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The Surprising Science Behind Earthshakingly Wonderful Friendships

Stashed in: General Wisdom, Practice, Relationships, Authenticity, Calvin and Hobbes!, Goals!, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Friends!, Happiness, Relationships, And I think to myself... what a wonderful world..., happiness

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The Biggest Mistake You Make With Friendships, by Carlin Flora:

I think the biggest mistake we commonly make is that we’re not conscious about friendships. With romantic relationships, people spend a lot of time thinking “What kind of person would be good for me? What kind of person do I want to date”?

But with friendships, we don’t give it much thought. Sometimes that’s beautiful and it works out well. But a lot of times we just drift into them and, over time, adopt the values and habits of a group that may or may not be in our best interest.

“Peer pressure” has this negative connotation because we usually just apply it to teens pressuring each other to do bad things. For teens and adults it can have both positive and negative effects.

Research shows over time, you develop the eating habits, health habits and even career aspirations of those around you. If you’re in a group of people who have really high goals for themselves you’ll take on that same sense of seriousness.

And conversely, if you’re in a group of friends who are not that ambitious, then you too will lower your standards.

Being more conscious about how much our friends affect us is important, especially when we’re first meeting people. You have to ask yourself “Who do I admire? Who do I want to be like in five years? Those are the people I should be trying to get close to and trying to develop authentic friendships with.

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Great post!  So true. We do indeed adopt the habits and values of those with whom we spend our time. I love the idea of reaching out to old friends that we cherish and telling them so.  I also love the idea of celebrating anniversaries of our friendships.

Emily, I like that idea of reconnecting with dormant ties, too.

As for us adopting the habits and values of those with whom we spend our time, that reminds me of this quote from Jim Rohn:

You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully. - PandaWhale

The next line after that is: CHOOSE CAREFULLY.

Uh oh!  I spend most of my time with my 2 and 3 year-old boys!!  ;)  All the more reason to reconnect with my grown-up friends across the country that I miss so much!

Choose carefully, indeed.  Breaking up with lovers is hard, but breaking up with friends isn't easy either!!  And, in the end, we want to surround ourselves with people who challenge and appreciate us. (In which case, my toddlers do the trick!)

Nice to meet you, Adam. :)

Good to meet you too, Emily!

Spending most of your time with 2 and 3 year old boys means you see the world through fresh eyes.

And yes, you have more reason to connect with grown up friends too!

The important thing is what you said: who we spend time with is a choice. An important choice.

I've been thinking about the fresh eyes thing you said.  I like that.

Emily: I sympathize.  My dominant relationship time-wise is my six-year-old son! That's why I try to see myself in him, and help him to see himself in me, so we can both grow together.

So Ernie, are you each growing in each other's direction?

it sure is nice to teach and learn from our kids, isn't it?

Yes, except when the kids school us. That is less fun.

hahaha!!  so true, adam!

The Number One Tip For Improving Your Friendships, by Carlin Flora, speaks to Emily's point above:

Reach out to your good friends and tell them how much they mean to you. It’s just not something we’re accustomed to doing. It’ll make you feel great, it’ll make them feel great and it will strengthen the bond between you.

Be more giving to the friends you already have. People in romantic relationships always celebrate anniversaries, yet you might have a friend for 15 years and you’ve probably never gone out to dinner and raised a glass to that. We need to cherish our friendships more.

Eric Barker has more on improving friendships and making friends here:

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