“The results are in: The healthiest people in the world are the ones who need other people…and…the ones who put effort and energy into relationships.”
These are the opening words in the book, “People Need People – the Importance of Relationships to Health and Wellness” by Brent Q. Hafen and Kathryn J. Frandsen. It’s a book that looks at the relationship between our social lives and our health.
The authors point out that research shows that people who are isolated from others have a mortaility rate three times higher than those who have strong relationship ties!
They also point out that we need relationships of all kinds…friends, family, etc. I’m sure you’ve heard that married men, for instance, live longer than unmarried men.
As a matter of fact, so important are relationships, that even having a pet is healthy for you. Many compassionate people who visit hospital or senior retirement homes take their pets. The results are easily seen on the faces of those visited. Smiles galore, and an actual change in the atmosphere.
Why would this be? Simply put — because we were created as relational beings. We need others, and those who understand this work on developing their relationships.
Sometimes they are moved to befriend those around them who are ‘friendless.’
Martha Stewart may say “That’s a good thing,” but I say it would be more than a good thing…it would be a “God-thing!” Why? Because that’s the kind of thing God likes to see. (Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? In that case the man who was befriended literally had his health restored).
Now, the book I mention above didn’t emphasize a difference between those who had friends and those who befriended others, but I would venture to say that those who befriend the ‘friendless’ are the healthiest. Why? Because whenever we reach out beyond ourselves to others, it’s hard to tell who is more blessed — the giver or the recipient. And I bet you can testify to that.
So loners would do well to change that in order to gain good health and to live longer
People who understand how important relationships are definately have the edge.