5 types of friendships we need, according to experts

Friendships can improve confidence and self-worth

The Importance of, Friendship In Adulthood.'The New York Times' reports that friendship in the United States has been in decline for years. .30 years ago, just 3% of Americans said they had no close friends in a Gallup poll. .According to 'The New York Times,' friendship plays a crucial role in well-being. .Isolation and loneliness has been linked to an increased risk for depression and anxiety to heart attacks and strokes. .Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, suggests that between three and six close friends may be an ideal number for well-being.Jeffrey Hall, a professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, says what matters most is having at least one important person in your life. .Going from zero to one is where we get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. But if you want to have the most meaningful life, one where you feel bonded and connected to others, more friends are better, Jeffrey Hall, Professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, via 'The New York Times'.According to Dr. Hall's research, close friendships take about200 hours to develop.

Friendships may come and go, but studies have shown that certain types of friendship are essential for maintaining a healthy emotional life.

According to a study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, prolonged loneliness has roughly as negative an effect on overall health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And while it’s too easy to neglect relationships when schedules get hectic, friendships are essential to our mental health and overall well-being.

Psychotherapist Niro Feliciano, spoke with TODAY about the five types of friendships that are needed to have an happy, healthy life:

Close friends

Close friends have often been around for years and are usually people you can be your most authentic self with. While close friendships can certainly form in our teen years or during college, they are different from lifelong friends. Close friendships are about intimacy and authenticity.

“These relationships challenge us and support us simultaneously while helping us grow through validation and safety,” Dr. Anjali Ferguson, a clinical psychologist based in Virginia, told TODAY.

Lifelong friends

These relationships have staying power. Even if you’re not especially close, lifelong friends have seen you grow throughout your entire life. They understand your family dynamics, as well as the traumas and other difficult times that have shaped you.

According to Psychology Today, lifelong friendships offer unconditional love, empathy and support.

Work friends

Work friends keep your spirits up, especially when work is challenging. Having a support system at work can help the day go faster and relieve workplace stress.

A 2018 Gallop study found that those who have work friends are twice as likely to be engaged in their jobs, are better at engaging customers, produce higher-quality work, are less likely to get injured on the job and have a greater sense of well-being.

Same-chapter friends

Same-chapter friends are those experiencing the same life stages with you, whether it’s having a first child, finishing college, moving to a different state or country, or even just starting a new hobby.

“We learn from their mistakes and successes, and we feel that this kind of friend is uniquely invested in helping us navigate this chapter of life,” said Lauren Napolitano, a clinical psychologist practicing in Philadelphia.

Convenience friends

Example of these friendships include mom friends and gym buddies. And while these relationships may be based on pure chance, they can help you break away from traditional friend groups and have experiences with others who share your interests.

“We see ourselves best through the eyes of our close friends, but friends-of-convenience (or ‘proximate friends’) are also essential to our overall connection; they provide company and fresh perspective in the daily spaces our deeper friendships can’t go, adding texture and emotional value to our experiences at work, in our neighborhoods, and at our kids’ schools,” explained Heather Dugan, author of “The Friendship Upgrade: Trade Clickable Connections for Friendships that Matter.”