You didn’t miss Best Friend’s Day, did you?
Did you see all the Hallmark cards and TV ads,
and balloons and grocery store flyers for
“buy one get one Best Friend Cupcakes!?”
Okay, I lie. Hallmark hasn’t quite gotten this
holiday off the ground yet…although they did
pitch the idea of a Friendship Day to be celebrated
in August, when card sales were at their lowest.
But recently the United Nations declared July 30th
to be the official International Friendship Day…
and here’s why it’s a great idea to celebrate it.
Things are never quite as scary
when you have a best friend. ~Bill Watterson
Psychological research over the last several decades has
proven the positive power of friendship. For example,
research has shown that friendships can tell us
which women diagnosed with breast cancer have the
best chance of survival (those with more than 10 friends),
and who has the best memory and brain health as we age.
And there are good reasons to consider starting up or
maintaining a “bromance”: in a Swedish study, it was
discovered that only smoking was a better predictor
of heart attacks than not having any friends for men.
A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me
when my memory fails. ~Donna Roberts
*know yourself better
*develop empathy for others
*feel loved and accepted for who you are
*speak your inner thoughts aloud
*experience being validated and affirmed
*be given gentle or strong nudges to grow
*be reminded of things you otherwise forget
*see yourself through the eyes of another
*have an emotional insurance policy during
a disaster or traumatic time in your life
A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg
even if you are half-cracked. ~Author Unknown
If you make friends easily, that’s wonderful!
But if it’s hard for you to make friends, you’re not alone.
Many people find it difficult, and it is true that as
you get beyond the high school/college years, it
becomes more difficult to create a network of close friends.
Before that, the proximity rule pretty much dictates your
friendships…the people you are going to classes with,
playing sports with, or in clubs or groups with are the
ones you get to know well enough to create a friendship.
Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.
What if you work 9-5 with people you feel you share
little in common? Or you work from home, or are
socially isolated for some other reason?
The proximity rule still applies: you can’t make friends
with people with whom you do not interact in some way.
Maybe that sounds like a no-brainer, but that means
whether it is virtually or in reality, you are going to
have to interact with people in order to make a friend.
Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends,
never lose a chance to make them. ~Francesco Giucciardini
If you are at least around or are interacting with people
in some format, then the only other thing you need to
do in order to help a friendship blossom is to act like
a friend. Think about what you wish someone would
ask you, or offer to do for you, or invite you to do.
And then YOU be the one to say ask or say or do it.
Friendships happen because someone shows an
interest, a kindness, is generous and sensitive and
it is appreciated by the other and then reciprocated.
Don’t wait for the other person to start the ball rolling!
Even if it is not reciprocated immediately by that
person, a kind act has positive repercussions for your life.
A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults. ~Charles Kingley
I feel truly blessed to have many people in my life whom
I count as real friends, and my “best friend” (in addition to
my husband) who has been through the best and worst with
me for over 25 years. It is a blessing to be known, to be loved,
to be supported and encouraged, challenged, and forgiven
in equal measure by such a wonderful fellow human being.
If you have a friend like this in your life, then please
make as many days “Best Friend” Day as you can. And
if you don’t yet…I believe that he or she is out there
waiting for you to smile and offer your hand in real friendship.
Don’t be shy. 🙂