Are Imaginary Friends Good for Us?

We need imaginary friends, especially as children. Imaginary friends can be more real than real people. They never take the last slice of pizza, they never call during the best parts of Star Trek and they almost always have a sense of humor.

There are arguments that imaginary friends are actually spirits or signs of mental instability, but there is also an argument that they are facets of ourselves that we learn to come to terms with. What they are, exactly, is a moot question in terms of how they can benefit us. They are helpful in helping us deal with the absurdity that is life and that’s more than most real people do.

The Real Benefits of Imaginary Friends

We adults have been pressured to drop imaginary friends by the time we hit puberty. Jean Piaget was especially scornful of older children having imaginary friends, and Jean Piaget is one of the biggest influences on modern child psychology. But a 2004 study done by the University of Oregon implied that imaginary friends helped children learn socialization skills and boosted their self esteem.

Do we ever stop needing to learn these skills? No.

The biggest benefit of imaginary friends to adults is that you have someone to complain to. Animals are also amazingly good in this capacity, but there might be some lingering doubts that they’re only listening because you own the can opener. Talking to imaginary friends is a great way to get stress off of your mind and to work out some solutions to problems. But this can be only done in appropriate situations. Talking to your imaginary friend during a job interview is not recommended.

What Is An Imaginary Friend?

You make the rules about your imaginary friends. So yours do not have to be invisible if you don’t want them to be. They can reside in a toy or poster or any other object. Sometimes, you dream about them. Since they do seem to have a life of their own, they come when you need them and go away when you don’t. They never tell you to harm yourself or others. They are not jealous of the time you spend with real people or pets.

There is no method for detecting the presence of an imaginary friend. You either know they are there or you know they are not there. It’s similar to the process a writer goes through in writing a story. The characters just seem to take on lives of their own, even though they are 100% fictional.

Don’t be afraid to talk to them out loud. It’s not necessary, but talking out loud does help me to cope with stress. I do get some strange looks if I’m in public, though, so keep that in mind. Just keep in mind that this is a fantasy and not reality.

We human beings seem to have a very irrational fear of being alone. This may be one reason why we cam up with the notion of gods and spirits. But with imaginary friends, we’re never alone. Every atom in the universe, and the bits in between, is the same as we are in the sense that we all need something to do. So, talk to your imaginary friends and you might be very surprised at the results – such as feeling more relaxed.

And if you don’t have an imaginary friend, we’ll try not to make fun of you.

Additional References “Imaginary Friends: Normal or Not?” Elise Nersisian. March 19, 2009.

Daily Mail Online. “Brains ‘are hardwired to believe in God and imaginary friends.’” Fiona McCray. February 5, 2009.

Author’s personal experience

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *