Hug your BFF right now. Go on, we'll wait.
This isn't just my opinion. A whole stack of studies by social scientists have demonstrated all sorts of ways that our friends seem to make us better people: more upbeat, more resilient, more helpful, and more successful. Here are nine examples.
1. You're happier because of your friends.
In a study by a Nobel Prize winning social scientist, more than 900 adults described the people they were with the day before, and how they felt when they were with them. Participants were most likely to feel happy, and least likely to experience negative emotions, when they were with their friends.
The time they spent with their spouse or romantic partner, their children, other relatives, clients or customers, co-workers, or their boss was just not as enjoyable as the time they spent with their friends.
2. You'll have more success in life from close friendships in your past.
Want to know whether you're going to be successful at work by the time you're 30? What matters is whether you were good at friendship when you were 20. If you had a close, confiding friendship around the age of 20, you're more likely to be a success at work 10 years later.
What if you had a good and lasting romantic relationship when you were 20? Doesn't matter. That has nothing to do with how well you will do at work when you are 30.
3. You're less anxious when you have your friends to count on.
Are you anxious in certain social situations? Call on your friends. You will feel less nervous in those difficult situations if your friend is right there next to you. You will also have fewer of those negative thoughts running through your head.
4. You can tackle physical challenges easily.
Are you facing a physical challenge, such as climbing a steep hill? Do it with a friend. When you're standing there looking at that hill with your friend by your side, it will actually look less steep to you than when you're standing there alone.
5. You won't be nervous about male competitors.
Guys, do you want to feel less intimidated by other men you see as potential competitors? You, too, should spend time with your friends. If you're with one of your male friends, other men will seem smaller and weaker than when you're alone.
6. Your friends bring out your inner-modesty.
Do you like yourself better when you're modest than when you're telling other people how great you are? Friends bring out the best in us in that way, too. We're more modest with our friends and more likely to be full of ourselves when we're with people we hardly know.
7. You're more helpful.
Do you wish you were more helpful to other people? For that, you don't even need to be with a friend. If you're just thinking about a good friend, you're more likely to help a stranger than if you're thinking about someone who isn't that important to you, such as a coworker who isn't also a friend.
8. You enjoy that sense of seeing the world the same way.
That happens with our friends. For example, pairs of female friends read other people more similarly than pairs of strangers do. Even without consulting with each other, two women who are friends will interpret another person's facial expressions in much the same way.
9. You can read people and detect lies.
Do you want to know how other people really are feeling, even when they aren't forthcoming? As the two of you become closer, you get better at detecting each other's lies.