Your friends help you live a healthy, happy life.
“Friendships affect our mood, sense of security, life experiences, and health,” says Mack Stanley Cazzo, LMHC, a couples therapist in New York City.
As you grow older, you may find that you have less time to cultivate friendship. Work, family and other responsibilities may come in the way. But it is a priority that is meaningful, Kaizo says. “Whether it’s meeting up for lunch, answering lessons on time, or scheduling a Zoom happy hour, it’s important to set aside time to connect with each other,” he says.
quality over quantity
It doesn’t matter how many friends you have; It’s about the quality of those friendships. Being with people who love and support you helps you live a healthy, happy life.
“As I get older, I definitely subscribe to quality over quantity, devoting my time to friends who really matter and of equal value,” said a 35-year-old in Los Angeles. says author Rachel Koller Croft. “Time is precious, and I will spend it with friends who bring out the best in me, make an effort to stay in touch, and support me.”
Try these tips to stay connected:
check in. Even if you’re busy with work and family, take a short break to meet a friend. It doesn’t need to be a long talk. Just asking “How are you?” Shows that you are thinking about them.
Schedule a meeting. Set aside time for weekly or monthly appointments. Go to lunch or dinner. Plan a video call. Pay attention to what’s happening in your life to reconnect and keep your bond strong.
plan a trip. “I love choosing AirBnB and inviting friends from different parts of my life,” says Sheila McCrink, a 36-year-old public relations professional in Carlsbad, CA. “With a group of my closest friends, we do an annual reunion trip where we can let loose, laugh frantically, and get some much-needed time together.”
Travel gives everyone something to look forward to and keeps their friendship strong, even when their lives are busy.
How to be a good friend
Be a good friend to keep your relationships strong and healthy. Healthy friendships are mutual, in which there is a lot of exchange. “Be as nice to your friends as you want them to be to you,” Cazzo says.
Try these tips to increase friendship:
Be a safe place. Give your friend the freedom to express themselves. “Having a safe space where your friend can share and vent without judgment can be important to their mental health,” Cazzo says. Try not to jump in with solutions to their problems. Your friend might want to talk about something that’s on their mind.
Be present. Count the time you spend together. Put your cell phone away. Avoid distracting attention. Ask questions, and be an active listener. join the conversation. Use good eye contact.
Be kind. Small acts of kindness add up. Tell your friend how much they mean to you, Cazzo says. Celebrate their victory. Remember their birthday with a card or gift. Try to avoid criticism and negativity, which can drag down a friendship.
Open Sharing feelings and experiences brings friends closer by creating intimacy. Show your friend that you trust them by talking openly about what you think and how you feel. This can deepen your connection.
be reliable. When your friend knows they can count on you, it keeps your relationship strong. If you deviate from plans or don’t keep their secrets, it will suffer. Show up on time when you have plans. Do what you say. And keep confidential information with you.
Control competitive emotions. “Try not to compare yourself to your friends,” McCrink advises. “It can be really hard, but it’s toxic to friendship.”
In her 20s, when several of McCrink’s friends got married, she began to feel uneasy about being single. “It consumed me to such an extent that I ran into a wedding that was not right for me,” she says.
Instead of comparing, cheer up your friend. “Embrace where you are in your journey and elevate your friends to keep relationships strong,” says McCrink.
casual or long distance friendship
You can nurture all kinds of friendships in your life by:
work guys. Try to build friendships at work by greeting people in a friendly way, supporting coworkers, and going to lunch or happy hour together.
casual acquaintances. Even if you don’t know them well, ask an acquaintance how they’re doing. Congratulations to them on their achievements. Send a quick text or message. “Social media is perfect for this,” Croft said. Leave a comment or send a direct message to set a starting point for a friendship.
Long time friends you don’t see often. “Try to reach out more often,” Cazzo says. Call or plan a trip to catch up. Reminds me of the old days. Talk about what matters to them and you.
When things go wrong
Sometimes, friendship hits the road. If things go bad and you have a role to play in it, take responsibility for what you did and apologize, Caisue says. An open conversation can get you back on track with a solid friendship.
“If you have no desire to rekindle the friendship, take the time and steps to rekindle your friendship, and then move on,” Cazzo says.