On this ‘world mental health day,’ I found myself thinking about friends. Due to the COVID pandemic, I have not physically met them for so long! Thanks to modern technology, we are able to stay in touch. How about you? Are friends a priority for you? Do you make time for them? To whom are you a good friend? With whom are you able to let your hair down?

Friends are the family we acquire during our life. They are the tribe with whom we share great conversations, joys, sorrows, and important events in our lives. The mutual affection, trust, and respect make us invested in each other and helps us grow as individuals.

I recently came across Jim Rohn’s quotation – “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It made me think about the people I have in my inner circle. My reflections brought to mind my friends the most may be because of the amount of time we spend together. So far, I had only categorized them as those who are like me and those who are my alter egos. With the former, I enjoy shared interests, and with the latter, I do things, which are not my natural tendencies. I feel I have the best of both worlds, i.e., the comfort and warmth of the familiar and exploration and adventure of the unfamiliar. But Jim made me think deeper and delve into the various roles that my friends play in my life. 

–       They support me and cheer for me

–       Listen to me

–       Add humor and excitement to my life

–       Offer a different perspective

–       Motivate me

–       Connect me to others

–       Introduce me to new experiences

–       Challenge me to question my assumptions and actions

–       Share their wisdom with me

–       Inspire me to try new things/take risks

Above all, they accept me as I am. Sometimes, I feel they know me better than I know myself. I am lucky to have known some friends for so long that I do not remember the world as it was without them.