The Importance of Quality Friendships
*Picture from one of my best friends wedding*
Marco Polo has changed my life, and if you do not know what Marco polo is...you're missing out. As an east coast girl living in California, and New York during my off work time, Marco polo has made it easy for me to essentially take my friends along with me throughout my day. This app is especially great, if you are like me and your friends are spread across the United States. At this point in my life, social media interactions alone, do not cut it, and is not at all as satisfying as real conversation or a laugh with my girlfriends, even if it via technology.
Using an app to maintain my friendships over theses last couple of months, magnified the importance of maintaining good friendships, while also reminding me that most of the time there is less of an emphasis on who we call friend, and more emphasis on obtaining and maintaining romantic relationships. Since when did our friendships become second, or less important to finding a spouse. And why don't we vet our friends the same way.
Culturally speaking, the basis of friendships is that it is a necessary humanizing factor. Everyone needs friends, or at least one friend. But as we live through the age of "friend request". we seem to care more about quantity than the quality of our circle. Think about it, social media has influenced and changed the way we acquire friends. Its generally cold, and less humanizing. We add and subtract "friends" daily, and of course there is the age old question, of how many of those hundreds of followers are actually friends. We now care about displaying our lives to strangers (sometimes intimate details of our lives), than the small few who have positive influence over our lives.This new pathology of our culture is hurting our self esteem, and our interactions.
Who we choose to associate with has a direct representation of who we are. That piece of advice my mother gave me, "show me your friends and i will tell you who you are", is more and more true with each passing day. The title of friend means something, its associated to the people who have some form of influence and knowledge about you. Shouldn't we pay more attention to who has that title. Here are three reasons why we should focus on cultivating quality friendships.
Our friendships reflect who we are. Besides helping us fight our battles, our friends are also our cheerleaders. A good friend knows you and wants the best for you. This of course extends beyond the superficial, and towards our aligned aspirations, morals, and goals. Your friendships should be inline with your standards for living, and the quality of life you want to live. There are the unspoken and spoken good influences, they reflect who you are where you want to go.
Our Friends keep us on track. Bad relationships to weight loss journeys, friends are there to help navigate. Who else will tell us repeatedly why that guy is a bad idea, or why we shouldn't binge on food or shopping. They are our sounding boards who remind us where we want to go.
Our friends are there throughout every stage of life. In every stage of life we meet new people, and hold onto the ones we connect with the most. Through weddings, baby showers, promotions and other celebratory events, we rely on those who know us the best to celebrate or cry with us. The life events that we live through are taxing without good people along for the ride. Our friends are our original soulmates. We are connected through experiences, and we care tremendously about each others lives throughout every stage in life.
So why should we focus on our friendships? Because we are human, relational creatures, who need more than the superficial. When we realize that we are not the only ones on this crazy journey of life, life does not seem so difficult. When we cultivate quality relationships we enrich our lives with the positive influence needed for a higher quality of life.