I get together with my friends
Discover the connection between health and friendship, and how to promote and maintain healthy friendships. Friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being, but it's not always easy to build or maintain friendships. Understand the importance of friendships in your life and what you can do to develop and nurture friendships. Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times.
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Our society tends to place an emphasis on romantic relationships. We think that just finding that right person will make us happy and fulfilled. But research shows that friends are actually even more important to our psychological welfare. Friends bring more happiness into our lives than virtually anything else. Friendships have a huge impact on your mental health and happiness.
Good friends relieve stress, provide comfort and joy, and prevent loneliness and isolation. Developing close friendships can also have a powerful impact on your physical health. Lack of social connection may pose as much of a risk as smoking, drinking too much, or leading a sedentary lifestyle. Friends are even tied to longevity. One Swedish study found that, along with physical activity, maintaining a rich network of friends can add significant years to your life.
Many of us struggle to meet people and develop quality connections. Improve your mood. Spending time with happy and positive friends can elevate your mood and boost your outlook. Help you to reach your goals. Reduce your stress and depression. Having an active social life can bolster your immune system and help reduce isolation, a major contributing factor to depression.
Support you through tough times. Support you as you age. As you age, retirement, illness, and the death of loved ones can often leave you isolated.
Knowing there are people you can turn to for company and support can provide purpose as you age and serve as a buffer against depression, disability, hardship and loss. Boost your self-worth.
Being there for your friends makes you feel needed and adds purpose to your life. Technology has shifted the definition of friendship in recent years. With the click of a button, we can add a friend or make a new connection. But having hundreds of online friends is not the same as having a close friend you can spend time with in person.
So make it a priority to stay in touch in the real world, not just online. A friend is someone you trust and with whom you share a deep level of understanding and communication. A good friend will:. As friendship works both ways, a friend is also someone you feel comfortable supporting and accepting, and someone with whom you share a bond of trust and loyalty.
The most important quality in a friendship is the way the relationship makes you feel—not how it looks on paper, how alike you seem on the surface, or what others think. Ask yourself:. The bottom line: if the friendship feels good, it is good. A good friend does not require you to compromise your values, always agree with them, or disregard your own needs.
If you are introverted or shy , it can feel uncomfortable to put yourself out there socially. Focus on others, not yourself. The key to connecting to other people is by showing interest in them.
Pay attention. Switch off your smart phone, avoid other distractions, and make an effort to truly listen to the other person. We all have acquaintances—people we exchange small talk with as we go about our day or trade jokes or insights with online.
Friendship is characterized by intimacy. Start small by sharing something a little bit more personal than you would normally and see how the other person responds.
Do they seem interested? Do they reciprocate by disclosing something about themselves? We tend to make friends with people we cross paths with regularly: people we go to school with, work with, or live close to.
The more we see someone, the more likely a friendship is to develop. So look at the places you frequent as you start your search for potential friends. Another big factor in friendship is common interests. We tend to be drawn to people who are similar, with a shared hobby, cultural background, career path, or kids the same age.
Think about activities you enjoy or the causes you care about. Where can you meet people who share the same interests? When looking to meet new people, try to open yourself up to new experiences. Not everything you try will lead to success but you can always learn from the experience and hopefully have some fun.
Volunteering can be a great way to help others while also meeting new people. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to regularly practice and develop your social skills.
Take a class or join a club to meet people with common interests, such as a book group, dinner club, or sports team. Websites such as Meetup. Walk a dog. Dog owners often stop and chat while their dogs sniff or play with each other. Attend art gallery openings, book readings, lectures, music recitals, or other community events where you can meet people with similar interests.
Check with your library or local paper for events near you. Behave like someone new to the area. Cheer on your team. Going to a bar alone can seem intimidating, but if you support a sports team, find out where other fans go to watch the games. You automatically have a shared interest—your team—which makes it natural to start up a conversation. Making eye contact and exchanging small talk with strangers is great practice for making connections—and you never know where it may lead!
Invite a neighbor or work colleague out for a drink or to a movie. Lots of other people feel just as uncomfortable about reaching out and making new friends as you do. Be the one to break the ice. Your neighbor or colleague will thank you later. Connect with your alumni association. Many colleges have alumni associations that meet regularly.
You already have the college experience in common; bringing up old times makes for an easy conversation starter. Some associations also sponsor community service events or workshops where you can meet more people. Track down old friends via social media sites. Carpool to work. Many companies offer carpool programs. Here are some common obstacles—and how you can overcome them.
Developing and maintaining friendships takes time and effort, but even with a packed schedule, you can find ways to make the time for friends. Put it on your calendar. Schedule time for your friends just as you would for errands. Make it automatic with a weekly or monthly standing appointment. Or simply make sure that you never leave a get-together without setting the next date. Mix business and pleasure. Figure out a way to combine your socializing with activities that you have to do anyway.
These could include going to the gym, getting a pedicure, or shopping. Errands create an opportunity to spend time together while still being productive. Group it. Making new friends means putting yourself out there, and that can be scary. But by working with the right therapist, you can explore ways to build trust in existing and future friendships.
For more general insecurities or a fear of rejection, it helps to evaluate your attitude. These fears get in the way of making satisfying connections and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Nobody likes to be rejected, but there are healthy ways to handle it:. Making a new friend is just the beginning of the journey. Friendships take time to form and even more time to deepen, so you need to nurture that new connection. Be the friend that you would like to have.
Treat your friend just as you want them to treat you. Be reliable, thoughtful, trustworthy, and willing to share yourself and your time. Be a good listener. Be prepared to listen to and support friends just as you want them to listen to and support you.
Making Good Friends
At this point, many of us have been isolating at home for weeks. Strictly speaking, experts said, you might be OK if both parties have really, truly been isolated for long enough and not been exposed. Science-based coverage sent daily to your inbox — all facts, no panic. That means many people who are isolating, and taking precautions to stay safe, still have some degree of exposure to risk. How many people who have been isolated for weeks have truly been entirely isolated, without any exposure to the outside world?
For a while now I have been thinking about the way people come in and out of our lives. When we experience a devastating loss, many dominos can fall. Sometimes friends disappear. Sometimes we isolate ourselves or alienate other people, even old friends who we love. Sometimes families have falling outs.
If we’ve both been self-isolating, can I hang out with my friend? Can I visit my family?
The first kiss my boyfriend and I shared as friends-who-now-know-they-like-each-other was nothing short of terrifying. I pulled him into what I thought would be a sweeping, spark-filled smooch and he just stood there, hardly moving. The rest of the date was even more catastrophic. We nervously drank too much and watched Sweet Home Alabama on his bed without looking at each other. I was convinced we had no chemistry and that I ruined a perfectly-great friendship. All to say: I have been there. Sure, friend-to-partner transitions can be magical and simple, but they can also be confusing and anxiety-inducing as all hell if you're someone who doubts themselves a lot. Luckily, there are steps along the way to make this whole process less like the most stressful thing that's ever happened to you. Here are seven things to keep in mind if you're two friends thinking of dating each other:. It can be tough to suss out if you have mutual feelings when you're already jokey and sweet to each other.
How to End a Friendship
WHEN Jeryl Brunner, a writer in Manhattan, was in her 20s, she had a friend who was just the sort of acquaintance people scoop up in their social net when they are young and trying to carve out a life in a new city. The friend was fun, outgoing and stylish, and always up for a night of dancing at Area, or a weekend jaunt to a Neiman Marcus outlet in New Jersey. But as Ms. Brunner neared 40, the reasons for their spending time together became less clear.
It can be difficult, however, to hear a friend criticize your life choices during an already high-stress time. People may become defensive. And because of the high stakes of this moment of history, the rifts created now may not be so easily mended. Joey Amaya, 22, watched in mild disbelief a few weeks ago as a friend of his texted a group chat of about 10 people to invite everyone to play soccer.
7 Things To Know Before You Start Dating a Friend
We rollin up then down just havin some fun So sweet and cuddly always on the run Funny and loving you cannot deny Ever so loyal our love reaches the sky We're making messes with a wink and smile We cause some craziness but all the while We're only playing just clownin' around Always be there to pick you up when you're down Oh oh oh! Together with my friends Oh oh oh! The fun just never ends Oh oh oh!
The struggle can be all too real when two of your best friends start dating. They're your besties, so you know them like the back of your hand. And although you may be kind of excited for them at first, the anxiety eventually sets in. Sure, it can be crazy at first when two of your best friends start dating, but here are seven ways you can cope. You may start to feel like a third wheel when you all hang out together.
Together with My Friends
Our society tends to place an emphasis on romantic relationships. We think that just finding that right person will make us happy and fulfilled. But research shows that friends are actually even more important to our psychological welfare. Friends bring more happiness into our lives than virtually anything else. Friendships have a huge impact on your mental health and happiness. Good friends relieve stress, provide comfort and joy, and prevent loneliness and isolation. Developing close friendships can also have a powerful impact on your physical health. Lack of social connection may pose as much of a risk as smoking, drinking too much, or leading a sedentary lifestyle.