Why we need friends

This Thursday at 10 a.m. we’ve got an in-depth conversation about friendship and men. The idea for the segment came from our own Public Insight Network, which threw out the question: Why do men have trouble making friends with other men?

As I was chatting with segment guest Niobe Way, we got on to the subject of friendships and health. It turns out that friendships not only make us happy, but they’re linked to our ability to tackle problems and promote physical health.

An article from the New York Times in 2009 discusses some of the ways in which friendships lead to better health. The most fascinating part of the article is the very end, which describes a University of Virginia study where boys who stood at the bottom of a hill with friends saw that hill as dramatically less steep than boys standing alone. As Way said to me, “Who is next to you affects your perception of the world. When you have a close friend around, your challenges at work and life look less challenging.”

Just another reason to call up an old friend and invite them out for a drink. And stay tuned for Thursday’s discussion…

Maddy Mahon, assistant producer