Sometime ago this caption would have been so straight-forward I wouldn’t even need to explain myself. “‘Friends with benefits’? Does he provide her with study materials or just help her with her bags after work?” But thanks to a pervasively fast rotting world, I have to explain. I am actually talking about real friends who come with actual non-sexual benefits. So now that I have cleared the air I will now proceed to talk about friendship.
Back in primary school, making new friends seemed so easy. All you needed was a few ‘can i use your sharpener?’ moments and maybe a couple laughs on the playground, and an unbreakable bond would be forged. For many people, cultivating friendships simply falls to the bottom of our list. We have school, hectic jobs, pressing responsibilities and life goals. And if you throw in our mothers’ advice “It’s because of friendship that the crab lost its head”, the need for friends drops way down ( Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”). However, friendship offers some great benefits that we never thought of, no matter how bad or good it is.
Focusing generally on friendship, what is often left out of the loop is the kindred spirit type — friendships. This kind of alliance is beyond network building, or knowing people in your industry. Kindred has the word “kin” in it, so it’s about deep and significant bonds with elasticity. It’s about finding a group of friends who share your passions, understand your profession, and can relate to you on multiple levels. In essence, they are your personal board of advisers.
A friends-with-benefits relationship (the non-sexual kind) is the ultimate “man-friendly relationship.But let’s face it finding these types of friends isn’t always easy. It is just like spending hours to pound fufu. It is very challenging yet, it’s worth the challenge. If you have trouble joining others you can start your own group of kindred spirits. If you’re a social butterfly like I am double up for networking event which intersect with your interests. It is always a great place to meet new people you had no idea shared your ideas. The effect is mentally stimulating.
Friendship is an excellent prescription for all kinds of physical and emotional pain. It increases your sense of belonging and purpose, boosts your happiness with hearty conversations and prolonged hours of laughter. It reduces stress, improves your self-worth, help you cope with traumas, such as serious illness, the death of a loved one, job loss or even when you fail a test. Friendship provides the loneliness antidote, or even a sounding board (my personal favorite) on which you can rant about practically anything and everything . Diseases become less deadly with friendship that’s basically because your friends become that disease you’ll be fighting all your life just that they can’t kill you (need I say, I’m plagued at the moment ).
As you’re making these friends you should take the next step to know some good business colleagues and school buddies. How many potential kindred spirits do we see every day at work and school, but they remain friends at a distance? Break down barriers by inviting colleagues to your home for dinner, or to lunch with mutual friends, to see a movie or to hear a speaker they might enjoy. Keep a running call list or at least make use of the social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp to stay in touch. As someone crosses your mind, write them down — then follow-up whenever you have time.
You’ll have the longest friend with benefit lifespans with people you share common interests and passions with, because, at least at the outset, your goals and their goals are aligned. However, remember the words of Proverbs 13:20 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Seek true friendship with an open heart and don’t focus much on the benefits you can derive because, the best gifts in life do not come wrapped as presents.