All About Friendship

Anais Nin put it beautifully when she said, "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." Though some natural loners are happy without them, most of us depend greatly on the company of true friends. As with any relationship, friendships bring support and joy and occasionally strife. Here's how to make friends, understand friendship better, and be a great confidante to others.

Recent Posts on Friends

8 Tips for Helping Kids Cope with Friendship Disappointments

How do you help your child learn from a friendship disappointment?

Getting Along With Others: Parenting for Social Intelligence

Children and teens can experience social challenges at any point during the school year. Social context—including opportunities for interaction and collaboration with others—makes an enormous difference in what and how much children learn, and how quickly that happens. Here are eight practical tips for parents to help kids build positive relationships.

Why You Shouldn’t Give Friends Unsolicited Love Advice

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in Close Encounters
Despite our good intentions, our advice to our loved ones may not be welcome... and may not be helpful either. Giving unsolicited advice, particularly unsolicited advice about someone’s relationship, is fraught with difficulties. Here are some reasons why you should reconsider before giving unwanted advice.

7 New Books to Read This Fall

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Give and Take
The best new reads on psychology

Bipolar Disorder Makes For Up-and-Down Friendships

Dealing with the confusion of not knowing how to help a friend with bipolar disorder.

Making New Friends at School

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on August 25, 2015 in Once Upon a Child
One friend can’t be expected to match a child’s friendship needs at all levels, so they may have one friend that is mostly companionship, another for intimacy and another for silly games. So that’s the nature side of making new friends; what of the nurture side?

They Probably Don't Want to Hear It

Don’t people get it? There are others who really do want to hear constantly about how your grandson, at the age of five, is a nationally ranked golfer, but I don’t. Actually, there are only three to five people who do: They are your spouse, your unbelievably wonderful grandchild’s parents, and the other grandparents. And that is it!

Who Is Living with Whom?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on August 25, 2015 in Living Single
Alongside the well-known increase in the number of people living alone is another very different and less heralded trend – people who are living with all sorts of other people who are not their spouse or romantic partner.

Four Necessary Voices in Your Resiliency Network

By Robert Wicks Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in The Resilient Life
Examining the four types of friends every person should include in their network: the prophet, cheerleader, harasser, and inspirational friend.

The Secret to Controlling Other People

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 in In Control
It’s our own private collection of goals that determines what will be sticks and carrots for each of us.

Dear Beach-Going Friends...

Will someone think the patterns on my bathing suit secretly spell out the phrase “Do not resuscitate”?

Want to Be a Happier New Mom? Try “Hygge”

By Sharon Praissman on August 17, 2015 in Beyond the Egg Timer
Guest blogger Jessica Joelle Alexander explains how the Danish concept of Hygge helps women transition to motherhood.

Make Envy Your Friend—and Keep Your Friends

By Temma Ehrenfeld on August 17, 2015 in Open Gently
Envy is normal but dangerous if it combines with anger.

Are Friends With Benefits as Satisfied as Married Couples?

By Zhana Vrangalova Ph.D. on August 17, 2015 in Strictly Casual
Casual sex is often vilified as lower quality, unsatisfying, and ultimately harmful to those who engage in it—especially if they’re women. But a new study suggests that at least one type of casual sex—friends-with-benefits relationships--is as sexually satisfying as the more romantic and long-term types of relationships.

Should you be Friends and Lovers? You Bet!

Friendship leads to lasting romance and sharing a meal with your beloved may help the flame of romance burn a little brighter.

Do You Prefer You Pets to Your Friends?

Pets are like a combination between court jesters and strict Freudian therapists: They can make you feel better about the world while never saying a word.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself when a Friend Lets You Down

We cannot always blame a friend when the bonds of a friendship are broken.

A Fool Proof Formula for Saying No

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Shyness Is Nice
How often have you agreed to do something only to regret it later?

3 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

By Deborah Carr Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Bouncing Back
Why efforts to be "the best" are doomed to fail.

How to Be a Natural Helper

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in The Web of Violence
There are easy ways to make a positive impact on the lives of people who are experiencing adversity, and you don't need a professional license or degree to do so.

What I've Learned about Friendships in my 20s (So Far)

By Rubin Khoddam on August 03, 2015 in The Addiction Connection
Navigating your twenties is hard, especially socially, as we make and lose friends. But here are some tips I've learned about friends in my twenties so far.

Tom Brady, Difficult Conversations & Dr Hank

We all have them but none of us like them. Now you have a game plan.

Withdrawal and Inactivity Feed Depression

If you're depressed, it's natural to feel like withdrawing from others and it can be hard to motivate yourself to do anything. Unfortunately, giving into these behaviors is likely to make your mood worse, not better. Here are some small tips on how to get back on course to mental health and happiness.

4 Reasons Best Friends Stick Together (or Come Apart)

As most of us look back over our lives, best friends have entered our lives, but they’ve also exited them. What factors determine if your best friend today will be your best friend forever?

Why Your Creative Friends and Co-Workers Can Be So Deceptive

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in Social Instincts
New research explores the connection between creativity and unethical behavior.

The Psychology of Ghosting

By Jen Kim on July 29, 2015 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Ghosting occurs when the person you are dating suddenly disappears off the face of the planet. This can take the form of ignoring you, not responding to any attempts at communication and even pretending they legitimately don’t know you, even when you see them face-to-face. As the term suggests, they've vanished without a trace.

6 Things You Can Say to Support Someone Who's Depressed

By Jean Kim M.D. on July 27, 2015 in Culture Shrink
How can well-meaning people provide support to someone with depression, aside from avoiding tendencies towards judgment? How can one head towards greater understanding and connect with someone who is suffering?

4 Excellent Strategies to Deal With Friends and Money

For richer or poorer? When your friends have more or less. The gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. is the widest it has been since the Great Depression. And our social lives may be suffering as a result.

Dumped Without An Explanation: Is There Anything To Do?

A woman feels dumped without explanation by her close friend and wonders how to move on.

How to Escape a Master Manipulator

The best way to handle the manipulative people in our lives is to become less manipulatable. We are only as easily manipulated as we choose to be – manipulators make us feel good when we bend to their needs.