It is important to have friends and social connections, we already know this:
Research shows that new friendships start to decline in our 20s. Studies have also shown that friendships are a big factor in mental and physical health, as well as longevity. In other words, loneliness kills — even in a relationship.
So, if it’s important, maybe we should take a few minutes and stop working, or looking at our phones, and do something about it. The article linked at the bottom of this post has some ideas.The part that really resonated with me, though, had to do with the fear of rejection. Coincidentally enough, I had also seen a post by Jeff Blankenburg recently and this quote really jumped out at me, and hit me right between the eyes.
We’re all busy, I get that. But what are you doing this Friday night? Let’s DO something! Board games? I’m in. Hockey game? Definitely. Dinner and drinks? You betcha. And that’s the real problem.
Did you see how I framed that? I’m waiting for you to ask. If you invited me to a hockey game, I would drop nearly anything to make that happen. Why didn’t I call you? Why didn’t I ask someone? Because that’s harder. You might say no. You might not like me. It’s just more difficult. But it’s what I need to do.
My mom said something to me when I was in my early teens that I will never forget:
“If you don’t call and make plans with people, nothing will happen. They’ll never call you.”
So, reach out. Make plans, and read some more about making friends.