Why is having friends so important?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Good friends can be more important to talk to than doctors. In this video, Dr. Oz explains to his slumber party audience why talking to their girlfriends is so good for their lives.

Friendship and intimacy are needed for mental and emotional well-being as we age. Studies have shown that those with poor relationship skills have

  • more isolation depression
  • weakness or debility and
  • increased rates of illness in old age

 On the other hand, folks who get more involved in supportive and meaningful relationships have

  • better health
  • more social capital and
  • positive sense of well-being even if they are physically frail and elderly 

Quality of our friendships has more positive impact on health than quantity. The quality of our relationships really does have an impact on our life choices, our behavior, and ultimately, our emotional health. Too much isolation with poor social intimacy can lead to anxiety or a reduced ability to trust others - which are common factors among those who have committed destructive acts like suicide or bullying. Having loads of loose friendships or acquaintances physically present is not enough to satisfy us either. If we don’t feel a sense of secure intimacy and emotional attachment in any of our relationships we suffer greatly no matter how many people we surround ourselves with. Building a balance of both loose and closely related friendships seems to help us meet our overall health needs a lot better than having either extremes. If you want to live your best life, be sure to seek out and nurture diverse high quality friendships that encourage, support, and spur you on.

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Why Is Having Friends So Important?
Why Is Having Friends So Important?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.