Can you imagine this world without any friends? It would be pretty darn boring, and depression would take over our lives. Whether we accept it or not, we need friends at all phases of life. We need them through the highs and the lows. The interesting thing is that even science agrees to all these things.
1. Animals can form lifelong friendships with individuals that are not from their own species.
Many studies have shown that chimpanzees, baboons, horses, elephants and dolphins make friends, not necessarily from their own species, forever. In fact, whales literally have BFFs!
2. In a lifetime, you make 396 friends, but only 1 out of 12 friendships lasts.
3. Not having any friends can be dangerous to your health.
Lonely people listen up! Having zero friends is as bad for your health as smoking or being overweight.
4. A 2004 study published in the American Sociological Review said that the average number of trusted friends fell by a third in the past 20 years. Instead, in the same duration, the proportion of people with no confidantes had doubled.
5. It’s the friendship aspect in a marriage that makes it last.
According to John Gottman, successful marriages are based a great deal on deep friendship. Mutual respect for each other’s company plus a good knowledge of each other’s quirks, likes and dislikes, is good for the marriage. Spouses who are friends try harder to make repair attempts during a spat.
6. When faced with major illness, individuals with a good social network are in a better position to survive.
According to a 10-year study by the Centre for Ageing at Flinders University, a strong network of friends is more important than close family relatives for a prolonging life. People aged over 70, but having an extensive network, tended to live 22% longer than those with less extensive networks.
7. Your brain reacts the same way when you are in danger and when a friend is.
It’s true, friends and friendships make us more empathetic.
8. It is scientifically proven that the company of good friends reduces stress in life.
9. Close friends share about 1% of their DNA
We often wish that our BFFs were our siblings. Well, it’s somewhat true. A recent study suggests that close friends share about one percent of their DNA, making them as close genetically as fourth cousins. Researchers at Yale University and University of California, San Diego, took data from 2,000 people and found that the chemistry that draws friends together might stem from shared DNA. In fact, this could help explain the evolution of friendship.
10. Your close friends influence your weight.
Believe it or not, if your best friend eats a healthy diet you are likely to do the same. If she’s a junk food eater, then you better make her see sense!.
11. Our best friends are pretty much like us.
It’s right for most cases – you and your friend share the same social identity for your other friends and social circle.
12. Friendship is even stronger when you know what irritates your friend.
Did you know that knowing what irritates a friend can make your relationship more stable? Dr. Charity Friesen called this the ‘if-then’ profile. She believes that knowing a friend’s reactions when faced with different situations is as important as knowing their tastes.
13. Friendship is the emotion babies recognise even before they start walking or talking.
Imagine the beauty of this emotion! According to a study conducted at the University of Chicago, even young babies can understand social relationships, especially friendship, before they can walk or talk. ‘Infants are able to watch strangers interact and then make inferences about whether those two people are likely to be friends,’ Amanda Woodward, the study’s co-author, told The Huffington Post.
Go ahead and share this with your friends right away!