Friendship is one of the secrets to health and longevity.
Sure, it’s awesome to have a pal to go to a movie with you. Or someone you can text when you need to vent. But your friends do so much more than that.
Researchers discovered that meaningful relationships are key to living longer and to being healthy as you age.
However, making and keeping friends can be challenging. About 12 percent of Americans report having no close friends at all. And half of Americans say they are lonely.
So our HopeStarters have provided some tips on friendship:
Make New Friends
- Join a group of people with a similar interest. (Don’t know where to find one? Try www.meetup.com and search for events in the Fredericksburg area.)
- Volunteer in the community. Look for opportunities in Macaroni Kid Fredericksburg’s Community Involvement Guide.
- Join a support group, whether online or virtual.
- Learn a new hobby or take a class.
- Make a goal of attending one local event each month—you can find these in the community calendar of Fredericksburg.com or in the events listing on the website for the Rappahannock Regional Library.
- Try one of our community trainings.
- Make a penpal, Global Penfriends offers friendships for all ages. You can use snail mail or email.
But Keep the Old
Sometimes it’s good just to schedule a Zoom call with your friend so you can see each other face to face, if you don’t see each other all the time. 😊 Also, I often pop a greeting card in the mail just to say hi, or to say I miss you, my friends love to get happy mail- heck, we all do! Practice the art of listening, I do this with my friend when she calls me, I think really listening to others and not concentrating on my own problems as they tell me theirs is something important and not always easy to do- but certainly worth it. I know when I’ve been down and out, having a friend that I can to talk to that listens and just lets the nonsense in my head run out has been more than helpful time and time again.
To make and keep friends you need to allow yourself to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. You would be surprised the amount of people that can relate to you but you have to be vulnerable to find out. Be willing to share. Make sure you listen as much as you talk. Relationships need to be reciprocated. Make sure you are consistent and when you make plans keep them. They make the other person feel worth your time. Hold your friends accountable. One day I had made plans with a friend of 15 years and tried to cancel 2 hours before due to my feeling anxious and she said ok we will reschedule and half an hour later showed up at my house anyway. She wanted me to know even if I do not feel like going out we could order in and talk about what was going on. I felt so seen and heard. She held me accountable and it turned out better than isolating which she was aware I would do.
FRIENDSHIP. Be a good listener. lots of times people just need their feeling to be heard. Don’t give advice unless it’s asked for.Meaning of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.H.I.P
- “F” is for Fun…………That friends share when they are together.
- “R” is for Reliability….A true friend is someone that you can always rely on.
- “I” is for Interest…….Someone who is genuinely interested in you, your fears, joys, and life.
- “E” is for Energy………They pick you up when you are down, and give you the energy to go on and believe in yourself.
- “N” is for Nothing……..Nothing is ever too much, no matter what time it is, night or day.
- “D” is for Distance…….Although the miles may separate you, a true friend is never far away.
- “S” is for Secrets……..Your feelings and personal/private thoughts that you can only share with a friend.
- “H” is for Happiness……The way I feel when we are together.
- “I” is for Inseparable….Through good times and bad, tears and laughter. A friend will always be there for you jst frnds like u ..
- “P” is for Perfect……..The friendship that you and I share. You make normal days into special days. Turn my tears of sorrow into tears of laughter. My world is a brighter place due to the friendship and love that we share.
Books on Friendship
Here is a list of books for children.
Some books about friendship for adults:
- The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker
- Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make–and Keep–Friends by Marisa G. Franco, PhD
- Friendship in the Age of Loneliness: An Optimist’s Guide to Connection by Adam Smiley Poswolsky
- Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H Murthy M.D.