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Happy Best Friend’s Day!

credit: Familial Ramblings

 

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

Having a good friend helps you to:

*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.

~Shirley Maclaine

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.  🙂

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