Why is friends so mean?

Love is just love. Friendship is love + a whole lot of things

  • Source:  Wall Street Journal
    Source: Wall Street Journal

Sure love can develop into friendship or vice versa. But the first time you fall in love with someone, it’s because you simply love them! There’s no other reason, no other basis for this love than mere love itself.

Friends however come into your life just like that- without any attachment and feeling. Yet you grow with them, come to enjoy life with them and most importantly love and care for them. It is this emotion, something very conscious yet innate that springs from the heart that makes friendship at least a tad more important than love.

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Friendship is safe, love is more like restricted territory

Once you are in a relationship, you are, again, expected to not do some stuff. Stuff which are pretty normal and even comforting, but stuff you would rather not do if you do not want to lose the love of your life. Love as a passion gets jealous and tends to get sour if you do not tread through its otherwise rosy paths with caution.

  • Source:  The Huffington Post Canada
    Source: The Huffington Post Canada

Friends, on the other hand, won’t ever persuade you from not doing things that brings joy to you. This again manifests in friendship being a bond sans expectations that you feel safe and free in whatever you do. No matter how haywire things might go, your friends have your back. That is one feeling so comforting that it takes all your worries away from you. That’s about just how much more better friendship is than love. Your best friends will sure kill you if you make another, but you can still go on making as much friends as you like!

How to make new friends: Where to start

We tend to make friends with people we cross paths with regularly: people we go to school with, work with, or live close to. The more we see someone, the more likely a friendship is to develop. So, look at the places you frequent as you start your search for potential friends.

Another big factor in friendship is common interests. We tend to be drawn to people who are similar, with a shared hobby, cultural background, career path, or kids the same age. Think about activities you enjoy or the causes you care about. Where can you meet people who share the same interests?

Meeting new people

When looking to meet new people, try to open yourself up to new experiences. Not everything you try will lead to success but you can always learn from the experience and hopefully have some fun.

Volunteering can be a great way to help others while also meeting new people. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to regularly practice and develop your social skills.

[Read: Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits]

Take a class or join a club to meet people with common interests, such as a book group, dinner club, or sports team. Websites such as Meetup.com can help you find local groups (or start your own) and connect with others who share similar interests.

Connect with your alumni association. Many colleges have alumni associations that meet regularly. You already have the college experience in common; bringing up old times makes for an easy conversation starter. Some associations also sponsor community service events or workshops where you can meet more people.

Walk a dog. Dog owners often stop and chat while their dogs sniff or play with each other. If dog ownership isn’t right for you, volunteer to walk dogs from a shelter or a local rescue group.

Attend art gallery openings, book readings, lectures, music recitals, or other community events where you can meet people with similar interests. Check with your library or local paper for events near you.

Behave like someone new to the area. Even if you’ve lived in the same place all your life, take the time to re-explore your neighborhood attractions. New arrivals to any town or city tend to visit these places first—and they’re often keen to meet new people and establish friendships, too.

Cheer on your team. Going to a bar alone can seem intimidating, but if you support a sports team, find out where other fans go to watch the games. You automatically have a shared interest—your team—which makes it natural to start up a conversation.

Take a moment to unplug

It’s difficult to meet new people in any social situation if you’re more interested in your phone than the people around you. Remove your headphones and put your smartphone away while you’re in the checkout line or waiting for a bus, for example. Making eye contact and exchanging small talk with strangers is great practice for making connections—and you never know where it may lead!

7. Reality Check

Friends know us so well that they have the ability to predict and capture situations which we are in denial of. It could be the ridiculous outfit we are wearing or the boyfriend cheating on us. They bring the harsh truth in front of us. Friends make sure to keep our foot on earth when we are wondering on the 7th heaven with happiness, away from the ugly reality. Initially, we may fight and turn away from acceptance, but in the long run, they are always right.

14. Social Improvement

Friends are good for Social company. As people move into society, it would not be possible for people to completely alone. People need company and friends are the best company one can have. Friends are considerate towards what you like and dislike. Friends help you become more socially active and smart. By staying with good friends, one learns manners and attitude one should have in social gatherings.

Some people can make you socially anxious and insecure. One needs to learn how to deal with such situations and people. Friends prove to be of great value in such scenarios. They try to prevent such situations from occurring. If somehow, these situations do occur, they stick up for you. Gradually, the individual becomes adept at the skill of interaction and communication.

Friends Encourage Healthy Behaviors

One possible explanation for those health benefits is that friendships can help you make lifestyle changes that can have a direct impact on your well-being. For example, your friends can help you set and maintain goals to eat better and exercise more. They can also watch out for you and give a heads-up when any unhealthy behaviors (like drinking too much) get out of hand.

Additionally, people are more motivated and likely to stick to a weight loss or exercise program when they do it with a buddy. It's much easier to get out and stay active when you have a friend by your side.

That friend may also suggest activities that you would not have considered on your own—thus, pushing you outside your comfort zone to challenge your anxiety.

11. Mental Growth

Friendships help the mind blossom into a healthy garden and protect it from withering away. Friends help you overcome gloomy thoughts of your mind. They help you focus on important things in life.  They can refresh your thoughts with humor and fun activities.

Friendship trains your mind to leave negative thoughts behind. Negative thoughts can infest your mind. They eat away the happiness of a person. It becomes hard for the person to focus on positive things in life. Friends are one of the best cures for this problem. Friends can pull you out of bad mental situations. They help us see things with more clarity. They show us the brighter side of our problems. By focusing on the positive side, one can overcome these problems. When you are alone, it is not possible to face your problems alone, all the time.

We need someone to share our problems with. Someone who can hear your problems without judging you. Friends try their level best to help you beat ill thoughts and move toward a more positive approach to life. Friendships help your mental health from getting destroyed and disturbed. Friends are the gardeners of a person’s mentality.

Overcoming obstacles to making friends

Is something stopping you from building the friendships you’d like to have? Here are some common obstacles—and how you can overcome them.

If you’re too busy…

Developing and maintaining friendships takes time and effort, but even with a packed schedule, you can find ways to make the time for friends.

Put it on your calendar. Schedule time for your friends just as you would for errands. Make it automatic with a weekly or monthly standing appointment. Or simply make sure that you never leave a get-together without setting the next date.

Mix business and pleasure. Figure out a way to combine your socializing with activities that you have to do anyway.  These could include going to the gym, getting a pedicure, or shopping. Errands create an opportunity to spend time together while still being productive.

Group it. If you truly don’t have time for multiple one-on-one sessions with friends, set up a group get-together. It’s a good way to introduce your friends to each other. Of course, you’ll need to consider if everyone’s compatible first.

If you’re afraid of rejection…

Making new friends means putting yourself out there, and that can be scary. It’s especially intimidating if you’re someone who’s been betrayed, traumatized, or abused in the past, or someone with an insecure attachment bond. But by working with the right therapist, you can explore ways to build trust in existing and future friendships.

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For more general insecurities or a fear of rejection, it helps to evaluate your attitude. Do you feel as if any rejection will haunt you forever or prove that you’re unlikeable or destined to be friendless? These fears get in the way of making satisfying connections and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody likes to be rejected, but there are healthy ways to handle it:

  • Just because someone isn’t interested in talking or hanging out doesn’t automatically mean they’re rejecting you as a person. They may be busy, distracted, or have other things going on.
  • If someone does reject you, that doesn’t mean that you’re worthless or unlovable. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe they misread you or misinterpreted what you said. Or maybe they’re just not a nice person!
  • You’re not going to like everyone you meet, and vice versa. Like dating, building a solid network of friends can be a numbers game. If you’re in the habit of regularly exchanging a few words with strangers you meet, rejections are less likely to hurt. There’s always the next person. Focus on the long-term goal of making quality connections, rather than getting hung up on the ones that didn’t pan out.
  • Keep rejection in perspective. It never feels good, but it’s rarely as bad as you imagine. It’s unlikely that others are sitting around talking about it. Instead of beating yourself up, give yourself credit for trying and see what you can learn from the experience.

1.  Lastly, unlimited laughter, adventure and fun!

Friends are the open and free access to ultimate laughs and fun times. There is no need of topics to laugh on. They can make us roll on the floor laughing even without any funny reason. It’s true to say when a group of friends are together, the comic level is higher than any comedy show!

Moreover, friends encourage us to try things we can never imagine doing. All of them may not be positive, but they sure are adventurous. The memories of those moments are the factors that make life exciting and joyous. Without friends, life would be unimaginably boring.

Hence we should never miss the chances to appreciate our friends for their time, care, love and simply friendship. So let’s go tell them how much we love them!

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