When your friends get together
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. On the group thread, Amaya reminded his friend of the risks; he mentioned his grandmother, and dropped a recent statistic about the nationwide death toll from COVID Miriam Kirmayer, a clinical psychologist and friendship researcher based in Montreal, has heard many similar stories from her clients lately.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 7 Stages of Falling In Love With Your Best Friend
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Making Good 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. 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.
How To Deal When Two Of Your Best Friends Start Dating
So why is it that the friends-to-lovers paradigm bears such perennial relevance? And does it work IRL? Naturally, these rates increased hugely over time, explaining how — in numerical terms - a "six" can easily become a "nine" in a matter of weeks. They found that, on average, the couples had known each other four months before dating. Plus, 40 per cent of them were friends beforehand.
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.
7 Things To Know Before You Start Dating a Friend
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.
Friends Are Breaking Up Over Social Distancing