By Sunny Simon

     Friendships are important for a myriad of reasons. Much of our happiness quotient is related to our circle of buddies and pals. Looking back, many of our friends had a hand in shaping who we are today. More than just people to hang-out with, individuals we hold close to the heart provide us with vital life skills.

     Developing balanced and successful relationships leads us to establishing a diverse and well-rounded circle of friends. Friends come in all shapes and sizes, each with unique personalities, each an integral segment of a team that makes us feel worthy and fulfilled, each holding a different title and role in our lives.

     Some allies in our social group are important in giving us a reality check. These pragmatic individuals help us make better choices in life. They possess worldly wisdom, are excellent listeners, slow to judge, but quick to assess a situation. Often these cohorts push us to think, challenge our assumptions and provide the inspiration to nudge us into our best selves.


     Our friendship circle should also include optimists. They shine light on our lives, pointing out the bright side in any circumstance. Acting as our biggest fans, these sunny, upbeat people motivate us and are the first to support us with a warm hug, a smile and a way of making our world seem a little less scary. According to some psychologists we need three to five such people in our lives for our optimal wellbeing.

     Have any friends you call connectors? This group of individuals excel in building bridges and interchanges outside of our social group. They are well respected, active in the community and eliminate roadblocks for us by helping expand our network. These are the folks who introduce us to people we could not reach on our own.

     We need friendship most in our darkest hour. As so aptly stated by Winston Churchill,  “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” A strong friend journeys with us in the toughest of circumstances. These stalwart types provide a shoulder to cry on and support us when we grieve, or suffer a big loss. They are experts who know exactly what to say or do to pull us through.

     Many songs have been written about friendship, but the Randy Newman song, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” may be the one that sums up all we could ever ask for in a friend. This week make it a point to let your social circle know you value the support, joy and love they bring to your life. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at