I’ve been getting so many questions about my research on friendships lately, so I thought I’d share a bit about what I’m up to when I’m not busy writing for @theeverygirl_ or catching up on the latest Netflix series (suggestions always welcome)!
For the past five years, I’ve been working with other young adults to figure out how to help them make and keep close friends. I’ve been able to connect with so many people and hear their stories. Personal stories. The ones that really highlight the true meaning of friendship. Through these conversations (and other more technical questionnaires of which I’ll spare you the details) we’ve learned a lot about important aspects of friendship, including:
1️⃣The difficult situations that come up in friendships. The kind that really matter and can make or break a friendship. Situations where we feel betrayed (or maybe we’re the one who has messed up— we all do). Moments when we’re really worried about a friend’s safety or well-being. And those important experiences and hardships that bring us closer together.
2️⃣The different ways we can choose to respond when we’re in one of these situations. What do we actually say we’re trying to be kind or compassionate? How about when we use humor to make a situation less heavy or scary? What’s the real difference between between being aggressive and being assertive? What counts as a white lie?
3️⃣Finally, (and most exciting!) what actually works? What can we and *should* we say to a friend who’s going through a hard time? What’s the best way to rebuild trust after we’ve said or done something we regret? How can we become better friends with someone we’ve only recently met? It’s not always clear and this is exactly what I’m in the process of figuring out!
I love sharing this work and am really passionate about helping others. This is partly why I started #FriendshipFriday— to answer questions about situations we all go through. To share little tips. And to start a conversation about what we can all do to make the most out of our friendships!
TL;DR: I study friendships and like Netflix — send me recommendations.