Stress levels are high, and for many couples, this is affecting their ability to find time to connect. Online Marriage Counselor and Relationship Coach, Teresa Thomas, M.A., AP has 3 practical tips for productive communication for when you and your partner are both stressed.
Finding Friends You Can Count On
Who’s Got Your Back?
FRIENDS YOU CAN COUNT ON: Recently, on the last Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I spoke with author Lydia Denworth about the importance of healthy friendships and how vital they are. She spoke at length about the positive impact of friendship on our mental, emotional and physical health, and how we all need to prioritize healthy friendships in our lives.
But… while understanding the importance of friendship is important because it helps you prioritize the time and energy required to cultivate relationships, knowing this is not the same thing as actually knowing how to build a strong community of friends you can count on. The “how to make and keep good friends” part is much harder. Particularly when you’re focused on the good part. Developing solid, mutually supportive friendships can be vastly different than finding people with common interests or who are “fun buddies.” Those types of friendships, while enjoyable, are a dime a dozen. Finding friends you can count on is a different game.
The Loneliness Pandemic
Truthfully, it can be very difficult to find and maintain solid friendship connections as an adult — now, more than ever. Before there was an actual pandemic, the idea that we were already in a “lonliness epidemic” was already getting recognition. Too many people often feel alone, and like they don’t have close friends to turn to when they need them. Even if they have social connections, these relationships can feel superficial. Combatting loneliness was on the radar of Denver therapists and online life coaches due to the benefit of positive relationships and strong friend networks, but now having trust in friendship is even more vital.
For many, a primary source of social interaction happens through their work. Prior to stay-at-home recommendations in coronavirus life, it wasn’t uncommon for me to hear about “weekend loneliness” and about how hard it is for busy adults to find new friends in my therapy and coaching sessions with clients. As we stay at arm’s length from each other in efforts to ward off Covid 19, we’re also cut off from the supportive social networks that we need for our mental health, our emotional wellness, and even our physical health.
For many people, their social interactions are currently limited to the people that they live with and can peer at periodically through our computer screens. For people living alone during the era of social distancing, their loneliness can be so intense it feels like a hunger.
Everyone can feel lonely, even people who are nice and smart and interesting and attractive. Feeling lonely does not discriminate. However, even though many people feel lonely, they also often feel shame about their loneliness — and so they don’t talk about it. Loneliness is the big, dark secret that weighs heavily on the hearts of so many. Staying silent about loneliness only increases feelings of isolation, and disconnection. This in turn (ironically) can make you feel more lonely.
Everyone is vulnerable to feelings of loneliness. People can (and do) feel lonely in their marriage. People can have many friends, and still, feel a longing for a truly intimate emotional connection. Loneliness isn’t about not having any people in your life. Loneliness is about feeling like you’re wanting more connection than you currently have.
But “connection” alone does not satisfy loneliness because feeling lonely is also about wanting more meaningful connection. Let’s face it: you can feel very lonely in a crowd. You can spend lots of time hanging out with people, and still not feel like you have real, true friendships with any of them. Sometimes, it’s not until you really need a friend you can count on, that you understand how many real friends you have in your life. (If at all, for some).
Friends You Can Count On
How To Build a Genuinely Supportive Community
Today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast is devoted to helping you cultivate relationships with real, true-blue friends who can offer the emotional intimacy and support you’re longing for. If you’re seeking to increase your social circle with friends who have your back (and weed out selfish people who take more than they give) this episode is for you.
I’m joined by author and former therapist Val Walker about her new book, “400 Friends and No One To Call: Breaking Through Isolation and Building Community.”
In this powerful and emotionally intimate interview, Val shares her own story about being at a vulnerable moment and becoming aware that while she had lots of “friends” she didn’t have friends she could count on when she really needed help. She shares her story of rebuilding her health, her life, and a strong social support system. Val has lots of insight into what it takes to form strong friendships. She’s sharing her insights and tips to help you get all the love, thoughtfulness and support YOU have to share flowing back to you, too.
If you’ve been saying to yourself that the time is right for you to find supportive friends and create a good friend circle, I hope you listen to this episode with Val. We’re discussing:
- How it’s so easy for everyone to fall into “lite” relationships
- Why genuinely supportive friendships are so essential
- How to make trustworthy friends
- Where to find friends
- The most important parts of an authentic friendship
- Ways to build a community
- The difference between “fun” friends and friends you can count on
- What healthy friendships look like
- Concrete strategies for making new friends
- How to deepen your existing friendships
- How to be a really good friend to others
Thank you for being part of OUR community!
Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast
Finding Friends You Can Count On
Spread the Love Happiness & Success
Please Rate, Review & Share the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.
Do you feel good about YOU? In this podcast, we’ll explore the signs of low self esteem, and effective strategies to raise your self esteem and feel good again.
The online dating world can be a jungle. Online therapist and dating coach Jessica Small, M.A., LMFT shares her top tips for online dating. From creating your profile, avoiding red flags and disappointment, to setting yourself up for success!
Is it time to break up? Knowing when to end a relationship or when to divorce is hard. Learn when to call it quits from an online couples therapy expert. Listen to this podcast for new insights, thought provoking questions, and action steps to help you get clarity, confidence and direction to help you move forward… or call it quits.
Understanding your attachment style allows you to release self-limiting patterns in relationships, and become empowered to create the healthy, secure love you want. Learn about attachment styles in this episode of the podcast, then take the attachment style quiz to discover yours!
Today on the Love, Happiness and Success Blog, Online Therapist and Life Coach Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC is sharing simple strategies for how you can begin creating a good place for yourself – mentally. She is sharing breathing techniques, how to disconnect for inner peace, cognitive strategies to boost your mood, and what a “new normal” could look like for you and your mental health. Check it out now!
Are you in a relationship with someone who is struggling, but won’t get help? Relationship advice for how to balance being supportive while also setting healthy boundaries for yourself, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.
Whether you are in a committed relationship and you’re coming up on your 1 year anniversary or your 20 year anniversary, it can be easy to lose sight of your own personal identity through the process of growing with your partner. Here are 5 ways that you can continue to develop your personal growth and self-identity even in a long-term, committed relationship.
Ready to cultivate relationships with true-blue friends who have your back? In this episode of the podcast: How to build a supportive community of people you can count on through thick and thin.