As if those findings aren’t enough to highlight the importance of friendships,
research further finds that adults who develop strong friendships have a lower risk of health problems, including depression, high blood pressure, and obesity. Studies have even found that older adults who maintain healthy relationships with others are more likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.
While friends certainly provide many benefits, your relationship can’t be a one-way street. So if you want friends to help you during the bad times, then you need to make and keep friends during the good times.
A good way to think about how well you are currently nurturing your relationships with your friends is to use the metaphor of the “emotional bank account” (EBA for short). To begin, think of just one friend in particular. Now go back over the past several months and try to answer this question: “How many deposits have I made in my EBA with that person?”
If you can say that you’ve been making regular deposits, then you’re doing what you need to do. But if you haven’t been making many deposits recently, or worse, if you’ve made a number of withdrawals (in the form of selfishness or insensitivity), then you probably have some work to do.