Side Benefits of Friendship

This is me and my three close friends:)

Hi everyone,

I thought maybe talking about human connection is a good topic for today because why not.

We might at times feel like connecting with people is a waste of time. ‘Oh, if we meet, we will talk for an hour. I’d rather do this work’ or ‘I won’t call my mom. I will sleep.’ We might think of or say things like this. I think all of us have these moments.

But I learnt an important lesson from my recent experiences (which I kind of mentioned in my post last week). The lesson was this: The contacts you keep, they are there for you when you are not having the best time of your life. I had kept contact with a lot of my friends throughout the years (and they kept contact with me too). It did require a lot of time and effort, but it paid off. If it was not for my friends, I would have had a much worse time. But thanks to them, this time passed more easily than is usual and I am grateful.

Is this why we should keep friends? Just so that they can help us? No. This is just a good side benefit. The main reason is that we need friends because of our human nature. We need human connection. It is engrained in our basic make-up and we need to fulfil that. But there is no harm if this basic fulfilment brings in other benefits.

Seeing this happen, though, made me even more eager to keep my connections tighter. Now I want to make sure that I check on everyone in my life more regularly. I want to be there for them when they need more. In a sense, I want to return the favor that was done to me. This is also, I think, another benefit. Maybe when I keep my connections, my friends also want to keep their connections by example and this creates a chain. We can influence each other.

What do you think? Do you have a lot of friends? How is your connection with them? How have you benefited from your relationship with them? Let’s discuss friendship today.


98 thoughts on “Side Benefits of Friendship

  1. As of now I only have two friends. Not plenty, but they’re enough. We make a point to meet once in a while or even play video games together every Saturday. It’s a little bit difficult since both of them have girlfriends while I’m the single one though. Sometimes I’m afraid when they’re married, we wouldn’t be able to hang out or even just talk we do now…

    1. We do not know what the future will look like, so it is better to enjoy the now. If they are married before you, they might have less time but the contact can still continue. I think that is what matters.

  2. I have a couple friends that I hang out with, but only one that I consider a good friend. I tell her things that I don’t tell anyone else and feel safe to do so. I think that’s what’s most important. Being able to trust someone.

  3. A lot of friends … but only one has kept the connection active, which I gladly reciprocate. However, whenever I wished to get benefits, I could not get any due to the friend’s genuine incapacity. Nonetheless, our friendship continues, atleast the fun part of passing time.

    1. That is interesting. I mean, maybe it is better to keep the friendship and making sure that it benefits both of you. Sometimes, people grow together. And sometimes, maybe often, intentions are more important than actions.

  4. I also thought exactly the same that I don’t need anyone in my life recently, they all are the same but guess what they are now with me in the worst phase of my life . I never imagined that they will be my support system again.
    I also want to do the same thing that you want . I want to keep my connection with my friends.
    I can relate your post ☺️

    1. Yeah, we may not see it when we are in a good mood, but this is a kind of investment. This is a big life lesson to learn. I am glad we both learnt it.

  5. I like the point you made that it’s a responsibility. You do have to check up on them, and vice versa. I struggled with this, among other differences, so old connections fell by the wayside. When I make new friends, I want to make sure to check up on them (and have friends that care to check on me). Also, when I move out, I never want to lose the connection I have with my parents!

    1. We should definitely strive to do that, keeping connections. Life is unpredictable and we are social creatures. You can maybe somehow even revive the old connections, eh?

  6. Hello Bertul, what a delightful article and so relevant in this day and age – thank you for sharing with us. Your article also gave me a gentle tap on the wrist; that being because, as I work away at my daily emails and social media responses, I have wondered whether it’s all worthwhile! Keeping contact with folks who live thousands of miles from me. Good news; after reading your article I have decided to keep working on it. There’s more….
    In recent times, as the topic of friendship has been raised in my company, I have begun to question, in my own mind, what it means to have friends.
    I’ll tell you why. Over the very long span of my life, I have had very few friends. By my definition, friends being those people to whom I’m am close, people I love, and make connections regularly. Yet, if I use this definition, I realize that all of these are also family members. (I have a very large family and extended family members – and it grows by the year!)
    With all of this now, it begs the question – what are friends? Over the years I have made many, many acquaintances (I am quite clear on this definition.) None of these, however, would fit the description of ‘friends’ as in your delightful article. I have often heard the statement, “She/he is not just my wife/husband she/he is also my friend.”
    From this, I glean that family members and partners can also be friends. This makes me feel much better now, as far as friends are concerned and certainly broadens the scope for me.
    Finally, thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss this important matter with you, and coming to the conclusion; I won’t say that I don’t have many friends – ever again. Blessings, Peter.

    1. Hi Peter! What a delight to learn that reading my post helped you keep working on your article! I have not grown up in a large family, so I do not exactly know how it feels like. I know some of my friends see their cousins as their close friends. I think maybe one distinction is that there are things that you can share with your friends but not your family members (often relating personal life or other vulnerabilities). But if you already do that with your family members, then maybe the concept of a friend might be merged with a family member in your case.
      Maybe you can try to have someone with whom you can get almost as close as your family members. Then you might see if there is a difference between family members and other people as friends.

  7. Well, the only friend I have now is my boyfriend who I met in 2017. The classmates at my school don’t really talk to me, so I can’t call them friends. I’ve tried messaging my friends from 8th grade but they don’t reply, or they don’t wanna hear from me. So yeah, don’t really have friends, and my boyfriend is from Serbia so can’t see him due to Covid19 unfortunately.

    1. Oh:( I have had those times when I could not find anyone to connect with. But you can be sure that this is temporary and you will have friends.
      But in the meantime, do you have one person that you feel closer with other than your boyfriend? Maybe you can focus on that person?

      1. No, my older cousins stopped visiting me for birthdays since they started working, got their boyfriends and pets. I really miss them. I’m not sure why they do this, I don’t really like it. And my boyfriend is the only person who knows everything about me. So I only have him really.

      2. Then let’s just be patient. I am sure someone will come along. The pandemic also put many restrictions on this. It is an exceptional time.

      3. Yeah. But since we cannot change it, it is better to try to accept it as it is and do the best we can. Once it is over, we will pick it up.

  8. It’s cliche’ to say “Friends are the flowers in the garden of life” – but it’s true. The loyalty of long-time friends is priceless. The way we stay connected is varied (e-mails, texts, phone calls. personal visits- when possible – and letters). Life would be barren without the friends who add fragrant sweetness to my life. Every time we have moved from one place to another, my motto always has been, “Keep the old and make new!”

  9. I moved cities about 18 months ago. The pandemic followed soon on its heels. Then i lost my mom and my dad came to live with us. Things went completely topsy turvy in my life. I always had a wide network of friends, but last 18 months have been a wilderness. I keep in touch on social media but what I wouldn’t give to go out for dinner and drinks or even short vacays! Sigh!

    1. I am sorry for your mom:( May she rest in peace.
      I feel you! This past year has been exceptional. But once things are back to normal, I assume you would feel that connection again?

      1. We had a small farewell get together for my boss who is leaving the city and his current job. It was so nice to meet some of my colleagues after 1 year!

  10. You’re absolutely right, human connection is so important to us all. I think that it’s important to work on developing good friendships, those that are a two-way street of mutual support and love. Those make all the difference!

  11. Thanks for this, Betul. Such an important reminder! I also loved reading everyone’s comments. It’s reassuring to know that we all have different levels of friendship, and that they all need attention! 🕊

  12. Friendship is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, although from a different angle. Prior to the pandemic, I would have said that I had a lot of friends. Many of them were “couples” friends and we would socialize together as couples.
    When the pandemic hit, on the one hand, friendship became more valuable than ever, but on the other hand, it felt way less accessible. Socializing in person was no longer an option and I was not interested in video chats/virtual hangouts. Social media being the only arena for seeing what my friends were up to made me realize how little I liked some of my friends. I desperately needed a friend as confidante, but everyone was experiencing the hardships of the pandemic differently and I felt that no of my friends could take that active listening confidante role (and in fairness, neither could I do that for them). I’ve maintained coffee dates with one or two friends, but mostly, I turned to therapy and blogging, because friendship alone under pandemic circumstances, wasn’t really going to cut it.

    1. These have been exceptional times. Maybe it made us realize who we really connect with, but it is also true that everyone has been struggling during this time. So, none of us have been our usual self. Maybe once the pandemic is over, your connections will revive. What do you think? Do you want them to revive?

      1. Some of them, definitely yes. Others, I am not sure I will revive, at least not to the same degree.
        But it’s a decision requiring buy-in from both sides, you know? Uneven friendships are no fun either.

  13. I don’t know…I’m slowly learning to detach from whomever new comes in my life from now onwards…I’m tired of expecting from them that they should make me a good friend of theirs… and also that I won’t treat them in a special way that they can get a license to take me for granted…sorry that I went negative to what you mentioned in this post..🙏🙏🙏.

    1. It is sometimes hard to find the balance between our individuality and community. I had that a few years ago. Do you think there is a way to get out of expectations?

  14. After losing a couple of friends all through out the years,. I felt like having few true friends will be enough. But lately. I am not in good terms with my best friend. (He is best friend to me, but to him I’m not, maybe?). By the way, he is gay. I lost him by just simply saying realtalks with consideration about his feelings yet I still lost him. So, from now on, better be alone I guess. Can’t trust my heart to again to someone who doesn’t consider me as best friend

    1. I had a few times when I did not have anyone too. But it passes. It is a natural need, so it will force you to trust someone later. Also, sometimes, old friends somehow come back.

  15. Friendship is lovely, when you find friends who stay by you and support with hard times is amazing. I only have 2 friends, my husband and a lovely friend who I keep in contact with nearly everyday.

  16. I, at one time had a lot of friends. But after getting sick, I kind of found out who my “true” friends were. So as of now, I have seven friends. These friends showed up and showed out in my worst time of need and have been there ever since. We don’t see each other that often (pandemic) and we don’t speak everyday, but when we do speak or see each other, it feels like there was no gap in the last time that we spoke or saw each other. I believe that friendship is important, even if it’s just one friend – having someone to talk to and to trust is a great thing.

  17. Hi Betul, I think it’s good to keep some friends that you met when you were young and keep them for your whole life because when you meet later in life you both will each have forgotton lots of funny enjoyable events/situations but hopefully you will be able to remind each other of them. It happens to me and my friend and we are always amazed and laughing about what we did when we were a bit younger!

  18. The friends I thought were friends , was really I was there friend . Jealousy is insane . I am hated by ones that had my friendship .And Why (because I loved ) or because they are jealous .

  19. Your post made me miss almost above 20 people at a time. ☺☺ and i talked to half of them today. It took 5 hrs of just talking. But not waste but build renew my relationships. Thankx. 😊😊😊

      1. And it feel soo much good. Remembering the golden old days. Memories are precious. And people connected to them are gold. Sometimes we don’t know how many good people we have in our life. All thanks to you, i realized it. ☺☺❤

  20. I associate with positive and Business minded because every minute we spent we plan on how the make funds in crypto online investment and is really working for us we have the same focus…..

  21. Different people are friends to us at different points in our lives.

    Yes we need human contact, but we also need positive human contact.

    An over reliance on people for friendship and a social life often leads to support for toxic social systems,. I feel some level of independence from society and community is extremely healthy.

    Both for the individual and the community.

  22. This post is a great reminder to let people know how much they mean to us, to outwardly express the value they bring to our lives.

    At highschool, about fifteen years ago, I used to meet with four friends every Saturday for boardgames and maybe a drive around town. It was a his social engagement with people I enjoyed spending time with.

    Now that I’m older I have a few different groups of friends I meet with regularly. Ultimate frisbee teams, bible study group, friends from church, and friends whom I met playing D&D. At the moment they are different groups whom I met at different times, and that is ok. But I do mean to have a gathering about twice a year where all are invited to hang out and spend time together.

    Thinking deeply about friendships though, there are *maybe* ten really close friends I meet with regularly. Once a week or, once a fortnight, or once a month. To really spend time together, and deepen that relationship.

    Thank you for this meaningful share, Betul. ♥

    1. I think you have a good and healthy friendship circle. It looks like you can spend quality time with them and they are consistent. Very important blessing!

  23. I have a handful of friends and I have different dynamics with each of them depending on where we met and how we became ‘friends?’ Each of them play a role in my life (some more significant than others). But all in all, I cherish each friendship bond that I have.

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