AARP: 5 Ways to Get More Out of Friendship

Published: January 9, 2011 | Last Updated: January 9, 2011 By | Reply Continue Reading

A good buddy system eases stress and enhances your health

by: Pamela Redmond Satran | from: AARP | January 13, 2011


…The longer you’re friends with someone and the closer you get, the more likely it is you’ll hit the kind of road bumps that can trip up any relationship. Rather than pretending the problem doesn’t exist or running away, you’ll need to confront the issue if you want to get more out of what is otherwise a valuable friendship.


"Sometimes it’s more difficult to have these emotional discussions than not to have them," says Irene S. Levine, a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and creator of The Friendship Blog. "But if you bury hard feelings, they can seep out in toxic ways and damage the friendship."


Dr. Levine’s advice for approaching a difficult discussion with a friend: Choose a relaxed time, and talk in person rather than on the phone or via e-mail. Be sensitive, don’t blame or attack, but don’t mask your feelings either. And know that any discussion may just be the first in an ongoing conversation, one that will ultimately lead you to a deeper, stronger friendship that can offer even more in terms of honesty and intimacy.

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