know exactly how to cheer you up when you're feeling down.
You need a friend or two to remind you that it's not the end of the world when you make a poor business decision in future or when you have a disagreement with your significant other, and to encourage you to keep pressing on with a positive attitude.
5. They help you to stay on the right track
One of our friends' jobs is to help us stay focused on our goals when something that looks sweeter comes along. When I become fixated on something new and exciting—as I sometimes do—I temporarily forget what my personal vision is, and start pursuing this new thing instead.
It's at times like these when interference from my friends comes in handy. They step in and gently remind me what I was previously working towards, and they help me to get back on the right track.
6. They bail you out when you need financial help
When I have borrowed money from my parents one too many times, and I'm too ashamed to ask for anymore, I usually turn to my friends for help.
You will find that true friends are more than happy to lend you money when you need it, and even invest in your dreams financially when the need arises.
Being able to borrow money from your friends and pay them back when you say you will also builds trust between you and them, which is an important ingredient for lasting friendships.
7. They are your second opinion when it comes to dating
Although friends don't necessarily know who your future partner is, they can help you to realize that for yourself. The first people I tell about a new crush are my closest friends, and they are probably the first people who will to meet him if they haven't already.
True friends are honest, even when they know that their honesty isn't always appreciated. My friends have kept me from getting involved with someone who they knew wasn't ready for a commitment, and have also played advocate for the men whose good qualities I may have overlooked and should probably give a chance.
Who better to help you find your soul mate than the people who know you best anyway?
What other qualities in friendship do you think are important for your future? How do your friends contribute to your life? Share your stories below and encourage other queens.