Love & Family

61 STASHED IDEAS

Things that draw people together as friends

We tend to build friendships with people who share common interests and values, have gone through the same difficulties, and support each other equally.

We are selective about friends because not everyone is able to exchange thoughts and feelings with us.

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Love & Family

  1. We want reassurance. All of us have our weak areas we are dissatisfied with. We need the kind of friend who understands our thoughts and weaknesses, so we can feel safe in letting down our guard.
  2. We want to have fun with people who can be silly with us and share our joys and excitement.
  3. We need someone to help clarify our minds. Sometimes we are confused about certain things, and sharing them with friends help clear our thoughts.
  4. We network to seek collaborators to help us reach our goals.

As time passes, you will probably feel it is difficult to stay friends with some people. Moving on from some friendships simply means you’ve understood the purpose of real friendship.

Let go of the friendships that you can hardly maintain. You can keep the good memories, but moving on is a way to help you get closer to true friendships that serve you both.

People who have friends live longer

A study on longevity found that it was not weight, eating habits, exercise, air pollution, etc. that affected how long someone lives.

Only two things made a huge difference:

  • frequency of social support
  • how integrated peope were in their community.

Most studies show that natural human communities and personal social networks have a typical size of about 150.

  • Survey data shows that the average wedding has 144 guests.
  • Typical medieval English villages - 150 people.
  • The average number of Facebook friends and email contacts are between 150 to 250.
  • Most people have 5 friends they contact weekly, about 15 they talk to monthly, roughly 50 they hear from every six months, and 150 they connect with annually.

Friendships are fragile. If you don't take care of those relationships, they will disappear.

Friendships are more fragile than family and need more care. While nobody likes to lose friends, you can expect to lose a good friend about every two years.

You have to be deliberate with your friendships. Friendships need regular face-to-face contact if you want to keep them.

Studies show that people said thanks 5.5% of the time to friends and family. We simply expect family and friends to accept our request as a matter of course. We show more gratitude to strangers.

A little gratitude can go a long way in maintaining relationships. If you messed up, apologize.

The depth of friendships is more important than frequency. Sharing emotional experiences and events with one another is a critical element.

When people share intense ups and downs, it creates a bond that cannot be easily broken. So, be vulnerable. Open up. Ask for advice. Share what you're going through emotionally.

We have something like a fixed "friendship budget." Extroverts may have more friends, but their friendships are not as close as those of introverts. We spend about 3,5 hours a day on social interaction. Your closest 5 friends get 40%, the other 10 in the group of 15 get the next 20%. And the last 135 friends get about 37 seconds a day.

The lesson is that you can't add time; you can only distribute it differently. Know who is important to you and prioritise them.

Research indicates the common factors that predict how satisfied people are with the gathering:

  • The number of people (more is better)
  • The frequency of laughter
  • Reminisching about the past
  • The consumption of alcohol

The biggest point to note is to limit the small talk and open up and communicate meaningful stuff.

A study showed that our behaviour is most influenced by those we are close to.

If you improve, it is likely that you both will improve. So help them become a better person by working on yourself.

The emotionally unavailable person

People often find themselves involved with an emotionally unavailable person at some point. The person with deficits in emotional intelligence turn things around on others, avoid taking personal responsibility, and defends their position at all cost.

A person who cannot sustain closeness in a relationship often mistake control for closeness, inflicts guilt and makes unfair accusations to manage the other person.

A person who possesses emotional intelligence regularly shows empathy, self-awareness and social awareness.

  • Empathy - the ability to understand another person's experience from their perspective.
  • Self-awareness requires a person to self-reflect, gain insight, and own up to selfish moments.
  • Social awareness is the ability to be emotionally attuned to others and really understanding a person.

Due to the partner's hardships accessing empathy, he or she could consider incorporating cognitive empathy.

Intellectualisation, a defence mechanism, may allow the person to think logically about another person's experience and analytically show this understanding. Although not ideal, it can communicate a basic understanding of someone's experience.

Feeling pity for someone is doable for an emotionally shortsighted partner. However, the partner needs to avoid the temptation to save and rescue. For example, "I'm sorry your dog died. I bought you a puppy so that you can feel better. You'll thank me later."

It is better to sympathise and encourage instead. "I am sorry your dog died. I feel bad for you. I hope you feel better tomorrow." It may sound hollows, but it provides support.

Assist a partner in recognising when to offer cognitive empathy and sympathy. Remind them that when a person shows they are upset, the focus needs to remain on that person until they feel understood.

That means fully listening to the person and only providing an opinion or advice when they ask for it.

The Friendship Paradox

It is a mathematical theory stating that we are bound to be less popular than the people in our network of friends, especially the online one. This hypothesis is easily checked in social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook.

The people that we follow on Twitter, for example, aren't always following us back and therefore end up having more followers than us.

The ones more popular than us aren't better off, and their life is usually not as good as is depicted in their Instagram profile.

The constant pressure to have a 'cool' online presence is making the popular people more anxious, and pushing them in a network where they are the least popular, due to the friendship paradox.

Chapman’s Five Love Languages

Author Gary Chapman developed the theory that there are five basic ways romantic partners give and receive love.

The five love languages are:

  1. Physical touch
  2. Quality time
  3. Acts of service, such as cooking a meal or cleaning the car.
  4. Words of affirmation, such as verbal praise, compliments, and expressions of love.
  5. Gift-giving ranging from small tokens to surprise deliveries.

The majority of us have one or two dominant love languages, but each of us speaks all five languages to some degree. By learning how to 'speak' each other's preferred love language, you're ensuring both of you feel supported and seen.

We often speak the love language to our partners that we ourselves want to receive.

If your partner's love language is gifts, they'll put the item on display or wear it every day, But the surest way to find out if your partner's love language is gifts is to ask them.

If the gifts love language doesn't come naturally to you, you should still learn the language if your partner speaks it.

Look at things in your daily life from a gift-giving perspective. It doesn't have to be expensive, just little reminders that they're always on your mind. If you know someone who speaks gifts as their love language, then not getting them a gift on a special occasion would be very hurtful to them, as would approaching the gift-giving as more a chore than an opportunity.

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