Do you have hundreds of “friends,” yet still feel disconnected?
As a therapist, people share their deepest feelings and fears with me. What I've been hearing a lot about lately is how disconnected and alone many of my clients feel, even though they may have contact with dozens upon dozens of people a day. Ironic, right? But there is such a difference between knowing people, and truly being known. Having contacts is not the same as having authentic connection. Many people with dozens of “friends” are still craving actual friendships where they feel known, valued, and understood. This can be especially true on the social media scene.
I'm a marriage counselor first, so my podcast and blog often does skew on the side of discussing your relationship with your “primary attachment” (that's shrink-speak for “significant other.”). However having meaningful friendships and close connections in your life is just as important to your over all happiness and well being as the state of your marriage. In fact, having close friends that you trust and who you can be emotionally intimate with can buffer you from the rest of life's ups and downs.
But, creating and maintaining authentic connection and friendship can be challenging. This is especially true as people move out of their twenties, and into their thirties and beyond. For one thing, it's harder to meet people when you're not going out all the time. Secondly, it's challenging to spend time with the friends you have when everyone is stretched so thin between their careers, their families, making time for their spouse, and just keeping their lives in order. It's about the best we can do to comment on each other's posts once in a while.
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How to Have More Friendship in Your Life
To discuss this issue that affects so many people, and get some practical tips on how to cultivate authentic friendship in your life, I have enlisted the support of an expert: one of MY oldest and dearest friends, Amy Rocen. Amy is not a therapist or a life coach, but of all the people I have ever met – personally or professionally – she is truly an authority on making and keeping good friends.
She's graciously agreed to discuss her “friendship super power with me” on this edition of the Love, Happiness & Success podcast. We're going to be talking about the things that she and I have done to keep our friendship strong and emotionally intimate for over twenty years. Amy is also going to be sharing her tips for how to connect with new people, as well as her perspective on how to keep a rich and full life of meaningful relationships through the ups and downs of time.
Cultivating Connection: The Art of Friendship
Music credits for this episode: The White Stripes, “We're Going To Be Friends.“
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