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Life is good, still feeling out of place? Examine the people around you!

Having friends is a privilege. Even if you have 2 people in your inner circle or 20. But is making and keeping friends, keeping that bond constant as easy as it looks? Is not having friends or not being able to make them bad? No. Do the people you have around you affect you in any way? Of course they do. The humans you are surrounded with influence your life and your behaviour towards it.

Are there several questions hovering over your mind? Have you been seeking clarity for long and the DIY method does not seem good enough? Well, without letting further thoughts collide in your mind, book a session with a certified online counselor and go for the sessions that will not make you feel lonely at heart and thoughts of emptiness will not engulf you.

“Your friends are a reflection of you.” “You become like the people you surround yourself with.” “If you want to know a person, see whom they surround themselves with.” I must’ve heard this a thousand times before realizing how true it is. Today, people say that I’m an honest and generous person (no really, people have said this) and I don’t believe it (trying to be modest and all) but after having a little clarity, I understand why they think of me in that way. I am the person I am because of the people I let myself be surrounded with. I have absorbed their qualities (good and bad, it’s always a mixed bag) and added to what I was; I have grown into this woman because of my friends and family.

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival" -C.S. Lewis

Humans are supposed to keep fighting for survival. It is the way we were made. Giving value to this survival? Sometimes friendship does sound like a great concept, but is it always that easy? Making friends is easier than keeping them. It takes effort. A lot of thought and energy goes into maintaining this relationship and balancing it along with the others in your quotidian life. Friendship can be a lot of things. It can also be many different things to different people. But one thing in common with all friendships is that it has a direct effect on your mental health. One’s mental well-being is affected by the give and take of emotions, and friendships are an investment of many feelings & trust. Close bonds with fellow humans are often linked to a greater sense of happiness, purpose, and higher self-esteem. I think if we know someone loves us, we get direct validation and love ourselves a little more. It is weird, and often sad for us as people, but most minds are wired that way. Some people don’t need that. For reasons like trust issues and introversion and other psychological or personal reasons, people prefer being on their own which has its own set of pros and cons.

Humans were made to be social creatures. The acceptance we get from other people increases our self-worth. That human contact, that connection elevates our mood, keeps us physically healthy, and leads to a longer life. Friends give us a feeling of belonging. They help to reduce the negative feelings in our chests, feelings like unworthiness, hopelessness, and tension. They stimulate our minds. Friendships are extremely complicated and simple at the same time because when you’re in it, you don’t realize how much you give or receive, but eventually and slowly you see the difference. This becomes a need, a need for people across all age groups. As we grow up, we tend to realize the difference between friendship and real friendship. We also get involved in other aspects of adulthood. Our future, the life we start building, the busy 9-5 job, looking for grooms because of that family pressure, the extreme swiping left on bumble, finding flats, realizing that it’s been days since you spoke to your parents or even months since you had your favorite chocolate….all the natural and necessary things that happen. We get caught up, compromise our social lives for the things society has deemed mandatory. We forget people, places and start living in that nostalgia of being able to do those same things with the same set of friends. All your friends become work friends or acquaintances. Ah, the simple joy of friendship gets lost once we grow up! We prioritize everything else, keeping the need for this type of companionship aside. As busy as life gets, as tired as you are of taking out time for people you assume don’t feel the same about your bond, as much as you prioritize other things in life. Friends are important at any age!

Okay, now we know the good parts. But what about the gloom-ridden faces of this ship? The impact of befriending the wrong person, or the right person for wrong reasons? The drained energy? The trust issues developed due to the 10th friend betraying you (a great way of misusing second chances!) or the troubles you get into because of that peer pressure? Again, it is complicated and simple at the same time. Sometimes friends just click, they just happen to fit together like missing pieces of a puzzle. The keyword here is ‘sometimes’.

Every individual is different and has a different checklist regarding their mental health. For some, friends have proven to be their strength and for others, a weakness. Introverts require more alone time, they like being with only a certain number of people. Extroverts want more attention, they want their minds to be constantly stimulated and they like going out, making friends, talking to new people. (which is also not easy at all) If wrongly pushed, people try to be extroverted, which leads to them being over-stimulated and often develops anxiety in them. In the end, all we need is to do what makes us happy, be with people who make us happy. It is okay to be with too many people. It is okay to cherish your own company. Remember, it is okay.

There is no set formula except a certain way of perceiving things that makes you a social animal. The framework of every friendship is very delicate and there are several layers that are shed when you move through the different stages of your life. Life shapes up in many ways that you would not have thought in the first place. There are things that happen no matter how much you worry and you fail to take control of situations. It is easy to play the blame game or carry out the burden of guilt on your feeble shoulders, but you should always have a transparent and unbiased way of looking at things.

Everybody has their own way of dealing with things. If you are looking for social approval or seeking approval for assessing your amiability score, then you are questioning your self-worth. So in order to have a clear understanding of things and a proper self-assessment, rely on a certified counselor to move things in the right direction. Go for an individual counseling session online to feel the pulse of your present life.

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