We’re told that we can’t choose our family. But a study shows that the friends we choose to be around can have greater benefits for us than family. In two studies, Michigan State University scholar William Chopik looked at 280,000 people and their friendships. He found that friendships are super important to our health and well-being.
Friends make us happy across our lifespan
It’s all about the choice
But Chopik stressed it’s not just casual acquaintances that make the shift in closeness possible. It’s the real, stick-around-for-ever, Harry/Ron/Hermione friends.
When friends were involved in time of hardship, like illness, the participants were rated with higher happiness levels. Chopik says that friends have a larger impact than family because of the choice. Family can bring us happiness, but the people we choose to have around us tend to be a better support network as we get older.
Science is backing up how awesome our friends are, and it’s 100% awesome. We love our BFFs regardless, but it’s nice to know that keeping our besties around is good for our long-term health.