Since yesterday was the anniversary of Christopher Marlow's death (he was killed in a tavern brawl), I thought it might be nice to have a quote from him today. Marlow, if you're unfamiliar with him, was a playwright in Shakespeare's time who wrote The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, Dido, and Tamburlaine, among others.
"Goodness is beauty in the best estate."
What a lovely quote. These words remind me of how much we need to forget about the negativity in life and spend our efforts on the positive. For example, how many times have you spent more time trying to figure out your toxic friend than you did hanging out with a good friend? How many times have you obsessed about why someone walked away from you rather than do something nice for a friend that is still around?
Friends are precious and we want every relationship to be the best it can be, however, sometimes it's nice just to appreciate the beauty that a good friendship provides.
Have you ever loaned a friend money? Take our poll. (Check all that apply.)
Did you get to enjoy the long weekend? Honoring those we lost, celebrating life with the friends and family we hold dear.
I took some time off but I'm back. Here are some new articles you might have missed this month:
- 100 Best Quotes About Friendship
- When Friends Drift Apart
- Jobs That Are Great for Meeting New People
- Major Life Changes to Help You Find Friends
- Finding a Workout Buddy
- How to Handle a Bossy Friend
- Dealing With Acquaintances You Don't Like
Today is "Kiss and Make Up Day"! This means that if you've had an argument with someone, today is the day to put it behind you. While you don't need a special day to make this happen, the fact that someone actually went through the trouble of making this a holiday is testament enough to the reality that spats all too often cause breakups or hard feelings that never get resolved.
Today, take some time to examine your friendships, and if there is someone you've had a big fight with, take some steps to smooth things over. If your friend won't make up, do your best to leave the door open for a future reconciliation. Sometimes people take longer to get over things, and if you're ready to move on but your friend isn't yet, at least let them know that you'll be there if they ever want to start again.
Do you have enough friends? If you feel like you don't, you probably would benefit from meeting a few more people. It's not always easy to tell when you do need a few more folks in your life, and when you're just bored at the moment. Then again, is making a few more friends ever a bad idea?
If you've been wondering about this, I've outlined several signs that you need more friends. One example I give is from personal experience. A few years ago I loved going to the theater. (I still do.) But back then, I used to have to beg my pals to with me, and none of them were too keen on the idea. They just were not into it. The same goes for flea markets. I really enjoy them but it isn't for everybody. While I do think it's good to try new things, you just can't expect your friends to like the same things you do. That's when meeting a few more people to share your interests is a good goal to have.
This just goes to show that online video games can actually add to the joy in your life, if you combine them with off-line interaction. One study conducted by Cuihua Shen from the University of Dallas, Texas, suggested that "spending hours online playing video games and interacting with others through avatars may contribute to emotional health."
The caveat? That's only true if the person has real-world friends and family as part of the virtual game. This to me says that when you're playing with someone you know well in real life, it adds to the camaraderie of your relationship. You can talk about the game later, you can imagine the person while you are playing, and you have a healthy rivalry that makes your friendship stronger. If it's something you both enjoy doing, why not?
That said, I think this also reinforces that while online friends can prove beneficial, nothing can replace face-to-face human contact.
Did you ever meet someone and think you hit it off, but then your friendship just kind of fizzles after that? Friendships are no different than other types of relationships in that they need several things to make them successful, not the least of which is the ability to grow at the right pace. If you "push" things in a friendship, you'll drive away a new friend before your bond even has a chance to set. Sometimes this happens because you're eager to get to know them, or you're a bit lonely, but if you don't allow for the relationship to breathe a little in the beginning, you'll end up a losing a friendship before it even starts.
Sometimes friends stay in our lives a long time, and other times they seem to drift out as quickly as they arrived. I was thinking about this the other day as my husband was talking about a friend we used to know, who helped us during a key time in our life. This friend wasn't in our lives for very long, but without this person, we wouldn't be in the happy place we are today.
It's sad when a friendship ends, but I think the more important thing is to be thankful that person was in your life at all. Be glad for the things they did for you or taught you. Chances are there is a good reason that person didn't stay in your life. For this particular friend, they just were a very bad influence in a lot of ways. And yet, were it not for them, we wouldn't be where we are, so we look back on what this person did for us fondly. We celebrate the good parts of that friendship, and wish the best for them.
Do you ever look back on a friendship, even one that was mostly bad, with fond memories because of one or two good things this person did for you?
If you think about when you easily had the most friends, chances are you will call up one of two times: when you're in your early 20s or at midlife. I say this because I think we kind of naturally have a lot of friends early on when we go out in the world, and as we work and get married and have kids, we find it harder to make new friends. Therefore, it wouldn't be until we were perhaps older and even retired that we would go back to this notion of meeting a variety of people and making new friends.
One study seems to support this. The Daily Mail says that at the age of 21, we have almost 100 friends. I'm trying to picture this, and I have to say at 21 I doubt I had that many. But still, they say that the "typical 21 year old's social circle nearly hits 100, with 13 'best' friends, 17 'close' friends and 70 acquaintances." I guess of this set of numbers, the "13 best friends" is really what blows me away. When I think of best friends, I think of people you are really, really close with, and my mind seems to limit this number to maybe three. This doesn't mean you can't really have up to 13 best friends, of course, but it seems a little high to me.
What about you? Did you have this many friends when you were 21?
Our friends probably think we'll be there for them, but how often do we tell them that before something bad happens? Part of the beauty of friendship is simply letting someone know that you are on their side, and will be if they need you. By telling them this once in a while, you create this invisible bond that makes them feel cared about and supported.
In this busy world, it's important to know that we don't have to ask our friends to be by our side because they just will be. How can we let our friends know this without a doubt? Here are a few ideas:
- Write them a handwritten note to let them know you've been thinking about them.
- Call them up just to say hello and remind them how much you appreciate them.
- Schedule a get-together! How many times do you think about someone and yet don't see them very often? Put a friendship date on the calendar and stick to it.