How Friends Impact Your Health

Many people carry friendships from high school or college into adulthood. New friendships are formed with compatible individuals met through work or after moves to new neighborhoods. Sometimes, life changes—increased workloads, rearing children, caring for aging parents—interfere with existing friendships, and we let them slip out of our lives. Career moves may require relocation and leaving friends behind.

Extroverts—naturally outgoing and sociable— find it easy to meet people and form new friendships. They are often described as, “She never meets a stranger," or “He makes friends everywhere he goes."

The naturally shy, socially anxious, or introverted person does not meet people or form new attachments easily. Social events are often avoided. Small talk is dreaded like torture. Without coaxing from others to join in or a personal effort to overcome inhibitions and fears, this individual may let friendship slide—perhaps forever.

It takes effort to make friends and nurture friendships. While social networking can provide connections and relieve loneliness to some extent, making 100 new “friends" online does not take the place of face time in offline relationships. Meeting new people and discovering common interests and values requires getting off the sofa and going out there….Go where you will find other people doing things you are likely to enjoy. Read on...

3/14/2018 7:00:00 AM
Janet Valenty
Written by Janet Valenty
Former medical technologist with extensive drug testing and clinical chemistry experience. Traded the white coat for a business suit as Director of Marketing of a leading clinical lab with two billion in revenues and left that way back in the 90's. These days, doing more reading and publishing when not chasing grandchild...
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The definition of an extrovert is that s/he draws energy from being around people; an introvert becomes drained by too much interaction with people. It isn't true that intoverts are shy, or can't make friends easily. Or rather, make acquaintances easily. Or that introverts can't speak in front of audiences easily.
Intoverts simply need to go home and curl up with a good book after doing these activities.
And you made the mistake of calling us "senior citizens"! No! "Seniors" is acceptable; "older adults" is acceptable. "Senior citizens" is patronizing.
Posted by Susan Mercurio
Excellent article that seems to cover the bases. My only observation is that older people, myself included, prefer to be referred to as seniors or elders, but not as "senior citizens." Not sure where that started, since we wouldn't refer to you as a "middle-aged citizen" or young people as "young citizens?" It's just a matter of being sensitive and respectful.
Posted by Bob H.
I don't have time to do all the happy hours and listen to the daily gripes but when any of my real friends really needs me I'm the first one there to the end. Is that bad?
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