The True Value of Friendship & Happiness

The true value of friendship and happiness plays a big role in the course of a lifetime.

When is the last time you had a genuine conversation with a close friend? Regardless of the content of your discussion, you felt better afterward, right?  And more importantly, it did indeed contribute to your overall level of happiness as well.  

Made You Smile Back is pleased to discuss this ever-important quality of the value of friendship and how it affects our happiness. You will discover what this relationship is really about, types of friendship, the benefits, and how happiness plays an important role in building strong relationships.

“True friendship promotes the good & happiness of one another.”

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What Exactly Does Friendship mean?

Friendship is the innate need for all mankind to feel a belonging or a connection to one another.  According to Kendra Cherry, MS, it refers to a human emotional need to affiliate with and be accepted.  But it’s a lot more than just that.

What everyone needs to know about the value of friendship is its strong correlation to our state of happiness and well-being.  It’s a known fact after many studies, that friendship not only boosts our health, but our happiness as well.  (To view a Harvard Case Study validating this, please check out this link.)

True friends are those who are there for you not just for the good times, but when times are not so good.  True friends are reciprocal to one another and bring out the best of the best in each other.  True friends demonstrate the real definition of being nonjudgmental and what unconditional love really means.  

To help show what real friends truly are, please watch this video entitled, “What’s a Real Friend?” by Noticias Teocraticas © Published on Sept 27, 2013

Four Traits of Friendship, The True Value of Friendship & Happiness, Made You Smile Back

Four Traits of True Friendship

  • Reliability — Being reliable builds trust – your friends and loved ones know that they can count on you to keep your word, be there when you’ll say you’ll be, and do what you say you’ll do.   Reliability also shows respect to each other.
  • Listening & Being NonjudgmentalNonjudgmental listening means listening to understand and put your own views and values aside and being careful not to criticize or judge the person who you are listening to. It means accepting them as a person and accepting the things that they are struggling with.
  • Authenticity — Authenticity is about presence and staying true to yourself.  Showing your ‘colors’ no matter what when you’re with your friends.   An authentic person puts their friends around them at ease, in a comforting way and makes one feels as if they are at home.
  • Trustworthy — The definition of trustworthy is someone who is honest who can be entrusted with your secrets and knowing they won’t be shared with anyone else.   It’s also considered to be one of the most important traits of true friendship.   You don’t need someone who is going to agree with you all the time.  You need that special friend who you trust to be upfront and tell you what they really are thinking.  To hear the advice they are sharing with you.
A Friend is Someone Who Doubles Your Fun and Divides Your Sorrow, Made You Smile Back

Friendships Throughout Life

Childhood Friendship, The True Value of Friendship & Happiness, Made You Smile Back
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Childhood Friendship

Childhood friends were the best, right?  Childhood friendship is innocent, free from care and it is unconditional.  If you’re lucky enough, you may even have developed a lifelong friend sealed with a pinkie promise!

Photo by Canva
Photo by Canva©

Teenage Friendship

Friendships are incredibly important during the formidable teen years, otherwise known as adolescence. Teen friendships help young people feel a sense of acceptance and belonging.

Moreover, teenage relationships with peers support the development of compassion, caring, and empathy. Furthermore, adolescent friendships are a big part of forming a sense of identity outside the family.

That said, teen friendships can also, unfortunately, have a dark side and be teamed with friends who are simply ‘fake’.   It’s important to be able to recognize the traits of toxic friends.  Usually, one knows immediately simply for the mere fact that spending time with them doesn’t make you feel good.  And remember, true friendship is one that promotes your happiness and well-being.

CAUTION – BE AWARE OF TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS – THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS – LEARN TO WALK AWAY.  WATCH THIS 3 MINUTE VIDEO FROM ‘PSYCH TO GO’©

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Happiness Journal

College Friendships, The value of true friendship & Happiness, Made You Smile Back
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College Friendship

Moving into our college years, and a little bit more mature from our high school days, (or we should be anyways). We don’t dwell on the friendships lost and instead, we look forward to the new people that we will meet.  A great friendship helps up bloom and provides a sense of belongingness.

College is also the time where you may discover people that you will want to hold on to as friends for the rest of your life.  Who remembers those friends of yours, that help you deal with the stress of finals or new relationships!  I bet they are still in your inner circle today.

And these types of friends are where distance and age make no difference where they are.  When you reconnect, it’s like being with them like it was yesterday!

Friendship Knows No Age or Distance, The value of true friendship & Happiness, Made You Smile Back
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Babyboomer Friendship - The value of true friendship & Happiness, Made You Smile Back
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Work Friendship

Friends You Meet At Work — Having work friends can definitely make you happier on the job.  After all, the average person works 40+ hours and chances are, you spend more time with your colleagues than your friends and family each week.  And make no mistake, you can make lasting friendships with those you have worked with throughout your career years.

But… you must be mindful.  Your co-workers and/or clients need to ‘earn’ the right to be a true friend.  Remember one of the four traits of true friendship – trustworthiness?  You will know with time, who you can trust and who you want to include in your life.

Babyboomer Friendship

Friendships in Later Life — As we age ‘gracefully’ as I say since I am… the older generation has the luxury of being more selective of who their true friends are.  Yes, we have longtime friends from childhood all the way thru college and career.  But because ‘time is more precious’ in these formidable years, we tend to gravitate to those who are ‘authentic’ and who make one feel special and important.  In fact, it’s common that many older adults have just as many friends of the younger generation as they do of their own age group.

In this regard, true friendship along these lines is more ‘give and take’ of imparting knowledge and wisdom and experiencing the ‘freshness and energy’ of youth.  Cross-generational friendships can be just as every bit rewarding as same-aged friends.

Facebook Friendships, The Value of True Friendship & Happiness, Made You Smile Back
Image by Simon© on Pixabay
Technology Enables Worldwide Friendships
Image by Geralt© on Pixabay

Social Media Friendship

The World Wide Web — I would be totally amiss if I didn’t include the impact of the evolution of technology involving the creation of new and dynamic type relationships. In fact, one may never leave the boundaries of their state, let alone their country, and become international friends with anyone in the world today. These social connections can build healthy relationships that can enrich our life.

I could write another blog on this subject, which I may.  But let me tell you this as a professional blogger…  I have not just made friends, but true friends, from Australia to Pakistan to South Africa to Algeria to Great Britain to Florida to even someone I didn’t even know was living 15 miles from me!

And you know what!  Friends are friends are friends.  It makes no difference how one is created.  They are all just as important in experiencing the happiness that comes along with it.

Friends are Friends Because They Want To Be, The Value of true friendship & happiness, Made You Smile Back

The Friendship – Happiness Link

So by now, it should be very clear of how the value of friendship, especially true friendship, translates to being a much more happier person.    In fact, survey after survey found that when an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees.

One person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only their friends, but their friends’ friends, and their friends’ friends’ friends.

“Having Happy Friends Can and Will Make You Happy!”

Beth Elkassih, Blogger

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7 Ways Why Friends Make Us Happier

The importance of friendship in our lives obviously should never be taken for granted.  Besides, true benefits cannot be measured (who can calculate how much joy or happiness one has received from all the years from your childhood or college best friend)?

When researching for writing this blog, I read literally ‘hours’ of content.  But per this website, Happify Daily, the following are seven of the best reasons why friends make us so happy and I couldn’t agree more!

1) The Happiest People are the Most Social

2) Happiness Is Contagious

3) Friends Cut Out the Small Talk—and That Makes Us Happy

4) We Turn to Friends When We’re Stressed

5) Our Friends Helps Us Be Optimistic

6) Friendships Improve Our Health

7) Our Friends Help Us Live Longer

Frequently Asked Questions!

1. What is the true intrinsic value of friendship?


Good friends are not only important to the quality of your life but also for your own mental health fitness. Friendship essentially involves a distinctive kind of concern for your friend, a concern which might reasonably be understood as a kind of love. To live and to love are inseparable from each other. Therefore, the true intrinsic value of this kind of love is Friendship.

2. What are the elements of true friendship?


The elements of true friendships include loyalty, genuine empathy, loving concern, honesty, thoughtfulness, connection and trust. In addition a true friendship also includes reciprocity. This is the starting point, but for a lasting true friendship, that comes with time.

3. Is friendship necessary for happiness?


It has been determined by new research in the Journal of Personal Relationships that friends become increasingly very important to our health and happiness as we age. In fact, friendship is so crucial, that having supportive friendships in old age was round to be a stronger predictor of well being than having strong family connections.

4. Are friendships stronger than relationships?


It has been determined that people who valued both their family and friendship relationships enjoyed greater health and higher happiness. Reiterating the above question, as we get older, the value of friendship relationships became a stronger predictor of health and happiness even when valuing family.

5. What are the 3 Kinds of Friendships?


According to Marie Claire, the three kinds of utility are:

Friendships of utility: exist between you and someone who is useful to you in some way. …
Friendships of pleasure: exist between you and those whose company you enjoy. …
Friendships of the good: are based on mutual respect and admiration.


In Summary, The Value of Friendship is Indeed Happiness!

In conclusion, friendship is intentional.  Friendship is the serendipitious interactions with those selected few that exude a spark of friendship chemistry.  Friendship allows us to reach our higher self of actualization.  And most importantly, friendship IS INDEED HAPPINESS!

Sharing Laughter with Friends, the value of true friendship & happiness, Made You Smile Back

**Psst! Do You Want To Take A HAPPINESS QUIZ to find out how Happy You Really Are? Here’s Your Chance!**


For Additional Reading

Much appreciation to Poovanesh Pather for her assistance in Keyword and SEO Research in preparing for this post.  For more information, please click on this link. 

Join the conversation and share one of your favorite memories you experienced with one of your True Friends!

The True Value of Friendship & Happiness

About the author

beth elkassih

“Hi! Welcome to the launching and introduction to ‘Made You Smile Back’! I’m so pleased you’re here. Let me share with you a little bit about myself and why I created this platform.”

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Madeyousmileback is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

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Comments

48 comments on “The True Value of Friendship & Happiness”

  1. Your style is unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

  2. Lovely. Great friendships are definitely important. Although I believe you should not rely on anyone for your happiness, stable friendships do enhance your happiness and make you feel a sense of belongingness.

  3. As always, a great post Beth. There can be no doubt that friends come and go depending on the season of your life. But true friends are there always no matter what. Through illness, I have been forced to stay home more and this does put a strain on maintaining friendships. Like you, I have made many amazing friend in the blogging community who have truly enriched my life. How I wish they lived around the corner and we could deepen our bonds with coffee dates. What a joy that would be.

  4. What an awesome post! Friendship is so important in our lives and as we go through the different phases of our lives, so does our friendship. I am so thankful of the “true” friends I have and as I am getting older and wiser, I have been more selective. All for the positive 🙂

  5. Great post! Yes, friendships can change as we go through life. I grew up in the military so I lost contact with many friends as we moved frequently. Then Facebook came to light, and I was able to reconnect with many of those lost friends I had known for years. I recently have joined the blogging community and have developed many wonderful new friendships!

  6. What a great post! Friendship is such a big and important part of our lives. And I love that you point out the qualities of true friendship, because that really does matter. Holding onto relationships that aren’t “true friendship” can be unhealthy. Thank you for sharing this! ??

  7. I loved reading this blog. It is so heartfelt and touching, and I couldn’t agree more with the ideas you have reflected here. As we grow older, we realize the importance of true friendships all the more. For me, I love a heart to heart talk and cozy few hours with just 1 or 2 of my closest friends much more than hanging out in a large social group. It’s so important to have those 1-2 closest buddies through your life and we should consider ourself lucky if we can find one such friend for life.
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece.

  8. This is such an amazing article Beth. We need friends in our life. But childhood friends are always special in life. I am lucky to have them.
    Thank you for sharing such a nice post. Keep inspiring.

  9. Absolutely loved reading this and can not agree more. Friends are so important, I don’t know where I would be without mine. I also feel truly blessed to call you one of my friends Beth xx

    1. Michelle, thank you so much for your kind words. It is so amazing that one can have internatonal friends thru the use of social media and I am so happy that we did indeed become great Friends!

  10. True friends are hard to come by in this world. As I’ve grown older, my circle definitely has gotten much smaller. Especially in this digital world we live in, our true friends are our “Followers” or the people who “like” our Facebook Page, but the ones that are always there when we need them. I’ve learned that many people that I thought were my friends over the years really just weren’t worthy enough for my time and attention. Friends come and go, but True Friends and Family are forever!
    Great Article! It was nice to reflect on things we don’t think about too much

  11. Great post – I really enjoyed this. Friendship is such an important and fundamental part of our lives. It’s important not to take that for granted. Thanks for sharing.

  12. My very good friend was over last night. I hadn’t seen her in a while but it really did make me feel happy and changed my outlook! I didn’t realize it so much until I read this post!

  13. Love this post!! “Friendship not only boosts our health, but our happiness as well” YES! So true! I’m going through the “teen” friendships with my daughter right now, so this article was very timely! Thank you!! 🙂

    1. Kate, yes I remember the ‘teen years’ with all three of my daughters. Many a time I had to ‘console’ one of them when the ‘true colors’ of their so-called friends ended up being more of the ‘jealous’ type. Thankfully, once they all got into college, they had solid real friends who are with them even now.

  14. I enjoyed reading this. I’ve had many friends that have come and gone and I’ve definitely had some unhealthy friendships in my time. Great friends are amazing.

    1. Candice, Thanks for your comments. The good news, as we get older, we can spot ‘toxic or fake’ friendships and eliminate them from our life to make room for those who are true friends!

  15. Thank you, Beth. Wow, what a lot of work you did, on this blog. Loved it! Friends are important. I’ve had many friends that have come and gone. But, Grateful for the time they were with me. So Grateful to have married my Best Friend! That human need to fill the like you ‘belong.’ Friends are a BIG part of that. (and that ‘need’ can sometimes be just, ‘needy’ not to get confused with ‘friendship.’) There are so many people that have touched my life that are not what would necessarily be called a ‘friend’ but a great Gift from God, at just the right time. Stay happy, it’s a choice, just like picking a ‘friend.’ Remember, ‘to have a friend you must be a friend.’

      1. I really enjoyed this article. I absolutely agree with you, friendships are an important part of life. My friends are amazing and I would be lost without them.

  16. Love the 4 traits of Friendship. The fact holds true that Friend in need is a friend indeed. Thanks for sharing
    Heena -travelandhikewithpcos

    1. Heena, thanks for your comments. There were so many characteristics of friendship but I wanted to narrow it down to the most important and that’s how I came up with the four. I will check your blog out as well! Blessings!

  17. You are right, we all need friendship and they do enhance our lives and take away many of the stress we find ourselves in. It takes really good friends to help us see the problems in our lives that we are so caught up in and unable to see the danger in sometimes.

    1. Marshalee, thank you for your comments. Yes a true friend isn’t one that always says ‘yes’ in agreement. A true friend will be honest and tell you the truth so you can grow and become the best you can be. Those are the ones you cherish. Many blessings to you.

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