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

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.

Will Your Best Friend Be Your Best Friend Forever?

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.

What Matters More? Size or Quality of Your Social Network

What's more important for your health, happiness, and well-being—the quantity or quality of your social network?

7 Kinds of Marriages – and One Awesome Alternative

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 22, 2015 in Living Single
Actually, success in marriage isn't all about communication and intimacy and negotiating conflict. You and your partner need to decide what you want to get out of your marriage. Here are 7 very different kinds of marriage goals. Alternatively, embrace your single life!

My Mother Is Holding Me Hostage

What To Do About An Oppressive Mother

How Loneliness Tricks People Into Staying Lonely

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on July 21, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
A new study illuminates one of the main reasons it is so hard for lonely people to break the cycle of disconnection that traps them in their misery. Read on to learn more.

In Disability-Land, Friendships Can Turn Toxic

For parents of complex kids, unsolicited criticism can be particularly painful--especially when it comes from people we respect.

Backing Away From Lovers' Leap

The heartfelt sense that we've met some long lost part of ourselves in that new friend with whom we so readily, easily, and fluidly fell into what seemed like the rare moment of intimacy within which we can share our "darkest" and "deepest" is irrelationship all dressed up to look, once again, like the cure to our disconnected state.

Baboons Might Kidnap Puppies (But Not As Pets)

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 13, 2015 in Animals and Us
A wildlife documentary film claims that Saudi Arabian baboons kidnap puppies and raise them as pets. Here a distinguished animal behaviorist explains why this behavior makes sense from a baboon's point of view—and why it is not a form of pet-keeping.

3 Reasons Your Friends Annoy You (and What to Do About It)

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on July 12, 2015 in Think Well
When a person we care about consistently annoys us, or acts in a bothersome way, there is usually an explanation for his or her objectionable behavior that falls into one (or more) of three categories. Here are the three main reasons why other people get under our skin and the solutions for them.

7 Reasons Why We Envy Our Friends (and Vice Versa)

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on July 08, 2015 in Insight Is 20/20
Envy is an ugly—but totally human—cluster of feelings. When it strikes a friendship, the friendship can seriously suffer. Beware these seven common triggers.

Friendship as a Moving Target

By keeping our need and desire for closeness with others diffuse, migratory and superficial we are able to play out irrelationship dynamics in larger social circles. We suspend—at least postpone indefinitely—our awareness of how we have secured ourselves from being realistically disappointed by people in our current lives.

How Good Are You at the Art of Conversation? A Quiz

What makes a good conversationalist? These 10 key factors may surprise you.

People Are Not Disposable

Relationships and friendships take effort, and no one is perfect. Although it may be difficult for you to discuss your feelings with someone who has hurt you, and you may be scared to open the discussion, it is the only way to resolve your issues. A few well-chosen words and taking the time to listen to one another could easily save your friendship or your marriage.

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.

How to Make Your Way Into (Practically) Any Group

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.