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

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.

Infidelity and the New Psychology of Shame

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?

Make New Friends, Keep (Some of) the Old

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.

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.

Red Flags of Potentially Toxic Relationships

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?

Suicidal Friends & Relatives: a Cartoon Story

By Anneli Rufus on May 15, 2015 in Stuck
A cartoon story about suicidal friends and relatives.

How to Cope With the Envy of Others

By Sheila Kohler on May 15, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
My mother was one of four children, three girls and a boy. They came from a modest home. She was the only one of the three girls to marry a wealthy man, twenty years older than she. He lived in a splendid house with fourteen acres of garden, a pool, tennis court, and even a nine hole golf course all kept up by an army of servants.

I'm Caught In A Love Triangle

What To Do About Love Triangles

First Dates

By Isadora Alman MFT on May 11, 2015 in Sex & Sociability
First dates can be a fun exercise in developing your social graces.

Friends or Frenemies? Understanding Bullying in Schools

When kids and parents improperly classify rudeness and mean behavior as bullying, we all run the risk of becoming so sick and tired of hearing the word that this critical safety issue among young people loses its urgency as quickly as it rose to prominence.

Memorial Day: A Gift That Keeps On Giving

We all need general convictions that give meaning to our life and enable us to find a place for ourselves in the larger universe. The spirit that boils from our good choices and sacrifices cannot and must not be extinguished during our dark times, yet we are reminded every day that darkness is at our doorstep.

In Praise of Female Friendship

Novelist Alice Adams puts it most succinctly: “I think women know how to be friends. That’s what saves our lives.”

Want to Increase Trust in Others? Just Smile

By Gil Greengross Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Humor Sapiens
Want to Increase Trust in Others? Just Smile

Why Your Old Friends Are Vital to Your Future

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Can we predict who might be at risk for becoming lonely later in life?

Feeling Lonely Sometimes….

You may have 1000 friends on Facebook and still feel lonely

When You Lose a Friend

By Thelma Duffey Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in Works in Progress
Friendships are one of the most important relationships in your life. Allow yourself to grieve and recover through these steps.

My Daughter Is Dating My Son Figure

How To Adjust To The Changing Nature Of Relationships

Spinster is the New Black

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Living Single
Single people are having a moment. Articles are popping up everywhere about ways of living fully and joyfully outside of marriage and nuclear families. Suddenly, spinster is the new black. The question is, who gets to wear it?

How Trying to Make Everyone Happy Can Make You Miserable

By Kristi Pikiewicz PhD on April 24, 2015 in Meaningful You
Do you bend over backwards to make everyone else happy? Then why are you so lonely? Here's why being a people pleaser is a losing long-term strategy.

6 Reasons Nice People Can Hurt Your Feelings

Are your feelings easily hurt? These tips can take the sting out of the thoughtless things people can say.

Developmental Dislike of Parents During Early Adolescence

One function of adolescence is to grow parent and adolescent apart. Dislike of parents is part of what allows this social separation to occur. Most important for parents to remember is that this loss of liking for parents does not mean any lessening of of adolescent love.

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

Bethlehem: A Subjective Travelogue

My love of the capacity of the human spirit to transcend all odds soared as I munched on a traditional oven-baked lamb dish. Across from me sat one of Holy Land Trust’s core team members, telling me bits of his story of opening up to the vision that fuels the organization. As hard as it was to be there, it was also a tiny slice of what’s humanly possible.

The Upside of Jealousy

Simply put, jealousy is motivated by fear. When fear is driving your behaviors, it is essential to tune into the cognitive components that accompany the fear to help you break it down and make it containable.

Smartphones for Dummies—and Young People

You've hemmed and you've hawed, but finally you've given in and bought your child a smartphone. Now, the challenge begins: how do you ensure that he or she uses it wisely? Here are 10 guidelines to promote respectful, responsible use of your child’s new gadget.

Net Losses

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 14, 2015 in In Excess
A number of market research reports have indicated that many office employees spend at least one hour of their day at work on various non-work activities (e.g., booking holidays, shopping online, posting messages on social networking sites, playing online games, etc.) and costs businesses millions of dollars a year. But what can be done to prevent it?

Feeling Grateful and 'Paying it Forward'

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 in Media Spotlight
According to the "find, remind, and bind" theory of gratitude first proposed by psychologist Sara B. Algoe, gratitude plays a role in cementing the social bonds we have with other people. A new research study published in the journal Emotion suggests that grateful are more likely to copy body movements of those who help them which can help cement new relationships.