“Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.” ~ Charles Lamb
Did you know spending time with a friend will improve the quality of your life? Women in particular seem to be innately wired to seek close friendships. And even though men are less inclined to seek connection when under stress, they still have a lot to gain from connection with others.
A longer life – A recent study found women with breast cancer and no social support were four times more likely to die from the disease, compared to women with ten or more close friends.
More resistant to illness – Your risk of high blood pressure, dementia, and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can be significantly reduced.
More able to manage stress –This is especially true if you are a woman! During stressful events women feel the need to connect. This is because stress causes their brains to release oxytocin – the feel good hormone.
Vital life skills – Good friendships inspire you to reach your full potential and fosters a desire to better understand yourself.
More self-care – Good friends will encourage you to take care of yourself.
Increased self-esteem and more peaceful – If you are part of a large social network you are more likely to feel good about yourself, and feel more content with life.
A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.
~ Jim Morrison
FRIENDSHIPS CAN BE DIVIDED INTO TWO GROUPS
Restorative friendships and draining friendships.
Lets take a look at each of these:
Restorative Friendships - Here are some traits to look for in a restorative friendship. This is a revised list originally compiled by Lori Deschene from Tiny Buddha who asked her Facebook connections what it means to be a true friend.
A true friend:
♥ Is always there, even in silence.
♥ Is kind and listens. Is fun and light. Is serious when needed, loves extensively, and forgives always.
♥ Is genuinely happy when you get, receive or achieve something you truly desire.
♥ Doesn't let their own stuff get in the way.
♥ Knows your least admirable characteristics and still loves and supports you.
♥ Comes to your aid when others are walking out.
♥ Shares the truth in their heart, without the fear of misunderstandings.
♥ Celebrates your wins and is there to support your losses.
♥ Remains friends despite your choices in life and doesn’t bail on you when you aren’t who they want you to be.
♥ Shares honest appreciation of you every chance they get.
Draining Friendships - Not all friendships are beneficial. In fact, some friendships can feel like they are draining the life out of you. These Draining friendships can take a heavy toll on your emotional and physical well-being.
If you are spending too much time with draining people it doesn't mean you have to sever the friendship. Just be more mindful about getting plenty of time with restorative people. In general the amount of time you spend with restorative friends should far outweigh the time you spend with draining friends.
Remember too that at times a friend may need extra support to get through a difficult problem. This is what friends are for! Its only when this imbalance in the friendship becomes the norm that you might consider it to be a draining friendship.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your friendships:
♦ Does your friend listen to you?
♦ Can you count on them when you really need them?
♦ How do you feel after you have spent time with your friend?
♦ Do they always have another drama going on their life?
♦ Are you always trying to help them solve a problem?
♦ Do they encourage you to achieve your best in life?
Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
I would love to hear your experiences of friendships. What do you think makes a true friend?
If you want to develop new friendships and improve the quality of existing friendships, then please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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