Aristotle said that without friendship, people cannot be happy: "In poverty and in other misfortunes of life, true friends are a refuge." Good friends can be a great support and a sounding board in any circumstance. If we receive good news, we want to call them and celebrate it in their company. And if we go through a bad time, the friends are on our side to listen, give us advice and try to get us out of the pit. We rejoice with their joys, we grieve with their sorrows.
Different studies, including some developed by the Mayo Clinic, point out that having friends can help us improve our well-being and longevity. It is already known that older people who have close friends are happier than those who do not have them, but it is also that people without friends around them are more likely to develop chronic diseases, such as heart problems, diabetes or depression. Studies also show that, despite the proliferation of social networks, which apparently help us to be more in touch with others, its use does not necessarily translate into more meetings in person. We may be more "connected", yes, but not really linked.
Although it is not always easy to maintain friendships: our frantic pace of life, the different family priorities, such as caring for children or parents, different personal and interest evolutions, can make it difficult to feel close to our friends from all over the world. lifetime. And being a good friend and maintaining a relationship over the years requires some effort.
But sometimes it happens that in addition to seeing little, when we finally meet, we almost always do the same things: dine, go to the movies or a concert, have a drink .... Here are ten proposals that will help us enrich our friendships and deepen our links in a different way:
1. Improvise
Sometimes we try to meet a person but the crossing of schedules becomes impossible. When one goes well, the other cannot, and vice versa. Let's put aside the schedule for a day and propose an impromptu meeting, even if it's half an hour, today. Neither tomorrow nor next week: today. The spontaneity is very necessary.
2. Teach each other
Forget the YouTube tutorials. If your friend is an expert in making up her eyes, stay with her one afternoon and ask her to show you. In return, you can offer to supervise the writing of her curriculum or teach her how to make the income statement; or you can give her a class of something that you are passionate about, such as yoga. You can also study together and provide assignment to your friend. If you are good at writing, but your friend is not, you might help her so that you she need not go to any.
3. The day of the soup
Organize a thematic lunch in your house and ask all your friends to bring their best recipe for soup (The one that always works out well, the one that their grandmother taught them or the one that most comforts them) You will discover new flavours, have fun and, when you finish, you can exchange the recipes.
4. Do something that is new for you
For example, aim for a swing (or hip hop) classes, a sport that you do not practice, a cooking class or an introductory class in a language that is new to both ... Show each other your vulnerability. According to American psychologist Brené Brown, it will help you to strengthen ties and really connect. And sure, it guarantees a good laugh.
5. Organize a slumber party
Like when you were little. Invite several friends to sleep, prepare your favourite food, throw mattresses on the floor ... If it's summer, you can even consider sleeping under the stars, in the garden or on the terrace.
6. Forget about WhatsApp
Sometimes it is difficult to meet some people because our schedules or life circumstances are incompatible. In those cases, the contact may be limited to an occasional text message, or to "Like" or comment on social networks. The proposal is that, if the face-to-face meeting is not possible, you propose to talk on the phone at least once a week. Talking on the phone is becoming a rarity, and it can be nice to end a long day chatting with a good friend, without haste, with a good tea or a glass of wine, if that is the case. If you want to raise the level of the proposal you can propose to write a letter with paper, ink, envelope and stamp, per month.
7. Share ideas, not criticism
Sometimes we confuse friendship with gossip, and we get used to our meetings focusing on commenting on the latest rumour or repeating unkind comments, almost always, to others. Try that your conversations are based on the ideas you want to share and discuss, and not on the other people. You will see that the quality of the exchange improves and that at the end you feel much lighter than if you have spent all your time getting involved with others.
8. Friendship in movement
Forget about staying with your friend for dinner. Take some sneakers to work and, when finished, go for a brisk walk around the city. We often complain that we do not have time to exercise, and this can be a different way of sharing a good time and taking care of ourselves at the same time.
9. A photo album
How many funny images with your best friend do you have inside the mobile or on your computer? Take out your best photos, print them and spend a fun afternoon organizing them and sticking them in an album just for you, while you remember together all those good moments lived.
10. Enter the kitchen
Dedicate an afternoon or evening to accompany the other in their daily routine. What it is about here is to make an appointment, not to do something special or glamorous, but to put yourself in the shoes of your friend or your friend and accompany him/her while doing the daily tasks of any other day: go to pick up the children to school, shopping, errands, dinner.