I had dinner last night with a dear old friend who I haven't seen in a while. She's the kind of wise friend who is both my champion and my "butt kicker." She's tells me things I probably don't want to hear but need to face. I love her for it and I'm grateful. I'm grateful for all my dear girlfriends who make me laugh, who let me cry over margaritas, who are my biggest fans. I consider myself extremely blessed. I know the power of friendships.
Good friends tell you what you need to hear and remind you about your goals. They notice when you're depressed or engaging in unhealthy behaviors. They have a way of listening to you without judgment, accepting you as you are. There’s tons of research that shows that our social connections give us a sense of happiness and even help us live longer. I have often seen with clients that their lives dramatically improve when they build a community of support.
People who don't have good friends experience more loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety and rigid thinking. Even one good friend makes a vast difference in the quality of our lives. Yes, you introverts and loners- even YOU need a good friend you can count on.
If you're person who struggles with finding time for friends or don't have close friendships, commit to working on it. Pick up a book on making friends, take a fun class, join a Meetup group, finally call that friend you've been neglecting. There’s even Bumble BFF where you can meet friends much in the same way you'd look for a love relationship (note: it’s geared toward female friendships). Yes it can be hard to make new friends, especially the older we get. But it can be done with effort, vulnerability and patience. No more excuses. You need this.