Often times, your closest friends are around the same age as you…but there’s something to be said about the beauty and wisdom that comes with having friends of varying age groups, younger and older.

Here’s why having friends in different age groups matters:

1. You gain perspective. Having friends of varying age groups helps you gain an understanding that there’s a world outside of your four walls of comfort. Open the windows and doors of your own mind to learn from people around you who have a different view or perspective of our world.

2. You learn to show empathy even when you may not understand. Sometimes, an older friend might have problems that are real “adult” issues like a failing marriage or deciding on life insurance policies. Perhaps, you can’t relate, but it’s OK to not have all the answers. Simply offering to listen and sit with a friend in their struggles will help you gain a deeper understanding of what empathy looks like.

3. You challenge your point of view. It’s so easy to get stuck in seeing the world from your own vantage point yet people from varying age groups can help bring different perspectives on career, politics, love, and life’s ups and downs to the table. Someone older might help you see that a roadblock isn’t the end of the world while someone younger might teach you to see the day with joy and a light-hearted eagerness to seize the day.

4. Your communication skills improve. As all relationships are give and take, you especially learn how to do so with friends who aren’t the same age as you. Thus, you become a better communicator. You’ll learn how to take advice from the person 20 years senior on how to deal with a layoff. You’ll also learn how to listen to you friend in her early 20s dealing with her first heartbreak.

xx, The FabFitFun Team