Social interaction forms the root of our community. Think about it for a second: how many people do you need to talk to during the day. Some of the interactions are compulsory. You might not necessarily like the person or you might even dread speaking with them, but you must. Then there are the select few that you look forward to speaking with. It might be a person you like or some store clerk that always makes you laugh at their silly comments. It all forms part of how we communicate.

In spite of all the many different people we talk with, only a select few become our friends. We have friends for many reasons. Some reasons may include aspects like stress management, emotional support or shared interests. No matter the reason it remains important to have friends to share your life experience with. Intimate friends aren’t the only friends you have. An acquaintance can also fulfil this role on some level. This could be a gym partner or the person you meet in the coffee shop queue. You aren’t intimate friends but yet you look forward to the interaction.

Either way you are socially stimulated. This makes you feel good and helps you maintain balance in your life. Friendship helps us grow, form new habits and build confidence. What no one tells you is that your friends will change as you develop and grow. Some of my childhood friends I don’t even have contact with anymore and yet I thought that we would stay friends forever. Why does this happen to us? As we grow older our priorities change in line with the lifestyle we chose. We then develop in a distinctly different direction. During this development we form a new image of what we would like to become and who we see ourselves becoming in future. Our friends go through similar development.

If you and your friends go through similar development in the same field or direction then the likelihood of you remaining friends are strong. With the opposite being true if you develop in different directions. Then there are certain levels of development that also influence your friendship. At some point during the mental development a person becomes satisfied with what they have achieved and could aim to maintain the level of satisfaction they have reached. An average example being a person with a stable income, white picket fence and a lovely family life. This person practices a hobby and doesn’t want to learn anything outside of their comfort zone. Their friend on the other hand might have developed in the same way but still feels the urge to achieve more and learn what lies beyond their idea of a “normal” life.

Where this friendship would normally be great, the one starts becoming a threat to the others stability and the friends then drift apart. Even after drifting apart the friends still miss each other because of the social stimulation they got from that friend. They then end up looking for new friends only to replace them with someone similar that they don’t really know that well. Here is where friends need to work on their friendship, is stead of just giving up or throwing in the towel. Just a bit of communication could clear things up easily. In this case the friends need to stop being ‘pig headed’ and give each other a chance. If only they talked…

The final aspect is mental maturity vs knowledge. Despite your best attempts at being a recluse, you will need to have quite a few friends. If you do not get social stimulation on your vast scape of knowledge and level off mental maturity then you become depressed. This can have a negative impact on your health and lifestyle. The little social relationships you have can start falling apart. You could develop a false sense of being “better than the rest.” There is no such thing, trust me on this. Every person on this planet has something to offer, they might not all be intellectual geniuses but each contributes on their own level.
 
If you have any trouble along these lines I urge you to consult a psychologist. Seeing a “mind doctor” should be common practice in the times we live in. That is a fact.
Look out for your friends and your friends will look out for you.

If you need to talk to someone confidentially and don’t want to go to a psychologist just remember that my door I open, just reach out to me. I might not always look the part but I know a thing or two on the less travelled road. I have been on it most of my life…

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