Nurturing Friendships
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David Hopkins
/ Categories: Family, Success

Nurturing Friendships

4 Steps to Living Better with Healthy Relationships

How many close friends do you have? Not acquaintances, not people on Facebook, not just coworkers, but genuine friends — I’m talking about people you would happily spend your free time with, people you feel truly comfortable around, bonded by mutual loyalty and affection. Those people. Do you have any?

An internet survey by Cornell researchers reveals Americans have on average only 2.03 close confidants, down from three a quarter-century previously. Another study from the organization Lifeboat shows that 75% of all people are not truly satisfied with their friendships.

At Saladmaster, our mission is to inspire people to eat better, live better, and achieve the life they desire. And when it comes to “living better,” according to a 2016 article from Live Science, the research is clear: Friendships are critically important; they help people live longer, stay healthy, and maintain a sharper mind.

What are some things we can do to better nurture meaningful friendships?


1. Be available.

You can meet people online. But to really develop those friendships, you need to get out of the house and be available. Enjoy some one-on-one, face-to-face conversations. As Oscar Wilde said, “Ultimately the bond of all companionship is conversation.”

We can sometimes get complacent by following up with friends online. It’s one way to see what they are up to, but it’s not a good way to build your friendships.

2. Be active.

This advice may seem obvious — but if you’re having trouble making friends, you should start engaging in activities you enjoy and see who you meet. Join a social organization, a charity, a church or other religious group, participate in rec center sports, or even sign up for a chess club. If you want to make friends, you need to put yourself out there.

C.S. Lewis once said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” You will find those people who share your interests, when you start engaging in the life you want to live.

3. Be intentional.

Friends don’t happen by accident. At a certain point, we have to develop those connections and show our interest in them.

Dale Carnegie says it very well, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

To that end, you need to start planning activities around your friendships. During the days of high school and college, your friendships were easy to maintain because everyone was together in the same metaphorical fishbowl. But as we get older, as the responsibilities of work and family increase, we have to set aside time for those close friends.

4. Be kind.

Kindness is the fuel of all friendships. It’s easy to be there for others when everything is running smoothly. But difficult times will arise, when we least expect it. That’s when we turn to our friends for support and encouragement. Will you be there for them? Will they be there for you?

Motivational speaker and Saladmaster Hall of Famer, Zig Ziglar says, “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

National Friendship Day

August 4th is National Friendship Day. We have holidays for mothers, fathers, siblings, presidents, ground hogs, and turkeys, but this day is one that often gets overlooked. You may want to take this day to evaluate your own friendships. Do you have a network of friends you can depend on? Have you lost track of certain friends?

It has been said, “friends are the family you choose.” For Saladmaster, “family” is one of our core values. We expand on this value to mean that we build authentic relationships and have fun together, that we always put others first, and help others fulfill their dreams and aspirations. This insight provides a good foundation for meaningful friendships.

Who are some of your closest friends and why? Tell us about them. Share photos. Post about your friends on Facebook or Instagram. Make sure to follow us and use the #Saladmaster hashtag, so we can see it.

 

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