How Friends Impact Your Health

There is a strong connection between friendship and health. Recall the happiest times of your life, and those memories likely include friends celebrating with you. Just as important, true friends support you through the bad times that happen in every life, from everyday disappointments to the heartbreak of loss. That's what good friends do.

Friendship enriches our existence and makes life's journey more enjoyable. Friends give us a sense of belonging and bolster our self-esteem. Yet, our closest friends will “tell it like it is" and encourage us to change bad habits or adopt good ones. Best friends assume the role of trusted confidante. Who better to listen to your rant in a non-judgmental way than your best friend? Having someone with whom you can talk about anything promotes healthy stress management.

Even self-described loners need interaction with people. Appropriate doses of companionship are especially helpful to prevent loneliness if you live by yourself. The never-married or single-again adult can too easily fall into the trap of staying home too much and eating solitary dinners off a tray in front of the TV. A tendency toward reclusivity may become more pronounced after retirement. Finding one still wearing pajamas mid-day is a red flag that it's time to get out of a rut. Read on...

3/14/2018 7:00:00 AM
Janet Valenty
Written by Janet Valenty
Former medical technologist with extensive drug testing and clinical chemistry experience. Traded the white coat for a business suit as Director of Marketing of a leading clinical lab with two billion in revenues and left that way back in the 90's. These days, doing more reading and publishing when not chasing grandchild...
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The definition of an extrovert is that s/he draws energy from being around people; an introvert becomes drained by too much interaction with people. It isn't true that intoverts are shy, or can't make friends easily. Or rather, make acquaintances easily. Or that introverts can't speak in front of audiences easily.
Intoverts simply need to go home and curl up with a good book after doing these activities.
And you made the mistake of calling us "senior citizens"! No! "Seniors" is acceptable; "older adults" is acceptable. "Senior citizens" is patronizing.
Posted by Susan Mercurio
Excellent article that seems to cover the bases. My only observation is that older people, myself included, prefer to be referred to as seniors or elders, but not as "senior citizens." Not sure where that started, since we wouldn't refer to you as a "middle-aged citizen" or young people as "young citizens?" It's just a matter of being sensitive and respectful.
Posted by Bob H.
I don't have time to do all the happy hours and listen to the daily gripes but when any of my real friends really needs me I'm the first one there to the end. Is that bad?
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