Making and Keeping Friends
Just generally being around my peers is good for my overall health and sense of well-being.
— Young Adult
Being with friends is important for all of us. Friends increase our enjoyment of life. They also relieve feelings of loneliness and social isolation. They can help reduce stress and improve our physical and mental health. Having good, positive friendships are especially helpful when we are going through difficult times, like when we…
- Experience anxiety or panic attacks, depression, phobias or delusional thinking;
- Struggle with a serious health condition or disability;
- Are under a lot of stress;
- Face conflicts or problems at work, school or home; or
- Have a significant loss in our lives.
In general, the stronger our support system, including a network of good friends, the better we are able to face tough situations. There is strength in numbers.
Many people at one time or another find themselves unsure of how to make friends or develop an active social life, which can contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation. It can be a real challenge at times to meet new people, identify good friends and establish strong friendships.
This section includes suggestions on making and keeping friends. It also includes tips from young adults on how they have successfully made friends and overcome fears related to meeting new people.
If you want to make it a personal goal to meet and make new friends, remember to also check out the Taking Charge resource page. It provides resources on how to successfully set and achieve goals.
- Write down a goal for yourself about making and keeping friends. Write down the steps you will take to reach your goal. Keep this information where you will see it and remember to continue to work on it. When you have reached your goal, give yourself a "pat on the back" and then set another goal for yourself and work on it.
This section is adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) publication, Making and Keeping Friends: A Self-Help Guide at http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/sma-3716/default.asp.
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