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

Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?

Is it ever OK not to be completely honest?

4 Tips for Dealing with Unsolicited Health Advice

Despite our attempts to be honest with family and friends about not wanting advice, some may continue to give it. This calls for self-protection in the form of self-compassion. We can gently remind ourselves what a burden it is to add to our ongoing pain and illness the work of having to access how to skillfully deal with what others are telling us to do about our health.

My Daughter Is Going To College And I Am Terrified

How To Handle Anxiety About College

Play Makes Children Smart, Happy and Prepared for the Future

This blog is about the myriad benefits of play for children. Too much cerebral focus and too little spontaneous thought can be damaging for creativity, intellect and overall wellbeing.

Happiness With Life 10: Practice Curiosity

Contrary to popular wisdom, curiosity enriches the cat, not kills it. Learn the benefits to your happiness in being curious and the five strategies to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Does Everyone Seem Clique-y? the Problem May Be You

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on June 28, 2015 in Friendship 2.0
Entering any group as an outsider can be difficult. Often, we sabatoge ourselves by assuming that others are snobby or exclusive, when in reality they just already know each other-- and that's what makes us uncomfortable.

Gay Men and Straight Men as Friends

For the straight guy, friendship with a gay man offers the opportunity to learn important lessons about masculinity, male identity, sexual orientation, and diversity. For the gay man, a relationship with a straight male friend can be healing.

Taboo of Male Rape Keeps Victims Silent

The stigmatization of male rape victims is harsh, such that survivors may not identify as victims, or realize that they have experienced a sexual assault.

Want to Make More Friends? Get a Dog

New data confirms that walking your dog makes it more likely that you will know your neighborhood and form friendships in your community.

When Friends Become Lovers (and Why They Often Don't)

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on June 16, 2015 in The Sports Mind
The surprising new science behind one of love’s gray areas: the “friend zone.”

What Influences Facebook Friendship Acceptance?

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on June 10, 2015 in Love, Digitally
Name affects judgements of attractiveness Facebook friendship request acceptance related to first name

Listen to a Veteran!

Nonveterans have civic responsibility to listen to veterans, new Public Service Announcement campaign begins

Nature’s Antidepressant: The Dog

How do dogs work their magic on our mood? Researchers believe a big part of the answer is found in the chemical oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” Dogs also affect our moods less directly, by being the catalyst of situations that help keep low spirits at bay, whether they spring from a diagnosed mood disorder or just a tough day at the office.

5 Perks of Being Less Popular Than Your Friends

Basking in the reflected limelight of a more popular friend isn't always a bad thing.

7 Tips for Talking About Anything With Anyone

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on June 05, 2015 in Wander Woman
Giving feedback can hurt instead of help a relationship. If you need something to treat you in a different way, follow these 7 steps to help you agree on a way forward that is more respectful and rewarding for you both.

What One Thing Is Most Important?

By Gretchen Rubin on June 04, 2015 in The Happiness Project
Agree, disagree? How would you fill in the blank?

Rebound and Revenge Sex: The Truth Behind the Myths

By Michael Castleman M.A. on June 01, 2015 in All About Sex
Myth: To get over breakups, people quickly jump into bed with new lovers, often strangers. Truth: Recent research shows that this is more the exception than the rule.

Irrelation(Friend)ship

Irrelationship does not just have to do with romance, but friendship too. Do you get into a fix with friends sometimes? Do you recognize in friendships troublesome relational—irrelational—dynamics that are tanking opportunities for genuine emotional connection? Do you regret friendships which have failed and wish that you'd been able to hang onto those folks? Read on...

Happiness With Life 9: Making Friends With Death

Death can be your friend or your enemy. If you fear your death, you will create for yourself anguish and dread. If you embrace it as something you are inevitably moving toward, you use it to spur yourself to exult in each day as if it were your last.

Social Media Cannot Fix 'Being Alone'...Nor Should It

Being alone is not the same as loneliness, and it could be good for you.

No One Wants a Secret Admirer

A closed mouth gathers no foot. It also gathers no friends. People want verbal affirmation of their attributes and accomplishments, not secret admirers. Regardless of how far up the food chain someone has managed to climb, everyone wants to be assured of their value and worth.

How to Talk to a Single Person

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in Living Single
Some people seem to have a hard time conversing with single people. All they can think of to ask is whether the single person is seeing someone. Even worse, researchers can be just as flummoxed. A survey claiming to be "the most comprehensive" about single life asked only about 1 question of 128 that was not about becoming unsingle. Here's how to talk to a single person.

Sounding Off About High-Volume Friends

How to reclaim our personal quiet zones and restore peace. High-volume blusterers are often chronic—even if unknowing—offenders, and they are generally among our least favorite folks to encounter. Otherwise pleasant personalities become ones we avoid. The psychology of behavioral shaping offers a polite way to turn down the volume.

3 Facts Everyone Needs to Know About Couples and Affairs

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
How would you respond if a friend or loved one decided to stay with a partner who had cheated?

How to Rebuild Your Social Circle After a Split

By Wendy Paris on May 26, 2015 in Splitopia
Divorce can shake up friendships, but it also gives us a chance to connect with others, and recreate a social circle more supportive of our new lives. Sometimes ending a marriage enables us to see the value in others we've formerly dismissed.

Why Your Closest Friends Can Finish Your Sentences

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 26, 2015 in Talking Apes
The meaning of a conversation lies not in the words that are spoken but rather in the minds of the speaker and listener.

The Art and Heart of Writing a Letter

By Brad Waters on May 20, 2015 in Design Your Path
Handwritten letters to a pen pal can create special lifelong bonds.

13 Red Flags of Potentially Toxic Friendships

While most of us know at some level that a relationship has turned toxic, we may have a hard time admitting that we have made a poor choice in placing our trust in another.

Katharine McPhee: Can You Stay Friends With an Ex?

By Jane Greer Ph.D. on May 15, 2015 in Shrink Wrap
Does staying friends mix with breakups?