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Blog63AFriendships are extremely important for our well-being, on all levels. No matter one’s age or circumstances, it’s never too late to make new friends or reconnect with old ones. According to a HelpGuide article by Lawrence Robinson, Greg Boose, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., having strong friendships: 

  • Improves your mood
  • Helps you reach goals
  • Reduces stress and depression
  • Supports you through tough times
  • Supports you as you age
  • Boosts your self-worth

Here are some positive attributes to look for when seeking out friends:  

  • They show a genuine interest in your life. They are curious about what you say, what you think, and how you feel about things.
  • When in their presence, you feel accepted just as you are.
  • They listen attentively without judging you, telling you how to think or feel, or changing the subject.
  • Good friends feel comfortable sharing things about themselves with you.

Tips for being more friendly and social (even if you are shy):

  • Focus on others, not yourself.
  • Pay attention—switch off your smart phone and avoid other distractions.
  • Self-disclosure is the key to turning acquaintances into friends.
  • Friendship is characterized by intimacy, so risk being vulnerable.
  • You don’t have to reveal your most closely held secret.

How to meet people:

  • Blog63BVolunteer
  • Take a class or join a club.
  • Walk a dog.
  • Attend gallery openings, book readings, lectures, or other community events.
  • Unplug your phone when you are among others.

Resources for help with making friends:

When I was in grade school, I made a life-long friend. After we graduated from high school, we each went to college and obtained employment in different cities. Nevertheless, throughout the many years, we stayed in touch—visiting each other, writing letters, and making phone calls, as we supported each other through the ups and downs of our lives. When we encountered differences of opinion or problems, we discussed the situations in an honest and forthright way. This openness allowed us to not only understand and accept each other in a new way, but also created a deepening of our relationship. I feel fortunate to have such a friend!

Thinking over your friendships, past and present, which ones stand out as your closest companions? What qualities do they have that make them so? Are you currently content with your friendships, or are there ways you would like to go deeper? All comments are most welcome!


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Sunday, 19 January 2020

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