A group of close friends in youth ensures a happy adult life

The friends they are that family with whom, although they do not share surnames, they feel very close. That group with which one laughs, enjoys life and finds support in the most difficult moments. The human being is social by nature and therefore requires the relationship with other individuals to achieve full development. And if there was a lack of data to confirm it, University of Virginia offers another example of this.

As shown in the study published in the journal Child Development keep a group of friends strong in youth, ensures a happier adult life. Researchers have found a relationship between mental health and the quality of these relationships with other individuals around adolescents.

Quality and not quality

The researchers gathered data on 169 adolescents and young people. The lives of these participants were followed closely for 10 years, from 15 to 25 years. The objective was to check to what extent his group of friends it influenced his mental development and his mood for the future. For this, all these individuals had to answer a questionnaire about their friends and their feelings on a personal level.

The researchers found that some of the friendships were of high quality, which meant that these groups were very close to each other. These people tended to provide mutual support and did not hide secrets that could harm these relationships. Those adolescents who had these interactions at 15 years old presented less social anxiety, more self-esteem and they seemed to have fewer symptoms of depression at 25 than the other volunteers in the study.

"High school students with friends of one quality Higher tends to improve in several aspects of mental health over time, while adolescents who were popular among their high school peers may be more prone to social anxiety later in life, "the researchers explain in a note of the press

On the other hand, one of the authors of the study, Joseph AllenHe explains it in the following way: "It can not replace the formation of deep and supportive friendships with a group of many people, and those experiences continue with one, regardless of what happens next. Increasingly forming a social network of superficial friends, focusing time and attention on cultivating close connections with fewer individuals should be a priority. "

Keep friends

Given the importance of friends in the development of adolescents, it is worth asking how to maintain them. The key is patience and empathy. These are some tips to strengthen this group over time:

1. A call never hurts. Do not wait for the phone to ring, dare to call them and suggest plans. A proactive mentality is very helpful to take care of friendships.

2. Always attentive. As we have said, a friend supposes a strong emotional support. For this reason, we must also be so for the members of this group, if we notice that a partner has problems, it is important to let him know that we are there.

3. Patience. Nobody is perfect and as with our partner, if we accept a person as a friend we do it understanding that it has virtues and defects. Do not get upset if at some point you do something that bothers you, sure a thousand more you like.

4. Generosity and understanding. You do not always have to make the plans that you like. If at any time the group opts for an activity that does not convince you, adapt and find reasons to have fun despite everything. Next time it will be up to you to choose.

5. Confidentiality. Being an emotional support, it is not surprising that a friend becomes a bank where the other person deposits the secrets. However, no one likes to reveal their intimacies, so respect the decision to keep this out of reach of other ears.

Damián Montero

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