more and better times with your friends

Here is a video of one of the talks I gave at Toastmasters. Usually I discuss the interesting and the rediculous but this time I got serious.

According to Lifeboat, the average teenager spends 30% of his time with friends. And the average adult? 4% Why is there such a dramatic change? And what is the result of this decrease? I'll put some bullet points below for those who prefer reading to watching

Why This Is a Problem

  • The strength of the bonds with friends/family is the #1 predictor of happiness. -- Daniel Gilbert
  • A lack of strong bonds carries a greater health risk than even smoking or obesity. -- John Cacioppo
  • Tet the average adult has only one true friend.

What Changes?

Much of this from a NYT Article

  • Teenagers are wired to be exploratory by nature
  • Adults are wired to protect the families they have established
  • Adults have more self-knowledge and are pickier about who their friends are
  • Adults tend to pair up which means finding friends involves four parties instead of two.
  • Adults meet people at work rather than school. Work relationships can seem more transactional and less vulnerable.

A Few Things We Can Do

Inspiration was Lifeboat's List

  • Go Deep, Not Wide - Write down and periodically evaluate your list of close friends.
  • V is for Vulnerability - Ask a friend for advice.
  • Give 1% more - Skip a regular task to spend time with a friend instead.
  • Show Up, Even at the Last Minute - Do something last minute with a close friend this week
  • Be An Activator - Initiate an activity with a close friend for this week.
  • Tell People - Tell a friend how important he is in a way that reflects you.

So Your Friend is a Woman

Harry told Sally that men and women can't be friends. He was wrong.

  • We no longer live in the era where men went to work and women stayed home. Then it was true that they only mingled for romance.
  • Men benefit from having women friends because of the nurturing aspect that can be hard to get from other men.
  • Women benefit from having men friends because casual warmth men bring.
  • Men benefit from these friendships a little bit more than women do.
  • Of course there must be consistent boundaries, equality in roles, and clear communication with any romantic partners.

In Short

We don’t win at relationships, we win by having relationships. I want all of you to be happier and healthier. And I know you can do it.

(photo taken by Christine)