National Best Friends Day
Today, 8 June, is National Best Friends Day, a day to honour that one special person you call your best friend. ‘This day is a time to show them how much you appreciate them, how special and important they are to you and how you cherish their friendship,’ according to the National Day Calendar.
If you want to live a happy life, you cannot do it alone. Numerous studies show that relationships with other people are necessary to be happy. American psychologist Zach Brittle mentions five groups of people that everyone needs: family and neighbours, the book club, the band, and the best friend. Tom Mom, Associate Professor at Erasmus University adds to this classification the ‘professional friend’. And then there are the close friends.
The book club: The people you talk with about important things, whom you ask questions and evaluate life with. Needless to say, this does not have to be a real book club; it can also be a dining club, a forum of people with similar interests, or a walking club. They help you to better understand the world around you.
The band: Just as the book club doesn’t have to read, the band doesn’t have to make music. Nor is the band there to discuss the meaning of life. Whether it’s the yoga class, the tennis club, or old study friends, the band is mainly about having a good time together. It’s the people that let you forget about your daily worries.
The best friend(s): Everyone needs a best friend. Someone who’s always on your side, who listens without judging, who knows you truly and gives advice if you ask for it. Someone who can tell you things you do not want to hear from anyone else and whom you trust deeply. This best friend can be that long-term school friend, but also your mother, brother, or a colleague whom you share your inner thoughts with.
Professional friends: Tom Mom is an Associate Professor of Strategic Entrepreneurship at Erasmus University. In 2015 he published his research on professional friendships. He describes professional friendships as ‘relational capital’. Some companies still do not like their employees spending time developing high-quality relationships, friendships at work. But as Mom explains: ‘It’s much easier to ask a colleague who’s also a friend to sit down with you and take 15 minutes out of their day to explain something new to you.’ [Read the interview wit Mom here]
Close friends: Several studies show that there’s one strong predictor of friendship: proximity. Even in the digital age we still build friendships on personal interactions, with people who are in close proximity. Your closest friends will be those you meet on campus, while waiting for the tram that doesn’t come or the new library.
Who are your best friends? Tag them here and show them how important they are to you!