Keeping in Touch With Childhood Friends

All friendships made throughout our lives are immensely essential to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Childhood friendships are uniquely precious and valuable to us.

The power of friendships has been well documented by research. An Australian study by Lynne Giles and associates at Flinders University found that “Health and lifestyle variables, greater networks with friends were protective against mortality in the 10 year follow up period while the effects of social networking with children and relatives were not significant with respect to survival over the following decade.” This stresses the value of friendship is even greater than family ties.

In “The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a 40- Year Friendship” Jeffrey Zaslow recites the amazing power of friends’ connection in supporting each during personal social and medical crises while living in eight different states.

The power of healing among childhood friends is not surprising. Childhood and early adulthood friends add the historical perspective that spans our lifetime. They anchor us to our youth, history formative carefree years and our maturity and change. Friends have validated our worthiness throughout the years, accepted us as we are and continued to appreciate and love us.

Friends made from kindergarten on also serve as historical chroniclers of our past and our evolution. We say, “remember when we ran through the rain puddles? liked or disliked that teacher? shared secrets we kept from our parents? played the same sports? liked or disliked him/her? were afraid of that strict teacher? giggled when we were punished? Had to do extra assignments for non-compliance?” Those and many similar shared experiences bonded us to each other and served as unique formative stepping stones in our personal evolution. None other than those friends can attest to our past and act as our life witnesses and supporters in our mental and psychological evolution.

The friends we keep for a lifetime share more than our early history with whomwe can reminisce about “the good old days”.  They validate our worthiness, are life-long witnesses to our personal evolution and are peers in deluding ourselves that subsequent generations are lacking the values, wisdom and foresights we pride ourselves in having earned.

Staying in touch with old buddies allows us to pretend that those days and experiences were more enlightening and healthier than those of younger folks. Also, our youthful memories enable us to delude ourselves that we are still vital, energetic and competent and have aged gracefully. These attributes may no longer be as evident to our recent friends, our children or work associates- but those who literally ran through the puddles with us, disobeyed some teachers and loved others, can always dream back with us and for a short moment help us feel young, healthy and blemish-free!!

Keep up with old friends.

  • Reconnect and maintain your old friendships. They know and value you, respect and care about you.
  • Share your support and love with them for your mutual health and longevity.



Related Articles

About Author

Offra Gerstein, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California for over 25 years, and specializes in relationship issues for couples and individuals for improved quality of life. Her work includes: mate selection, marriage, long term relationships, gay and lesbian couples, work relationships, parenting issues, family interactions, friendships, and conflict resolutions. Offra has lectured extensively to various groups, conducted support groups for several organizations, and has been writing a weekly column "Relationship Matters" for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 2001.

(0) Readers Comments

Leave a Reply