Tips for a happy and more fulfilling social life
Friendships are what make life the rich and rewarding experience it is. Every connection you make impacts who you are as a person, and can have a rippling effect on many of the significant choices you make. While some may dismiss the idea that other people shape everything about you, friends can certainly help bring out our originality, and the right ones will always bring out the best in us and accept our foibles in turn.
Having a solid social circle can make for a better quality of life, and can actually benefit your overall health too. It’s important to take control of your social life rather than letting people find you. If you’re unhappy with your current social situation or just wish you had the courage to make new connections whenever you can, the following lists some ways to make the most of your social life.
Relationships revolve around give and take and unfortunately, take often seems to prevail over give. If you’re concerned that you’re social life is lacking a little lift, shake things up and make a bold statement. Our romantic relationships would scarcely last longer than a month if we failed to acknowledge each other’s needs and desires, so try and do the same with your friendships. Organise a fun trip away, bake a cake or simply show up during a difficult time with chocolates and a DVD! As with any relationship, if you put the time and personal effort into it, it won’t be long before the favour is returned.
Quality not quantity
In our current age of Facebook and ubiquitous social networking sites, acquiring friends and connections has almost become something of a competition, particular amongst younger generations. Your online friend count may spill into the hundreds, but does this really reflect your true social circle? Keep in mind that three close friends are worth far more than a hundred decent ‘acquaintances’ and unfortunately, many people consider the latter to equate a greater social life and personality. Communicate with these acquaintances when it calls for it, but don’t neglect to focus your time and energy and real, tangible friends.
Don’t fear rejection
One of the biggest reasons people claim to have an unhappy social life is that they let a fear of rejection stand in the way of making new connections. It’s very common to have small doubts at the prospect of making new connections and the important thing to remember is that - you are not alone in feeling this way. The fact is, everyone is a little insecure. Don’t approach new friendships with damaging thoughts such as ‘What if they don’t like me?’ and ‘What can I possibly bring to their lives?’. If you ever worry about the fact that your personality doesn’t match with that of a potential friend - don’t! Our differences are what make up the rich tapestry of life. Everyone has something to offer someone else and if people are at all worth getting to know, they will make this effort for you. Simply be yourself in the wake of new friendships - it’s a much tortured cliché but you should never feel the need to change yourself to fit in with someone else’s expectations.
Stay in touch
Advances in technology now make it easier than ever to keep in touch with friends and we should always try and use this to our advantage when it comes to keeping current friendships alive. Some could argue that social networking is fairly detrimental to friendship, since it encourages the majority of our communication to be done online. Social networking presents some clear social advantages, however, chiefly our ability to keep in touch with old school or work friends at the click of a button. Without getting sucked into the competitive elements of sites like Facebook and Twitter, we can take what’s good about social networking and keep friendships staying strong. Relish each opportunity to message old friends or chat via video messaging services like Skype - exchanges which would otherwise rack up an eye-watering phone bill so make the best of catching up with your connections free and easily!