How many men have real friends?

Only 10%, according to a survey of America’s leading psychologists and therapists.

In chapter 1 of The Friendship Factor: How to Get Closer to the People You Care for, Alan Mcginnis begins his campaign to change this by discussing some of the benefits of friendship, parts of which I’ve summarized below:

Friendship is the springboard to every other love

If we can learn to be skilled at friendship, we will also be good at attracting the opposite sex, building efficient teams at work, getting along with our parents, rearing our children, and staying tight with our mates.

Friendship restores and renews the soul

In my work as a psychotherapist during these ensuing years, I have become more convinced than ever that a restoring and renewing power resides in friendship. If people availed themselves of the love available to them, many therapists like me could close up shop.

Friendship is Christlike

Jesus placed great value on relationships. He chose to spend much of his time deepening his connections with a few significant persons rather than speaking to large crowds. What is more, his teaching was filled with practical suggestions on how to befriend people and how to relate to friends.

Friendship extends life

In his book The Broken Heart, Dr. James J. Lynch shows that lonely people live significantly shorter lives than the general population. Lynch, a specialist in psychosomatic disease, cites a wealth of statistics to demonstrate the unhealthy aspects of isolation and the magical powers of human contact.

Friendship helps our careers

Studies many years ago at what was then the Carnegie Institute of Technology revealed that even in such fields as engineering, about 15 percent of one’s financial success was due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85 percent was due to skill in human engineering — to personality and the ability to lead people. Dr. William Menninger estimated that when people are fired from their jobs, social incompetence accounts for 60 to 80 percent of the failures. Technical incompetence accounts for only 20 to 40 percent.

The Friendship Factor: How to Get Closer to the People You Care for by Alan Mcginnis.

Although The Friendship Factor is written from a Christian perspective, if you want less psychology and more Bible, try The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship by Jonathan Holmes.