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Good friends make world better place

Since , the WVS has interviewed representative national samples of several different countries all around the world. For the current study, data from waves 1 to 5 of the WVS were aggregated, and 99 different countries are represented in the current report see Figure 1 for country coverage.

Each decade of life was well represented e. Ratings of friendship importance from 99 countries. Hofstede et al. Power Distance PDI measures the degree to which a culture is accepting of inequality. Long-Term Orientation LTO assesses the outlook of a culture; countries with a long-term orientation place more importance on the future.

Country-level scores on all of the dimensions were available for 57 countries in the current analyses and for a total of 83 and 85 countries for long-term orientation and indulgence vs. Friendship Importance Participants were asked to indicate how important friends were in their lives on a scale ranging from 1 very important to 4 not at all important. Scores were recoded such that higher values reflected more importance placed on friendships. Worth noting, participants were asked about relational values only in waves 2—5.

Responses were reverse-scored so that higher values reflected better self-rated health. Numerous studies have shown that self-rated health measures are strong predictors of mortality Idler and Benyamini, ; Schnittker and Bacak, Responses were reverse scored so that higher values reflected more happiness.

The country-level standing on friendship importance can be seen in Figure 1. Results from this multilevel model are presented in Table 1. Older adults valued friendship less compared to younger adults. Women, people with higher levels of education, and people from countries low in inequality and high in indulgence placed higher importance on friendship in their lives.

Multilevel models predicting friendship values. All continuous individual and country-level variables were grand-mean centered for these analyses. Results from these multilevel models are presented in Table 2 for health , Table 3 for happiness , and Table 4 for subjective well-being.

Multilevel models predicting health. Multilevel models predicting happiness. Multilevel models predicting subjective well-being. Health Valuing friendship was associated with better health across cultures see Table 2. People reported worse health if they were older, women, less educated, and from countries lower in GDP, lower in indulgence, and higher in uncertainty avoidance.

There were many instances in which the link between valuing friendship and health was moderated by individual- or country-level variables. Specifically, there were significant two-way interactions between friendship importance and age, gender, education, power distance, individualism, masculinity, and long-term orientation. Friendship importance was more strongly related to health among older adults, women, people with less education, and people from countries higher in power distance, individualism, femininity, and long-term orientation.

Analyses decomposing the effect of friendship importance at 1 SD above and below the mean of a moderator. Happiness Valuing friendship was associated with greater happiness across cultures see Table 3. People reported lower happiness if they were older, male, less educated, and from countries lower in GDP, higher in individualism, higher in uncertainty avoidance, more restrained, and higher in long-term orientation.

There were many instances in which the effects of friendship importance on happiness were moderated by individual- or country-level variables. Specifically, there were significant two-way interactions between friendship importance and age, gender, education, power distance, and individualism.

Friendship importance was more strongly related to happiness among older adults, women, people with less education, and people from countries higher in power distance and individualism. Subjective Well-Being Valuing friendship was associated with higher levels of subjective well-being across cultures see Table 4.

People reported lower subjective well-being if they were younger, male, less educated, and from countries lower in GDP, higher in inequality, higher in power distance, higher in individualism, higher in uncertainty avoidance, and higher in long-term orientation. There were many instances in which the effects of friendship importance on subjective well-being were moderated by individual- or country-level variables.

Specifically, there were significant two-way interactions between friendship importance and age, gender, education, inequality, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation, and indulgence. Friendship importance was more strongly related to subjective well-being among older adults, women, people with less education, and people from countries higher in inequality, individualism, uncertainty, in long-term orientation, and restraint.

By analyzing data from the WVS, we captured a considerable number of individuals from a considerable number of countries from all around the world. The current report is the most comprehensive examination to date of how cultural factors affect the importance people place on friendships and how they benefit from them. Older adults, women, people with higher levels of education, and people living in countries high in indulgence and lower income inequality placed a higher value on friendship.

Several country-level factors—GDP, power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation—did not predict how much value people placed on friendship. Similar to previous work, placing importance on friendships was strongly associated with better health, greater happiness, and higher levels of subjective well-being.

Several individual- and country-level factors interacted with friendship importance to predict each outcome. Across all the outcomes, friendship importance was more strongly related to health and happiness among older adults, women, people with lower levels of education, and people living in individualistic cultures. A few additional moderators were also present, suggesting greater effects of friendship importance on the outcomes in countries higher in power distance, femininity, uncertainty, restraint, and long-term orientation.

However, these moderation effects were not as consistent across the outcomes. Although we took a largely exploratory approach in the current study, our findings have the potential to create a great deal of discussion and future research about how friendships, and social relationships more generally, vary across cultures.

Naturally, our findings have many implications for theories in social and relationship sciences, including those that make hypotheses about the formation and maintenance of relationships Rusbult, , how the self varies across contexts—and the social implications of this variation Kitayama et al. In the current study, we provided important, basic descriptive information about how much—and some specific ways in which—cultures vary in the importance they place on friendships.

As a result, researchers can begin to create more formalized models for why friendships are influential for health and well-being and the conditions under which these associations can be maximized Hartup and Stevens, ; Sandstrom and Dunn, In the sections below, we provide a summary of our results, intentionally link the results to extant theory and research, and highlight the many remaining unknowns for how friendships—and the degree to which people value them—vary across cultures.

We found that several individual- and country-level factors were significantly associated with variation in friendship importance. Some of these factors also interacted with valuing friendships to predict health and well-being. Below, we focus on discussing the factors with significant interactions. Individual-Level Factors Across cultures, women experienced greater well-being benefits when they rated friendships as important.

This may be why women value friendships more and yield greater benefits for their mental and physical well-being. That older adults who valued friendships were happier suggests that placing high importance in social relationships can serve as a successful coping strategy that enhances well-being when encountering the adversity of older adulthood Keller and Wood, ; Dykstra, ; Hutchinson et al.

A great deal of work is dedicated to how older adults fulfill their need to connect with others, which is a critical factor for preventing loneliness at this age Charles, ; Masi et al. When older adults place low importance on friendship, they may be less likely to receive emotional and practical help from friends—leaving them exposed, with no buffers, to the negative emotions stemming from changes in their lives e. For younger adults, the contribution of friendship importance may not be as strong.

People who reported higher levels of education were happier, healthier, and reported higher levels of subjective well-being. However, people with lower levels of education benefited the most from placing a high importance on friendships.

In other words, friendship importance partially compensated for many negative consequences associated with lower levels of education. For instance, friend networks might provide additional social resources to people with lower levels of education, possibly narrowing the inequalities between them and highly educated individuals Adler and Newman, ; Mirowsky and Ross, Country-Level Factors Valuing friendships was more strongly related to subjective well-being among people living in countries high in income inequality.

Like the effects of education for individuals , it could be that friendships buffer against negative societal pressures and conditions of living in a highly unequal society. However, ultimately, it is unclear why economic-related variables like education and income inequality modulate the benefits of social relationships on health and well-being.

Future research can take a more holistic approach by examining the specific stressors that income inequality at the country-level causes for individuals and how friendship might ameliorate some of these stressors. In general, we found that individualism predicted lower happiness and subjective well-being. However, placing higher importance on friendship was associated with particularly better health and happiness in countries high in individualism.

Given that people from individualistic countries are more vulnerable to loneliness when they lack interactions with friends Lykes and Kemmelmeier, , it is not surprising that our study found a stronger association between friendship importance and health and well-being. The social arrangement of collectivistic cultures promotes interdependence and cherishes the well-being of the group over the individual , which may result in obtaining more benefits from kin networks.

In individualistic cultures, people might receive these benefits more from friendship networks. However, people in more individualistic countries tend to maintain high mobility within interpersonal relationships, value self-dependence, keep more personal space, and maintain weaker social ties Markus and Kitayama, ; Trafimow et al.

Consistent with previous research, we found that uncertainty was related to worse health, lower happiness, and lower subjective well-being Roll et al. However, friendship importance was more strongly related to subjective well-being in uncertain countries. Interestingly, people who value friendships were particularly healthy in countries with a long-term orientation.

It could be that people who value friendships are less affected by this long-term focus at the expense of immediate benefits for individuals. Finally, indulgence predicted higher levels of health, happiness, and subjective well-being. Further, valuing friendships was particularly important for well-being in countries where indulgence was low and restraints were higher. This aligns with previous research in which indulgence can be a strategy for upregulating positive emotions and reducing stress Livingstone and Srivastava, ; Petersen et al.

Friends are often a source of fun and pleasure, and among individuals who place importance on friends, they may yield more benefits in countries that are lower in indulgence. People living in countries higher in indulgence may not need to depend as closely on friendships to yield positive emotional benefits. Limitations and Future Directions The current study had many strengths, as it employed a large sample of people from several different to examine the roles of friendship and culture on health and well-being.

Nevertheless, there are limitations that should be addressed. This is especially the case for interactions between friendship importance and country-level factors, which tended to be the smallest in our study. Because this research was exploratory, it is possible that our large sample size resulted in some statistically significant—but not practically significant—findings.

However, given that friendship was and has been an important predictor of health and well-being, it was important to examine how the contribution of friendship varied across different cultural contexts. In effect size terms, the differences between cultures were relatively small, suggesting that friendship is beneficial across many cultures. A second limitation was the way we assessed the importance of friendship and our outcome variables.

More specifically, we used single-item indicators for most of our variables. Thus, we were only able to use a broad and crude indicator of friendship importance. Of course, knowing how much individuals think friendships are important is an informative measure—it likely gives some insight into how much they invest in the friendships in their lives.

Further, more specific or nuanced measures [e. Thus, a broader indicator of friendship investment with little ambiguity about its meaning may have been most appropriate for cross-cultural research. However, it would be important to have a multi-item indicator of friendship importance and directly compare it with other measures before making any conclusions.

Future research should take a broader approach to the study of friendship by examining different measures of friendship investment and quality. Related, the current study focused on a relatively narrow set of cultural indicators and did so in a largely exploratory fashion see Footnote 3 for additional details.

This approach also involved examining these cultural indicators at one static point in time. Worth noting, cultures and countries are not static entities and change considerably over time Varnum and Kitayama, ; Varnum and Grossmann, For example, there is a great deal of evidence suggesting global increases in and shifts toward greater individualism Grossmann and Varnum, ; Santos et al.

Indeed, the relative weighting of the importance of friends versus family has even been considered to be at least a partial reflection of individualism Santos et al. We did model year of data collection as a covariate in Footnote 5, but even these analyses fail to capture the dynamic nature of cultures, and using just one index of individualism i. Future research should more thoughtfully model how cultural characteristics—and their psychological and health consequences—change and evolve over historical time Chopik, Finally, we hope that this report will provide useful information for other researchers in the formation of explicit hypotheses to test in future studies.

Because of the lack of additional data available on valuing friendship and other potentially important variables, we were unable to test many of the mechanisms that we proposed might link friendship importance to health and well-being in certain cultures. For some cultures, valuing friendship might entail the exchange of instrumental support, which leads to better outcomes; for other cultures, it might entail the exchange of emotional support, which leads to better outcomes Wilson et al.

Further, these varying mechanisms might be dampened or enhanced based on additional cultural factors. Future researchers can use our preliminary findings to investigate why valuing friendships are associated with better outcomes in different contexts.

This is especially true when approaching questions in such an exploratory way that we did here. For example, variation in the selection of cultural characteristics, variables measured or made available, analytic models, and interpretation criteria—many of which are arbitrary—can contribute to compromised reproduction of cultural differences that might undermine the science of cultural and relational differences.

Unfortunately, we did not engage in these efforts in the current study but encourage others to do so. To this end, for both existing data sets and novel data collection efforts, preregistration and upfront justifications of these decision points can make for a more reproducible understanding of cultural differences in relational behavior LeBel et al.

The current study is the most comprehensive and diverse examination of friendships on health and well-being to date. Our findings suggest that valuing friendships is generally associated with better health, well-being, and happiness. In many cases, placing a high value on friendship was particularly important for health and well-being in settings typically associated with lower well-being e.

Our findings highlight the importance of considering not only how much people value friendships but also the situating social relationships within broader individual and cultural contexts. Data Availability Statement Publicly available datasets were analyzed in this study. This data can be found here: Data from the World Values Survey is publicly available for researchers. WC analyzed the data and created the tables and figures. If you want more frequent time together, check your schedules and think about the potential for a consistent monthly meetup.

One of my good friends, a teacher and actress, has classes most days, but we discovered that both of our calendars are open on Wednesday mornings. Now we meet about one morning a month at a favorite diner in our neighborhood. Exercise with friends. Scheduling exercise with a friend is a great way to stay connected, and it has the added bonus of boosting your physical wellbeing.

It can be a weekly walk or a twice-weekly run — whatever works to get the two of you in the same space with time to talk. Take a class. We have limited time for both our hobbies and our friends, so why not nurture both needs at the same time and bring a friend in on the fun.

Technology has made it even easier to show friends we care. Here are some suggestions for small gestures for sustaining friendships. Text a photo. How often do you see something that makes you think of a friend? It takes less than a minute to snap a photo and text it to them.

Bring home treats from travels. When I was traveling in Spain for work last summer, I thought of a friend who would appreciate the many gorgeous cathedrals there. I purchased a rosary and brought it home to her, a small act that I believe was the beginning of a deeper connection we now share. Share a news article. Stop by their desk. It takes two minutes to drop by a desk and let someone know they are on your mind. Feed your friends.

There is something about a gift of food that makes us feel loved and cared for. To this day she remains one of my favorite friends even though our children have grown up. Show up for the milestones. When it comes to friendship, big gestures also make a big impression. Share a song. Choose a song you want to share with a friend.

Tell them why you are sharing it — does it make you think of them? Does it explain how you feel? Or does it bring back a great memory? Take time to talk about it. A large body of research shows that music helps foster deeper social connections. A number of studies link music to a boost of oxytocin, which is a neuropeptide associated with an increase in bonding and trust between people. In one study, singing for 30 minutes raised oxytocin levels in both amateur and professional singers.

We know that listening to music activates many areas of the brain, including the part that helps us connect with what others are thinking and feeling. Studies show that when parents and young people listen to music together, they have better rapport, less conflict and better emotional health.

Sharing your music with another person helps them to get to know you better and vice versa. And if you like each other's music, all the better. Studies show we like people who share our musical preferences.

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Good friends make world better place 11
Moat investing definition of alpha Think through people you've interacted with — even very casually — who made a positive impression. As a result, people tend to trust strangers more and are more proactive in maintaining friends, self-disclosing, and provide more support Schug et al. Renee Olstead No friendship is an accident. Eugene Kennedy A friend is not the shadow that mimics you, but the one who casts all shadows away. In the latter case, relationships can change more rapidly as people have the freedom to voluntarily choose relationships i.
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The support person was on speakerphone, and I was at my desk in the kitchen, and my wife was cooking. That sounds really good. I asked about his life, and he asked about mine, and he got very excited about my new book. He is now following me on social media and has offered to help me in the future if I have a computer issue. I have gotten to know someone who knows things I do not—always a plus in life—and made a new friend in the process.

Instead, we worked together, and now we can play together. So the moral of this tale is simple. If you are in need and are nice about asking someone for help, you will probably get a positive response. The best way to make the world a better place is by being nice to one person at a time. He went on to talk about how there will be no more brokenness and evil in the new Heaven and Earth. Hearing that was reassuring to me, and once again reminded me that the suffering I am experiencing now is only temporary.

Saturday afternoon we had some free time, which was spent enjoying the beach, and dinner with my community group. That evening we did not have a session, but instead, we had a worship night. I typically love worship nights, but on this particular evening, I was just finding it so hard to worship God. I was hurting, and I really didn't know how to worship God through this period of hurt.

How could I worship God when I was feeling so much brokenness? I broke down into tears towards the middle of trying to worship, and my friend who was standing next to me put her arm around me and sat with me in this time of my confusion and hurt. My roommate also came and sat next to me and took my hand.

I am so thankful for the support of these lovely people. I knew that those moments were bound to happen, and I would not have been able to get through it without them. We had to meet with our small groups that evening, and I almost just skipped because I was so upset, but I decided it wouldn't hurt to just go and listen.

So I went outside and found them, and sat towards the back kind of out of everyone's sight. I wanted to be there but I didn't want to be noticed by everyone. My small group leader saw I was having a tough time, and she respected that. I sat behind her and just listened and absorbed what everyone else was saying. I ended up spending that evening with my small group leader just talking and trying to get everything off my chest. It was amazing to have her support, and after a little while of talking about everything I was going through, she had me laughing about some other stuff she was telling me about so I felt so much better after spending time with her.

I am blessed that God put her in my life this semester. The day I have been dreading was here, I woke up feeling weird, but I was pretty distracted since I had my friends in the same room. I proceeded to just get out of bed and get dressed for the day, with the lingering thought of my dad in the back of my mind. We went to breakfast, and our last session, and then had some baptisms on the beach.

I was keeping it together pretty well and I was very surprised. We left after the baptisms and rode home, and when we got home I unpacked and napped because I was just exhausted. When I woke up from my nap, I was groggy, but I felt great. For the first time in 6 years, I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and peace. I knew God was there pulling me through this day.

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Apr 21,  · FRIENDSHIP BOND: As of last year, Erling settled into a retirement community and Emmet’s family moved out of the neighborhood, but the two still make it a point to hang . Sep 25, - Explore BusyBee Emily's board "Good Friends make the world a better place!", followed by 1, people on Pinterest. See more ideas about great quotes, wise words, . Join Goodreads Make The World A Better Place Quotes Quotes tagged as "make-the-world-a-better-place" Showing of 65 “If everyone decided to forgive at least one person who hurt .