The Benefits of Having Friends with Different Interests

By John Teng

People say that opposites attract, and that is not just for love. It’s true that people who are different from you are intriguing. They have interests that you may never have explored and they do the things that you have never thought to try. Maybe this is why men and women in their midlife crisis often abandon what they know as safe and reliable for events and friendships that are less than healthy. In fact, having friends that have different interests from you keeps you on your toes and can even be a key to being more content with your own life.
Keep reading to explore some of the proven benefits of having friends that interests that differ from your own.

Experience New Things
One of the best things about having friends with different interests, especially as you get older, is their ability to help you experience new things. Maybe your best friend loves golfing and you have never tried that or they are interested in a specific art form that you have never experienced before. They allow you to experience more and branch out from what may have become mundane and boring to you. However, it is important to remember that not every interest your friend may have may be good for your life so use common sense in what new things you choose to experience.

Expand You Horizons

Friends of different religions and cultures are a great way to expand your horizons. You will begin to absorb different opinions about social issues and expand your view of the world through other cultures.

Helps You Deal with Differences

As you get older you will more than likely be less willing to compromise. Whether it be on where you want to go for dinner, you opinion on politics, or your ideas for an important project in the office. By maintaining friendships with people who are different from you, you will learn how to handle disagreements in a healthier way and help you compromise even as you get older.

Fills in the Missing Pieces of You

As you get older you may begin to feel less content in your life and find gaps in your life. Friends with different interests can help fill these. They can help you get that sense of excitement back, without putting yourself or your family in jeopardy. Friends who are different from you can also help you fill in those traits that you do not see yourself as having, such as courage, enthusiasm, or passion. Friends who differ from you are a source of these traits in times where you seem to lack them.

You Can View Different Walks Of Life

Part of having friends of different interests is having friends of different ages. No matter how old you are, you can learn from people of all ages. Older friends show you what life could be like at the next stage can help you avoid unnecessary mistakes when you get there, by seeing what someone else has done right or wrong. Younger friend’s help you maintain a feeling of youth and let you stay connected with the generation behind you, helping you to stay in touch with the cutting edge of all things new. Both of these types of friendships have actually been linked to helping people live longer.

There is no right or wrong way to have a friendship, and in many ways there are no right or wrong friends. Friends can have a variety of interests, personalities, and ages and still be as close to you as your best friend who agrees with you in every way. In fact, different friendships may be healthier than friendships made by people who are exactly the same. So branch out! Take good risks and reclaim your youth by using the act of friendship.

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