The Role of 'Best Friend' is One of the Most Important!

A 10-year study by the Centre for Ageing at Flinders University found that a network of friends was more important than close family relatives in prolonging life. People aged over 70 with an extensive network tended to live 22 per cent longer than those with less extensive networks.

When I say, ‘Best Friend’, I am sure (hopefully) that at least one person comes to mind, and it is that person that makes your life a little easier to live – So, why shouldn’t we celebrate them?

For our entire lives, it seems that we constantly have people coming and going, but a best friend is that person that comes into your life, looks around at the walls you have built for yourself, and decides to stay. Some of these bonds start as early as we can remember, others don’t happen until the most awkward years of our life, and some best friends don’t find us until that one college party that starts it all. (I haven’t lived past the age of 25 but I am sure there is at least one best friend waiting for me to cross paths with them at some point down the road.) What I am trying to say is that these people come into our life when we need them to, and although we may not know it at the time, these are the people that are going to help us become who we are.

According to studies, friendship helps foster good health, longevity and alleviates stress. When faced with major illnesses like cancer or heart attacks, people with a great social network are in a better position to survive. The loving support of friends helps them through the healing process.

Friendship is important for many reasons, and it is because of these bonds that we learn what we enjoy doing when we enjoy doing them, and who we enjoy doing them with. Unlike family, our friends are the people that we choose to have around us. Personally, not only do I think it is one of the most important roles, I consider it to be the most important one in my life, but that is beside the point. Who we choose to have around us has so much to do with who we become, so not only is the role of ‘best friend’ important, it is crucial for the growth of us as individuals – With that said, if we choose to surround ourselves with the wrong people, the opposite will happen. There is a famous quote said by Jim Rohn that states, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” – I always like to refer back to this because there is something so profound to be taken away from that statement.

Think about that for a second, and write down the names of the five people you spend the most time with. Write down what it is about them that makes you want to be a better person. Do they challenge you in all the right ways? Are they doing something in their own life that makes you want to do more? What kind of activities are they influencing you to get involved in? What kind of memories are they creating for themselves? What kind of impact are they having on you as a person?

More than likely, your ‘best friend(s)’ will be on that list of 5, and it is important that the role they fill is having a positive effect on your life, and bringing to the table something that you know is special in so many kinds of ways. Friendship is a bond that is built on good and hard times. Friendship, if at the ‘best friend’ level, will persevere no matter what, because life is better with them around. The people that we assign certain roles to in our life should be done carefully and through many kinds of trials and tribulations.

The renowned Harvard Medical School Nurses’ Health Study found out that, a woman with more friends was less likely to develop physical impairments as she grew old and was more likely to live a joyful life.

There is not one correct way to define the term ‘Best Friend’. We all have our own definition to what that word means, and we all hold a certain standard for what we value as a ‘best friend’. If I had to define the word, a ‘Best Friend’ is the person that we choose to go through life with, no matter what. A relationship built on mutual respect, common understanding, and unwavering support. A ‘Best Friend’ is an important role to fill simply because these kinds of authentic relationships are NOT a dime a dozen. They are special, and they should be treated as such.

Happy Belated #NationalBestFriendDay  

To the one’s I have given the role of ‘Best Friend’ in my life, there are a few things I want to thank you for –

  • For being the shoulder that I can lean on when life feels extra hard and I just need someone to calm me down.
  • For having my back in the situations where I am right, as well as knowing exactly how to break it to me that I may be the one in the wrong.
  • For sticking by my side through my choice to be sober from certain addictions of mine.
  • For loving me through those mentioned above addictions of mine.
  • For always being my trusty bathroom partner because nothing says ‘Best Friend’ quite like, “I know you are totally able to pee on your own, but I still feel the need to let you know that I am here if you need me.”
  • For knowing exactly what to say when my heart breaks and knowing exactly when not to say anything.
  • For answering my phone call from jail.
  • For calling my parents for me, for the above.
  • For laughing with me uncontrollably, and reminding me that life is too short to 'sweat the small stuff'
  • For accepting my quirks and those everyday tendencies about myself that you never make me feel weird about.
  • For never belittling my ideas, no matter how extravagant they may be.
  • For showing me that I am worth sticking around for, as well as never making me question that you will come back.
  • For talking to me about life, and attempting to answer all those hard questions that not many people are willing to talk about.
  • For supporting me along every step of the way, and allowing me to rest on you if I need a break.
  • For understanding me better than I understand myself.
  • For choosing me to do life with you as your best friend.  

Thank you for that.

Your role is one of the most important.

I love you.

Megan Lawrence