Learn today about 6 tips how to help to keep your friendship strong. Friendship is the most difficult type of relationship, because it is impossible to formally consolidate it. And the general life of friends does not bind – unlike, say, couples. Not surprisingly, friendships are sometimes even more difficult than romantic relationships. We understand why with age we have fewer friends and whether this can be prevented.
Why is friendship important?
With age, people lose friends or start having problems making new ones. This makes them devalue their friendship: they say they attach too much importance to it. But in fact, friendly communication is extremely important for a person, not only psychologically, but also physiologically.
Studies say that friendship helps people maintain physical and mental health, helps maintain normal blood pressure, reduces the risk of dementia, and strengthens the immune system. Scientists also found that emotional closeness with peers helps build self-confidence and reduces the risk of depression. Loneliness, on the contrary, leads to sad consequences – diseases of the cardiovascular system, early development of Alzheimer’s disease, insomnia.
At what age do we lose friends?
It is believed that the peak of human social ties falls on 20-30 years. Then they begin to decrease, and here the emergence of the family plays a large role: the partner and the children, as it were, assume the functions of friendship. It is also affected by the fact that free time is becoming much less.
As a result, by the age of 65, 25% of people are left without friends at all, which affects their standard of living. At the same time, it is in old age, when work and family no longer take up so much strength, a person experiences a special need for communication. And it just does not exist – or is there, but not enough. So the social activity of an elderly person is reduced, and this has a bad effect on physical and psychological health.
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How to keep old friendships and make new ones?
Seek a compromise. Friendship cannot be built on ultimatums and categorical judgments. You can’t be a dictator – remember that good relations are compromised. Meet your friends whenever you can. If they ask to reschedule the meeting, reschedule – and do not hesitate to ask your friend about the same if necessary.
Flexibility, the ability to circumvent sharp corners and not enter into a decisive conflict where this can be avoided, is the key to strong friendly relations.
Many conflicts, due to which friendship breaks up, are connected with the fact that people do not hear each other and do not want to enter the position of another person. As a result, mutual reproaches and accusations arise. It is always important to try to hear your friend and not ascribe your thoughts to him.
You don’t have to think about people worse than they are: for example, if a person cannot meet with you, referring to important work matters, in most cases you should believe this and not assume that you are being avoided.
In the 2000s, psychologist Jan Jager conducted a survey for his book When Friendship Hurts and found that 68% of people faced betrayal of friends. However, this impressive figure hardly indicates that humanity is so bad. Most likely, the survey participants simply did not find out the relationship directly and perceived the actions of friends as a betrayal, although in reality the situation could be completely different.
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Strive for personal growth.
With age, making friends becomes more difficult than in youth, simply because a person rarely gets out of the scope of “home – work.” To prevent this from happening, remember that free time can be spent not only at the computer and with the family. Look for additional classes: go to various courses and trainings, pay attention to personal growth. This will help not only to make new friends, but also to maintain old contacts. The more active and eventful your life, the more interesting it is to communicate with you, and friends will appreciate it.
Many people put friendship on the top of the to-do list. This is unfair: friendship is very important, so if you want to avoid the negative effects of loneliness, take time for it. Close relationships are impossible without personal communication. Do not console yourself with the illusion that you then, “someday,” will be able to catch up, and a friend will not get away from you anywhere.
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Express your feelings openly.
People often begin to doubt friendships when they don’t see evidence of emotional closeness. This is because we rarely consider it necessary to thank a person for friendship, to appreciate his contribution to our lives.
Be open with friends, often remind them how important they are to you. In addition, frankness is very important: if you try to “censor” your communication with friends, because you are afraid to seem ridiculous or weak, this will not lead to anything good. Sooner or later, such a relationship will collapse under the weight of the unspoken.
Do not lock yourself.
It happens that friends really betray us and we part with them. Or we lose them for some other reason, and after that we don’t start new ones, because laziness or it seems that we can handle it like that. Do not cherish your loneliness. Sooner or later, you will realize that you made a mistake by choosing a similar path, but it will be too late to change something.
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