How to make and maintain more friendships

How to make and maintain more friendships

Regular readers of my blog would be well aware that a focus on positive relationships and friendships is one of my favoured happiness boosting strategies.

Not just because I like it and have found it helpful myself; but just as importantly, because it’s one of the strongest (if not THE strongest) finding in the research).

But it’s one thing to advocate making more friends as a way to boost happiness; it’s another to work out how to do it and how to keep them. This article addresses both these important questions…

via by Scott Maultz

You know you should eat less sugar. Put down that smartphone before bed. Eat more vegetables. Spend more time with friends.

Hold up on that last one. Yes, do all those other things too, for straight up physical health. But friends, well, they play a much bigger role in our lives–and our success.

Are yours fading or are too far and few between? If so, years may be fading from your life, not to mention the dampening of your happiness and success.

Research shows those with robust, diverse social relationships have been proven to live longer, are just plain happier, and are more successful. Entrepreneurs especially benefit because, news flash here, being an entrepreneur is h-a-r-d. And, as the song says, we all need somebody to lean on. 

But we’re a brutal species. The Atlantic compiled research showing we start with a social network between 250 to 5,500 people. We cut that down quickly to an average of 121 people in our friend zone.

And what about true friends, our inner circle? On average, two.

It doesn’t get warmer or fuzzier with age. William Rawlins, professor of Interpersonal Communication at Ohio University, says the biggest drop-off occurs right after people get married. You know the story. Multiple other priorities arise. Time and distance do what they do. Sadly.

As we age, Rawlins says, more friendships are “grafted on.” We gravitate to parents of our kid’s friends or conveniently connect with co-workers. In a time-strapped world, we’ll take what’s in front of us. As a result, our friend-making skills atrophy.

Now, after plowing through middle-age and landing in our golden years, we’ll reprioritize, reconnect, and reinvest in friendships. With more urgency too, as we start to feel the sun setting–a phenomenon known as “socioemotional selectivity theory”.   

That’s a long span of time out on the frontier that would be far richer with close travelers to share a campfire and a tin cup of whiskey with. Here’s friendly advice–four ways to make and maintain more friendships…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE