ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guy-on-guy Friendships - the Benefits and Pitfalls

Updated on February 25, 2014

Boys can bond just as well as girls.

Having good friends is important to guys' wellbeing, and males report that they want close friendships. Yet men sometimes struggle to maintain their friendships as they get older, with late adolescence a critical time when boys become wary of their male friends. Guys have other personal needs and cultural pressures, so men must learn to balance these with the traits that will allow them to access the companionship, help, security and closeness that friendships can provide.

Sharing Secrets

Sharing “deep” secrets was reported as the most important part of close male friendships, author Niobe Way reveals in “Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection.” In interviews with adolescents, Professor Way found that males want close, trusting friendships with other boys, particularly in early and middle adolescence. Being able to tell their friends about their concerns, fears and problems without being laughed at was very important for guys. Boys said that close friends with whom they could be vulnerable were essential.

Benefits of Male Friendship

Men without friends are more likely to suffer from depression, ill health and find it more difficult to adjust to the world. Guys with close friends benefit from a higher sense of self-esteem, and tend to cope better with the pressures of school, work and life. Having friends who accept a guy for what he is provides validation and self-worth. Studies have shown that well-intentioned supportive friends can actually enhance academic performance and encourage healthy behaviors.

Potential Pitfalls

The people that boys make friends with can have a negative effect on their development too. Studies have shown that peer relationships can have a massive impact on male behavior as guys grow up. If a close friend is involved in anti-social behavior, such as smoking, drinking, gang culture or criminal behavior, a guy is more likely to be drawn into these activities too. Picking the right sort of friends, who will support rather than mislead, is important for young guys.

Changing Needs

Despite how much guys continue to want and need their best friends, Professor Way's book revealed that male friendships sometimes dissolve as boys get older, as they feel less willing to express their emotions to each other. They also develop a need for more power and independence, which can get in the way of intimacy.

As their friendships break down, guys report feeling lonelier and more isolated. Professor Way claims that pressure to conform to male stereotypes is largely responsible for this breakdown of friendships, as well as cultural messages that having romantic relationships is more important. Boys should feel encouraged that being loyal to your friends is an important part of "being a man."

How To Keep Close

A study of adolescents and young men showed that certain activities ensured that males were more likely to stay close friends. The 2006 study, carried out by the University of California, and published in the "Journal of Adolescent Research," showed that doing things together and sharing personal information kept guys' friendships close. Joining a sports team together is a good way of bonding, and having a post-match chat about your life can keep your friendship tight.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)