Lifestyle, Uncategorized

A Few Ways to Make New Friends

4 Ways to Make New Friends

Expand Your Circle

If you want to feel more connected to others, break out of your social comfort zone.

 

Many of us have a lot in common with the people in our inner circle — which makes sense. We’ve taken the same courses in school or worked under the same boss. We’ve bonded over the books we’ve read, the places we’ve been, and our shared interests and values. We’ve found our tribe.

These commonalities are important, and it’s normal to make friends through shared experiences. But it’s also good to burst our social bubbles now and then to meet people with whom we don’t have quite so much in common — on the surface, anyway, says economist and journalist Tim Harford, author of Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives.

Getting to know people whose backgrounds, values, and ways of being in the world are different from our own broadens our perspectives. “Our world gets bigger. We appreciate its variety a little more,” says Harford.

That’s not to say it’s easy. For all its diversity, our culture doesn’t always encourage engaging with people who are different from us — whether racially, politically, generationally, socioeconomically, religiously, or the many other ways in which we define ourselves as “other.”

But the effort is worth it, says Dacher Keltner, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of The Power Paradox. “Reaching out to people who aren’t in our comfort zones produces a lot of innovation and spurs creativity,” he explains, noting that connecting with people outside our familiar groups can boost professional success, longevity, overall well-being, and happiness.

The first step to diver-sifying our network of friends and acquaintances, says Keltner, is simply to pledge to do so. “Commit to expanding your social circle like you would commit to an exercise regimen, eating less meat, or driving less. Make that kind of commitment,” he says.

The following strategies can help you broaden your circle of friends and acquaintances.

1. Build Psychological Flexibility

San Francisco–based engineer Max Hawkins used an extreme method to broaden his social network: He created a computer program that randomly selected a public event promoted on Facebook and hired a car to deliver him there — and he didn’t learn the destination until he arrived.

His experiment took him to gatherings where he met people he’d never have encountered otherwise, and inspired him to travel the world for two years. “When you’re getting sent to a place at random, it makes it easier to be comfortable with unexpected outcomes,” Hawkins explains. “That brings about a certain psychological flexibility that is really beneficial.”

Fortunately, we don’t need to go to such extravagant ends to become more psychologically flexible. “The key to open-ing yourself up to these experiences is to let go of your own preferences,” Hawkins advises.

To train himself to move beyond his preferences, Hawkins often asks for the least popular item on the menu in restaurants, rather than the one that appeals to him in the moment. The point, he says, is to welcome possibilities, a principle that applies to meeting people as well.

Hawkins suggests venturing into different neighborhoods and going to different types of restaurants, concert venues, or places of worship.

2. Be of Service to Others

Helping others can create valuable connections that shift your understanding of the world, says Jenny Friedman, executive director of Doing Good Together, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that pairs families with volunteer opportunities.

Friedman cites a mother and her two young daughters who volunteered at a nursing home, where the girls developed strong intergenerational relationships. But the real benefit came when the woman’s father-in-law became ill. “He was confined to a wheelchair and bed, and eventually passed away,” Friedman says. “Her girls were the only grandchildren who weren’t afraid to be around him during that time of decline.”

A caveat: “One of the dangers with volunteering is that you can see yourself as the giver and this other group of people as receivers,” Friedman warns.

So she encourages parents to ask kids whom they helped that day — and who helped them. “It helps kids walk through the world thinking about how they can make a positive difference, and be grateful for all the ways they’re being helped.”

3. Let Wonder Guide You

Cultivate a sense of curiosity, advises Emma Seppälä, PhD, science director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and author of The Happiness Track.

“Ask about a person’s life, about their childhood, about their challenges,” Seppälä suggests. Taking a genuine interest can lead to deeper discussions about things that matter to us, increasing the possibility that we’ll discover what we have in common.

“We all experience the same kinds of emotions,” she says. “Finding out about a person’s life can really broaden your ability to see from another perspective.”

Keltner, who’s spent 20 years researching nonverbal behavior, says body language goes a long way toward establishing trust.

“Physical cues are a foundation for connecting to other people,” he says. “If you and I are talking and I really look into your eyes, listen carefully, and position my body in a way that is connecting to you, then it’s clear that I feel like you’re a fellow human being.”

4. Confront Your Biases

Even well-intentioned people make assumptions and judgments about others — often based on stereotypes, and often without realizing they’re doing it.

“Biases are the stories we make up about people before we know who they actually are,” explains Vern¯a Myers, JD, in her 2014 TED Talk. To expand our networks, we need to move beyond denial.

Myers, author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing, suggests looking at our own inner circles and asking ourselves, Whom do I gravitate toward? Whom do I tend to avoid? Then we have to do the hard work of overcoming our biases.

“Walk toward your discomfort,” Myers says. Simply saying hello once in a while isn’t enough. Go deeper. Develop real relationships. “You’re not going to get comfortable before you get uncomfortable.”

When you push through discomfort and start to build friendships, “something really powerful and beautiful happens. You start to realize that they are you . . . that they are in your family. And then we cease to become bystanders, and we become actors, we become advocates, and we become allies.”

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Dr Mark Williams

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How Friends Impact Your Health

How Friends Impact Your Health

How Friends Impact Your Health

 

There is a strong connection between friendship and health. Recall the happiest times of your life, and those memories likely include friends celebrating with you. Just as important, true friends support you through the bad times that happen in every life, from everyday disappointments to the heartbreak of loss. That’s what good friends do.

Friendship enriches our existence and makes life’s journey more enjoyable. Friends give us a sense of belonging and bolster our self-esteem. Yet, our closest friends will “tell it like it is” and encourage us to change bad habits or adopt good ones. Best friends assume the role of trusted confidante. Who better to listen to your rant in a non-judgmental way than your best friend? Having someone with whom you can talk about anything promotes healthy stress management.

Even self-described loners need interaction with people. Appropriate doses of companionship are especially helpful to prevent loneliness if you live by yourself. The never-married or single-again adult can too easily fall into the trap of staying home too much and eating solitary dinners off a tray in front of the TV. A tendency toward reclusivity may become more pronounced after retirement. Finding one still wearing pajamas mid-day is a red flag that it’s time to get out of a rut.

Many people carry friendships from high school or college into adulthood. New friendships are formed with compatible individuals met through work or after moves to new neighborhoods. Sometimes, life changes—increased workloads, rearing children, caring for aging parents—interfere with existing friendships, and we let them slip out of our lives. Career moves may require relocation and leaving friends behind.

Extroverts—naturally outgoing and sociable— find it easy to meet people and form new friendships. They are often described as, “She never meets a stranger,” or “He makes friends everywhere he goes.”

The naturally shy, socially anxious, or introverted person does not meet people or form new attachments easily. Social events are often avoided. Small talk is dreaded like torture. Without coaxing from others to join in or a personal effort to overcome inhibitions and fears, this individual may let friendship slide—perhaps forever.

It takes effort to make friends and nurture friendships. While social networking can provide connections and relieve loneliness to some extent, making 100 new “friends” online does not take the place of face time in offline relationships. Meeting new people and discovering common interests and values requires getting off the sofa and going out there….Go where you will find other people doing things you are likely to enjoy.

If you like to read, join a book discussion group. Think about those things you really enjoy—cooking, gardening, crafts, music, live theater—and search for groups that share your interests. Volunteer your time with a charitable organization where you’ll come together with others whose compassion for these issues matches your own. Take a continuing education class at your local community college—inexpensive, short-termed and a broad variety of topics. Learning something new enhances conversation.

Friendships—whether existing or new—must be nurtured to last and grow. In order to have (and keep) friends in your life, you must also be a good friend. Forge a positive attitude, practice tolerance, and don’t be judgmental. Friendship is a two-way street, and both parties in the relationship must be willing to give, not just take. Cultivate active listening skills. (Some of the best listeners are those who don’t like to talk, but make a great audience for the more talkative.)

Cultivating and cherishing friendships can affect anyone’s longevity. A ten-year Australian study of 1500 senior citizens by Flinders University’s Centre for Ageing Studies found that the participants who had a large support group of friends outlived those with the least friends by 22%. As one’s social connections decrease, the risk for mortality increases. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, states the mortality risk is nearly as great as that created by smoking.

So…fill the friendship “prescription” for good health. It’s a renewable prescription for life!

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr. M Williams

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Lifestyle

Keys to a good relationship

relationships

In relationships, just as in every other aspect of life, the spirit and attitude with which you do things is at least as important as your actual actions. Embrace and incorporate these powerful values, and you will start living with more integrity, honesty, compassion and enthusiasm. This, in turn, will breathe new life into your relationship.

1. Own your own relationship.

You are fully accountable for your relationship. You can never again believe you’re a martyr suffering in your relationship because of an unworthy partner. Only when you stop seeing yourself as a victim will you start to see yourself as a fully competent and potent force in your relationship.

2. Accept the risk of vulnerability.

Do not let fear paralyze your life. Wanting, reaching out and letting yourself hope makes you vulnerable. At least by putting yourself on the line, you have the chance of getting what you want, as opposed to hurting with no chance of getting what you want. Not to venture is to lose yourself.

3. Accept your partner.

If your partner experiences in you the spirit of acceptance, then it is most likely that he/she will find you approachable. Two partners who are moving toward each other, rather than both trying to seek safety from pain, have a dramatically improved chance of reconciliation.

4. Focus on friendship.

You have to take a step back from the problems and pain of your intimate interactions, and focus on your partner’s positive qualities. Turn back the clock and recall what it was that started the friendship that matured into an intimate relationship.

5. Promote your partner’s self-esteem.

You must bring the spirit of acceptance into affirmative, interactive action. Find the courage and creativity to promote and protect your partner’s self-esteem, even when you feel compelled to be critical. By using the value of self-esteem, you provide a much more nurturing atmosphere, one your partner will not want to abandon.

6. Aim your frustrations in the right direction.

Work at sorting out the causes of your frustration, and resist the impulsive temptation to pick at your partner. Once you start seeing that the negative things you perceive in your partner are often things you see in yourself, you will literally alter the nature of your interactions with your partner.

7. Be up front and forthright.

Nothing can be more frustrating than what is referred to as an incongruent communication, where an individual says one thing yet indicates something dramatically different with his or her nonverbal conduct. Strive to express your feelings in a mature and responsible way. By being honest about your emotions, you base your relationship upon integrity rather than lies and deception.

8. Make yourself happy instead of right.

Start evaluating the things you do in your relationship based on whether those thoughts, feelings and actions are working. For example, you don’t have to prove over and over that you know what you’re talking about more than your partner. Instead, choose a different emotion such as tolerance, understanding or compassion that does not escalate hostility in your relationship. By deciding to be happy rather than right, you will be receptive to your partner’s attempts to de-escalate hostility and return to civil interactions.

9. Allow your relationship to transcend turmoil.

Rough times and arguments happen, and one way or another, they are going to impact the relationship. You must vow to no longer use threats as a lever to manipulate and control your partner. By doing so, you’re setting a clear limit on the places a spirited discussion with your partner will not go.

10. Put motion into your emotion.

You must turn the concept of love into a proactive behavior. Don’t be so consumed with negative messages that your expectations are low. You must require yourself and your relationship to truly be better.