What to Look for in Healthy Friendships

What should you look for in a good friend whose companionship will bring health and happiness to you instead of just raising your blood pressure? There are a few things you should ask yourself before befriending someone. First of all, make sure to choose a friend who has positive things to say to you. Every once in a while, a good friend may need to tell you something that might be tough to hear—“hard truths”—but these remarks should be very infrequent and you should generally walk away after spending time with them feeling better about yourself.

Also, look for friends who are living life in a responsible manner. Otherwise, the stress of their own lives due to their bad habits and poor decisions will surely stress you out. Nobody is perfect, but avoid befriending people who are making bad life decisions such as abusing drugs, having extramarital affairs, and engaging in criminal activity, for instance. Every once in a while, a good friend may make a bad decision; this doesn’t mean you should abandon the friendship, but help them instead. However, my best advice is that if you meet someone and find right off the bat that his life is out of control, it’s best to refer him to help and save your energy for friends who are overall positively contributing to society.

Having lots of friends can boost your immune system, help you survive longer after a heart attack, fight serious illnesses such as cancer, and increase your life span. With such positive advantages, you should make sure to increase your number of friends, but also keep in mind the importance of avoiding stressful, low-quality friendship and seeking out positive companionship.

Tina Turbin


Posted in Children's Author, Children's Health, Friends, moms, parenting, Research, women
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20 Responses to What to Look for in Healthy Friendships

  1. Geri Oakley says:

    Thanks Tina for sharing these amazing friendship guidelines with us! Boy, if only I had read this sooner, when I was much younger. I really chose some bad company!

  2. Lisa Benardi says:

    I think learning how to make good friends (and how to choose a good mate) is one of THE most important life skills a person can have!

  3. Georgette says:

    This is a terrific article to actually read to your kids! Boy, my daughter has befriended some pretty bad kids from time to time. It would save everyone a lot of headaches!

  4. Norma Barry says:

    It’s everything my mother told me, but unfortunately I never listened to her until I was much older!

  5. Tanya Gerar says:

    Thanks for these friendship articles. I am so focused on family (mostly my kids), that I hardly ever get to enjoy hanging out with my friends, and really I don’t have that many who live in the same city as me anymore. You have inspired me to build up a bigger base of friends.

  6. Vanessa says:

    Such great tips to give to kids, too. They get so excited sometimes to have someone to play with and they end up getting mixed up with some bullies and some really dark characters.

  7. Maryanne says:

    I think you’re much more likely to make good friends when you’re doing positive things like volunteering or participating in a book group. This isn’t always true, but it’s better than meeting people at parties or nightclubs!

  8. Rachel says:

    It’s good to know how important friendship is, especially when you don’t have much family. I come from a pretty small family and we’re all pretty estranged, but luckily I have some great friends and a wonderful husband to keep me healthy!

  9. Sarah Babington says:

    Ha ha this gave me a good chuckle because I know that in the past I have had some TERRIBLE friends! I could tell you some stories, but they would be quite a bummer to read. I just really want to stress that if you don’t search for the best qualities in a friend, you could be setting yourself up for some serious stress!

  10. Becky Lombracker says:

    I have been very blessed to have been born with a twin sister who has all of the most positive qualities to hope for in your ideal friend! If you don’t have someone in your life who fits this description, you should find him/her quick!

  11. Sarah Ann says:

    A great compilation of good attributes!

  12. Marion Feeney says:

    This is such a valuable piece here. I know that friendship can increase longevity, but it’s got to be the good kind of friendship, otherwise it just sucks the life out of you!

  13. Janine Perdue says:

    I really admire someone who makes me want to be a better person! THIS is a perfect friend to have!

  14. Nadia says:

    I really agree that this is very important for kids to learn the value of good friends and also how to BE a good friend yourself.

  15. Dana says:

    This is such great advice, I can’t even believe it. Thank you thank you thank you! I have just “befriended” a new woman who is a nice person, but her whole life is an absolutely mess. I would like to help her, but I don’t think it would be right to make her a friend of mine.

  16. Delia says:

    I am just loving these friendship pieces–such a great message for my girls!

  17. Chase (6 years old) says:

    Chase says: “Hello, Danny and Ms. Turbin. We love you very much. Thank you for giving us good stories of Danny the Dragon.”

    :)Tanya Chappell

  18. Daniella says:

    Here’s a wacky idea…what if hanging around other people boosts your immune system as well because you get exposed to their bacteria and build up immunity to them. Just a thought…I don’t really have a background in science but I find it very interesting.

  19. Lori says:

    A great blog-thank you thank you thank you!

  20. Madison says:

    @Nadia I totally agree with you. I think the better of a friend you are the better the whole friendship will be, but of course if you’re a good friend to someone who isn’t worthy of your friendship, I think you’re wasting your time ultimately.

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