Have you ever experienced a day like this? You and your BFF (Best Friends Forever) or in this case BFFs haven’t seen each other for a couple of months. Everyone has been so busy with “life”, you know from experience that friendships can take a back seat to other priorities and commitments, such as work and family. You have been texting back and forth to keep in touch and finally schedule a face-to-face “meet-up” together. One of you identifies a movie to see, another finds an inexpensive place to eat, and the third suggests going to a coffee shop to cap off the evening.
You find a spot to chat in the coffee shop. You share pictures, update each other on what’s happening in each other’s lives and before you know it, you hear, “Excuse me ladies, we hate to interrupt, but, we are closing.” You didn’t notice, one person had a broom in his hand, they had cleaned the coffee equipment and it looked like they were finished cleaning up the entire shop. The three of you friends, Tres Amigas, were the only people left.
Networks of Support
What happened to the time? Why didn’t you notice the things happening around you? Here is my take on what was going on….
You were TAPPED IN to a key component of your Network of Support. In my TAP IN model above, the N stands for Network of Support, and SOCIAL is one of the 5 key networks to Develop, Cultivate and Maintain. It is not the quantity of friends you have in the Social network, it is the QUALITY of friendships you have in your life.
What are the benefits of friendships?
According to the Mayo Clinic, friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being and play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Individuals with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression and high blood pressure. Studies have even found that older people with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers that do not have quality friendships.
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Provide support when you try new things
- Encourage you to follow your Passion and achieve your Goals
- Help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times
- Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
- Prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
- Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits
- Make you laugh and encourage you to have fun
Many of us find it hard to develop new friendships or keep up with existing ones. Developing and maintaining quality friendships takes time and effort. The enjoyment and support friendship can provide, however, makes the investment worthwhile.
As I mentioned earlier, quality counts more than quantity. While it’s good to cultivate a diverse network of people in your life, you also want to nurture a few truly close friends, amigas, who will be there for you through the test of time.
Let me hear about your supportive friendships, I am always interested in your thoughts.
“Stay Tapped In to the wonderful things life has to offer.”
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