One of the best things we can do for our wellbeing is catching up with mates, but in the hustle and bustle of life it can be easy to let this slip.
Chewing the fat or shooting the breeze may seem a bit trivial, but connecting with friends is critical for wellbeing. We all need to make sure we’re finding the time to have a chat, share experiences and check in on our mates.
It’s no surprise that people with more friendships live longer, healthier lives.
So what makes a good mate?
Some common signs of a good friend include:
- someone who will support you no matter what
- someone you can trust and who won’t judge you
- someone who won’t put you down or deliberately hurt your feelings
- someone who is kind and has respect for you
- someone whose company you enjoy
- being trustworthy and willing to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard
- someone who can laugh when you do
- someone who is willing to stick around when things get tough
- someone who makes you smile
- someone who is there to listen
How to be a good friend
Bert and Ernie, Monica and Rachel, Harry, Ron and Hermione... they all knew the secrets to being a good friend. And while all friendships are different, there are some things they have in common:
- Listening. It sounds easy but can be hard to do. You don’t have to have all the answers – sometimes being a good listener is enough.
- Keeping in touch. Making an effort to keep in touch will show your friends you are there for them.
- Having tiny adventures. Whether it’s a round of golf, a bit of binge tv-watching trying out a new restaurant or pub, or exploring the great outdoors, it’s great to be on the look-out for ways to inject some fun and make some memories. Whatever you do, remember that the most important thing is just to spend time together.
- Talking about feelings every now and then. You don’t have to make a big deal of it all the time but sometimes letting someone know how you’re feeling lets them know its ok for them to do the same. See no 1 above.
Click here for more ideas on being a super friend.
Getting out amongst it
Sometimes we can’t just rely on our other half to organize our social calendar, and need to be a bit proactive ourselves. Here’s some ideas to get you going…
- Schedule a regular catch up with mates – it could be over a coffee or something stronger. It’s about bonding, talking about the stuff that’s important to you and getting away from the stress of life.
- Join in – there’s lots of groups doing great work in our communities, from the local school to a bit of tree planting. Sharing your skills and lending your muscle can have a really positive effect on your mental health
- Help a mate who’s struggling– talking about things over a quiet beverage or while painting the deck can make a huge difference. Mostly all you need to do is listen.
For some more awesome ideas on connecting with mates, and for a bit of a laugh, check this out.