AMAZING Like Niagara Falls

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friendship - A Life or Death Choice ? Part I

Questions that Require Answers
Does having friends make you live longer? Did you choose your friends? Or did they choose you? Was it circumstantial or was it a deliberated, calculated plan on your part or theirs?

In this fascinating investigation of friendship which includes the results of studies done in the late 1990's, this series about friendship will show the difference of the friendship of men versus women and the impact it had on their health and mortality. Studies are still ongoing with regards to friendship and the latest is one conducted by scientist in regard to online friendships and their field of investigation is none other than Face Book, one of the largest social network sites which is like a free group of online subjects.

One particular area of friendship, I will be touching on is the area of friendship of health professional and their clients. I know there are many health professionals who are finding online and phone therapies cloud the boundaries between a therapeutic friendship and a non-therapeutic one. What if someone is already a good friend and wants to be your client. Usually, if it is a chronic condition, I've declined and referred them elsewhere. What if your satisfied client decides to become your friend? In Part 2 of this investigation, I will address that.

Friendship among Women

Researchers in a UCLA study, found that when oxytocin which is released as part of the stress responses in a woman buffers her fight and flight responses and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women which in turn produces a calming effect  This is opposite to men producing testosterone in high levels when they are stressed. Later it was noted that when women were stressed during the research, they came in to the lab, had coffee and bonded, while the men stayed each by himself.    (Taylor, Klein,Lewis,Gurung &Gruenewald2002)

Another study showed that people who had no friends increased their risk of death over a 6 month period. The Nurses Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged and lived happy lives.
Please feel free to send me your comments and I might include it in my next post in early March.
Now I'll go and put a thread on the discussions on my social network online and see what my online friends have to say! Hope you will ponder on this quote.

"Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success."
- Oscar Wilde 

PC Nicholas


nothingprofound said...

I think women offer far more warmth and sympathy to each other in friendship than men do. Being able to truly and freely share one's feelings is an essential part of one's health and happiness as a human being. People who lack this sharing in their lives are more likely to keep things bottled up inside which is a distinct danger to their physical health.

Marc said...

In my instance, my friends chose me. We were acquaintances and over time we grew closer until the point that we are all roommates. It is awesome to have people that you can turn to who won't judge you no matter what you tell them. A lot of the stresses of life that would normally bring me down I no longer have because I am able to talk through any situation with them. It is a great feeling.

Agapelife said...

Yes Marc, it's awesome indeed to see this friendship in the male gender as it is usually the females that bond easily, and as you state friendship has a positive impact on stresses. Thanks for sharing your input.

Agapelife said...

@NP - Guess that is why women outlive men, but I think some men have caught on to their secret.

SprigBlossoms said...

You have raised some terrific points regarding friendships....choosing friends for me is a mutual decision....we choose each other....a good friend definitely has positive effect on your mental well-being that can translate to physical well-being, too....I also like the fact that you talk about professional friendships....I have made some unlikely friendships just being working will be interesting to read your subsequent thoughts on this : )

Agapelife said...

Thank you Sprigblossoms. Yes the following post might be a little controversial for some! google8ce165c91c11d10e.html