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Friends Don’t Have to Grow Apart as You Grow Older

Friends Don’t Have to Grow Apart as You Grow Older

When you were young, the friends you made tend to be defined by common experience, for example living in the same neighborhood, going to the same school, having parents who are friends, riding the same bus, or participating in the same sports or extracurricular activities.

        As you grow older, though, these elements change. You and your friends may move to different towns, have different works, come across different challenges in life, and may even lead a different lifestyle. Some may already get married and have their own children; some maybe traveling around all the times; some may always be busy making money.

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            This is when you realize your friendship with these friends has changed.

            Research has shown that three main factors of developing adult friendships are proximity, repeated/unplanned interaction, and settings that encourage conversation.[1] If you’re constantly moving and working, though, these friendships can be harder to sustain.

            A Shared Life Is Not Enough to Maintain A Lifelong Friendship

              Too often, people focus on having a shared life with others. It’s actually less important for friends to physically be in the same life space. Friends need similar core values, which refers to subjective perspectives and beliefs on topics. You can align core values with someone who lives down the street or someone that lives 2,000 miles away.

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              Think about it like this: if you know someone who lives down the street (proximity), and you see them a lot at events (repeated/unplanned interactions), and it’s often in settings like bars and parties that encourage conversation, theoretically you should become friends with this person, right? Not necessarily.

              If you and that person’s core values are completely misaligned, communication will be nearly impossible. Both of you may try to constantly prove the other person wrong and conflicts will be common.

              Core values for humans are not easily changed, without an alignment there, it’s very hard for two people to become — and remain — friends.

              Only the Values We Hold Can Build True Bondings

                Humans are social animals. This is the core of the human experience. Humans came to dominate the world because we were the only species that could collaborate well, and form bonds, in large numbers.[2] We don’t seek just physical company; we seek mental company and an exchange of ideas and values.

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                Sharing your core values with another, and attempting to understand theirs is akin to sharing a piece of mind. This exchange of value and idea is crucial to satisfying basic human need. You can have a friend who you consistently have fun with, but if this core value exchange isn’t there, the friendship will erode when the environment changes. If you have a friend who’s fun and you’ve exchanged life values with, that friendship will remain despite the change of the environment.

                Not every core value needs to overlap, it’s nearly impossible across any two people. For example, one friend can value punctuality and the other friend can constantly be late. This will make hanging out and communicating harder. But if the friend valuing punctuality is also flexible and adapts to different situations, now the timing is less relevant.

                It doesn’t have to be a perfect alignment of core values between two people. But there needs to be some, and it needs to be shared.

                Find out the Values of A Potential Friend

                To find out whether you have shared values with another person, talk openly about your values. Of course, don’t say “What are your core values? My core values are.. blah blah blah…” This will sound awkward and the other person may feel uncomfortable about the question.

                What you can do is asking “why” in conversations. “Why” leads to deeper answers and discussions then “how” — which primarily goes to process, and  “what” — which are only the basic facts. “Why” is the pathway to the thoughts and values of a potential new friend for life.

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                You don’t have to dig into the very deep philosophical questions at the beginning, start with something light like “what’s your hobby and why do you like doing it?” or “what’s your favorite place and why?” will be enough to get you to understand a person.

                To help you have a better idea of what kind of things you can talk about, I’ve got you a list of questions to try with a potential friend:

                1. Why did you decide to move here?
                2. What’s your favorite podcast/book and why?
                3. Who’s your favorite author/artist and why?
                4. What’s your favorite movie/music and why?
                5. What do you do and why do you do what you do?
                6. Who’s your biggest inspiration, and why?
                7. What do you think about when you’re alone?
                8. Are you closer with your mom, dad, or neither? Why?
                9. What makes you happy and why?
                10. What upsets you and why?
                11. What do you like to do during weekend? Why?
                12. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever seen, and why would you say it is?
                13. What motivates you the most, and why?
                14. Are you religious, and why?
                15. Who’s your best friend and why are you guys so close?
                16. What’s the main thing you’d like to change about yourself and why?
                17. Are you proud of some accomplishments so far? If so, why?
                18. Is there anything you’re afraid of and why?
                19. Do you like traveling and why?
                20. What’s your idea of a perfect vacation and why?
                21. Do you want to get a tattoo? Why?
                22. What are most important to you and why?
                23. If money were no object, what would you do all day and why?
                24. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you do?

                Save this article and take this list out when you’re trying to make a new friend. Understanding the core values of another person is the first step to a strong and lasting friendship.

                Featured photo credit: Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] The New York Times: Friends of a Certain Age
                [2] Ted Idea: Why humans run the world

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                Anna Chui

                Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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                Last Updated on March 17, 2020

                4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

                4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

                Are you bored at work right now?

                Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

                You’re not alone.

                Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

                Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

                That’s right.

                Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

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                Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

                Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

                VIDEO SUMMARY

                I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

                When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

                It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

                However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

                That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

                So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

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                Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

                We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

                Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

                Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

                Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

                We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

                Let’s do this.

                Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

                Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

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                Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

                Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

                Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

                For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

                Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

                Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

                Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

                For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

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                Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

                Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

                Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

                You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

                Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

                Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

                Rewards could include:

                • Eating your favourite snack.
                • Taking a walk in a natural area.
                • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
                • Buying yourself a small treat.
                • Visiting a new place.
                • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

                Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

                Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

                Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

                Reference

                [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

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