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1. Encouragement and Support. Friends are especially important during times of crisis and turbulence. If you find yourself going through a hard time, having a friend to help you through can make the transition easier.
2. Self-Esteem. Having friends you can rely on can help to boost your self-esteem. On the other hand, a lack of friends can leave you feeling lonely and without support, which makes you vulnerable for other problems such as depression and substance abuse. Having at least one person you can rely on will help to build your confidence.
3. Keeping You Active. If you spend a solitary life, it is much easier to be reticent about participating in regular activities such as sports, clubs, and hobbies. On the other hand, if you have at least one friend, you will be more likely to get out and start doing things. That friend may also suggest activities that you would not have considered on your own—thus, pushing you outside your comfort zone to challenge your anxiety.
4. Positive Influence. In addition to negative peer pressure, friends can also provide a positive influence. If you make friends with people who are generous with their time, help others, ambitious, or family-oriented, you are more likely to develop those values yourself. Having positive relationships with these types of people will also improve your social functioning in general.