I Don’t Have Friends, I Have Associates

Edline Francois

Staff Writer, Eissey Campus

 

Nowadays, it is difficult to identify a friend. Some of us have developed different “levels’ of friendships, while others have a small group of people they call friends.

“[I would define a friend as] someone who is loyal, loving has your back no matter what and non-judgmental,” said sophomore Jalyn Howard.

    According to a recent study, 50 percent of people desired friendships rather than a large group of friends. On a psychological note, having a deeper friendships completes one’s social needs according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Although people desire a more intimate friendship, they tend to guard their hearts for protection. In other words, they protect themselves to the point where they will not let anyone in. This is completely understandable and can be a great psychological defense mechanism. However, an individual cannot obtain a deep relationship if the individual is keeping everyone at arm’s length.

    Dawan Hetzler is a speaker women’s mentor and author of “Walls of a Warrior: Conquering the Fears of Our Hearts”, has founded three ways to counteract the unhealthy walls that we build.

First, Hetzler explained, you have to know the walls you have built. Whatever made you build a wall, identify the source and you will be able to resolve the problem.

Second, Hetzler noted, you can sometimes build walls to protect yourself from yourselves. To illustrate this point, Hetzler said this individual takes on a lot of tasks so he or she will not be asked to do another person a favor.

Lastly, Hetzler suggested that you should surround yourself with inspirational words. “My favorite quote is from Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., [it exemplifies that] it is so easy to be part of a group but it is not easy to stand alone”, said sophomore Shandra Griffin.

    All in all, strong friendships contribute to our levels of contentment. A new study found that 49 percent of people who have seven or more close friends were very happy most of the time.

Remember that relationships are a critical aspect to human development. In a sense, a majority of those vital connections will happen in college. So let your guard down enough to build a strong friendship that will last a lifetime.