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F is for Friends

Updated: Apr 4

Since we're naturally social creatures, it's clear that our mental health thrives when we have friends. However, simply being around people at work or at your chosen after-work activity doesn't necessarily mean you have friends or a community.

You can be surrounded by many people and still feel lonely. As our society undergoes economic, sociological, and technological changes, so do our relationships with others. Nowadays, it's easier to make friends of different kinds from around the world, but it's often harder to maintain these relationships.

In a world of remote work, online classes, and social media, everything is within reach from the comfort of our own homes. It's easy to disconnect quickly by ghosting or stonewalling people when things get a bit challenging. We tend to forget that maintaining relationships actually takes some work. Friendship requires time, effort, and active participation.

It requires us to open up to form connections, which can be a bit intimidating.

It also tests our resilience when conflicts arise, which can stir up uncomfortable feelings.

Having a close friend demands a level of vulnerability and active involvement in the relationship. Not everyone is ready to put in the effort, and that doesn't mean they're toxic or dislike you. Their values or priorities might have shifted, or they could be dealing with new life circumstances that demand more attention. Sometimes, they're just afraid.

So, take a moment to consider your friends. How do they show up in your life? How do you make space for them? You might realize why some leave you with an uneasy feeling, while others feel effortless. It often comes down to both parties putting in an equal amount of effort to maintain the friendship, even if that means seeing each other every few years and feeling like you talked just yesterday.

Do you want to learn more about friendship?

📼 "The friendship recession" by Richard Reeves.

 ✏️ Get my free worksheet about friendship

F is for Friends
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