Why we continuously
should look for new friends
Class reunions often end with hugs and the sentence:
We should definitely see each other more often…
In 99 percent of the cases nothing comes of it.
Because school friends are sometimes like family. we are us
Close, but we didn’t choose each other.
BY THE EDITOR // KARIN M. KLOSSEK
The experiences we have over the years change us and our friendships. We can no longer find a common topic of conversation with what was then our best school friend; Years later we talk to the classmate, whom we didn’t pay attention to at the time, at the class reunion at the bar and exchange laughing and serious very private similar experiences and adventures.
Two of my best friends from school are still among the people whose friendship, advice and appreciation are particularly important to me. We live in different places, our everyday life is not the same and our dreams look different.
But common values, similar attitudes and a very special sense of humor, which often borders on sarcasm, connect us over many kilometers. The school years together certainly shaped us, but that’s not all. From my point of view, the wisdom of life weighs more: Birds of a feather flock together — even if, as in this case, you haven’t seen each other for decades or just got to know each other.
Friendships come, friendships go
However, many of my once close friendships no longer exist. For a while a strong bond seemed to be tied and the closeness was great. On the one hand or the other, however, there were smaller and larger disappointments, the very problematic factor of envy or such fundamentally different views on an important topic that friendship became acquaintance. That’s enough for birthday greetings and the obligatory Christmas card, but the sentence “We should see each other again” does not follow any investment in time and energy to actually realize a meeting.
Friendships are more important to our health and well-being as we grow older. William J. Chopik’s long-term, large-sample study “Associations among relational values, support health and well-being across the lifespan” (http://bit.ly/AbstractChopikStudy) found that measured across the lifespan, Friendships and family have a major impact on our well-being.
While the positive influence of family relationships on health tends to be static, long-term anger and stress from friendships, according to this study, turned out to be an indicator that over the course of 8 years disproportionately pointed to later chronic diseases.
This speaks for ending friendships that are no longer. Since some friends, even without knowledge of this study, end their friendship with us, the circle of friends is inevitably getting smaller.
The importance of new friendships
The findings of the study show how important it is to keep making new friends. This calls for being open to encounters and investing time in them. The end of many friendships that initially seemed made for life naturally makes us more skeptical and reluctant, and we are much more reluctant to use the word friendship rather than acquaintance.
The upside of our experiences, both good and bad, is that we learn to assess ourselves better and often recognize more quickly whether we might be friendly with someone we are just getting to know.
It is definitely worth it, at any age, to remain curious about new friendships, to discover things in common and to cultivate old and new friendships. And that although the time available to us for this seems to be getting shorter and shorter. There are professional commitments, responsibilities towards children and parents, seemingly endless to-do lists that need to be worked off and more and more people are commuting considerable distances every day or every week.
Maintaining friendships has never been easier
Via e-mail, WhatsApp, Skype, video conferences or other channels – it has never been easier to maintain friendships between personal meetings, even across continents. A good friend says that as a child she would lie in bed and listen to her mother downstairs writing letters to her friends on a typewriter for hours until late at night and answering their letters.
They have the time and the discipline to cultivate these friendships across continents and with enormous effort (perhaps one or the other still remembers the wafer-thin airmail paper that was used decades ago, before the Internet was invented). lady
helped to completely realign their lives in old age, to move from the USA back to Europe and to arrive there quickly.
Because when push comes to shove, it’s friends who lift us up, hold us up in the mirror, or just act without asking. With work colleagues, with whom we often spend a lot of time and sometimes even develop friendships, we get an answer to the question of whether it was really friendship, collegiality or even deceit on the first day after we left the company. Very few real friendships remain, the rest applies: “The king is dead, long live the king”. One more reason to keep looking for new friends.
How many new friends have you made in the last few years?