Month of July , 2007

Celebrating Friendship Day

In 1935, the US Congress proclaimed the first Sunday in August as Friendship Day. The day, which falls on August 5th this year, is intended to celebrate the friendships that enhance our lives and well-being.

Fortunately, the day hasn’t been commercialized to the same extent as more popular holidays---unfortunately, that also makes it less well-known. In the spirit of the day, I’ll send emails to several of my friends to remind them of how important they are to me...

On the Lighter Side: Friendship Can Make You Fat


Who hasn’t enjoyed the guilty pleasure of sharing an outrageously rich and caloric dessert with a best friend and indulging with abandon? If you have, you better not make a habit of it. A new report published on July 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine seems to suggest that obesity can spread among friends like a virus...


New Kid on the Block: Mastering the motherhood-friendship mix

Most new mothers (whether working or stay-at-home)---who are saddled with responsibility for one or more kids while managing a home---are likely to feel isolated and overwhelmed. Often during this stage of life, changing circumstances (e.g. having single or childless friends who aren’t in similar situations) make it challenging for women to rekindle the common ground that they once shared with female friends...

How many friends does it take…?

An MSN Messenger study of the friendship patterns of 10,000 persons among the UK population cites some interesting statistics:

  • Brits collect an average of 396 friends each over their lifetime.
  • People wind up staying in touch with about 1 out of 12 of the friends they make.
  • The average number of friends they maintain is 33.
  • Only a fifth of the keepers are close friends.
  • Ironically, people spend more time with social friends than close friends.
  • Women see their social friends every 3.5 days while they see their close friends only six times a year.
  • Two-thirds of those surveyed call the attrition of friends one of their “biggest regrets in life”


Another argument for May-December friendships


I was interviewing a woman today about my favorite topic: friendship. After we spoke about a miserably fractured friendship that was causing her great pain, she told me that her most successful relationships were with friends, both male and female, who were almost a decade older than herself.

“Their wisdom and maturity is something I value,” said Connie. She went on to say that when she expressed her opinions or sought advice from these older friends, she felt that they were more genuine, responsive and sensible than most of her peers. After speaking with her at some length, I realized that her older friends must be thrilled with the energy and openness that Connie brings to their lives.


Survey Update: Responses Top 600!


Your response has been nothing short of remarkable. Over the last six weeks, more than 600 women have shared their stories and responded to the Fractured Friendships Survey.


The survey is designed to collect information about the nature and impact of fractured friendships. If you still haven't taken it, click here to contribute your experience. And please share the link with other women you know---as my goal is to reach at least 1000 women from all walks of life.

The survey shouldn't take more than 10 minutes of your/their time. Each additional response will definitely enrich my understanding and, hopefully, help other women think about and assess their friendships.

Many thanks to those who have already responded!






On the Blogosphere: Second Life Friendships


Canadian Jenny Bullough calls her blog The Newbie: The adventures of a wide-eyed innocent in the digital world. Since I’m a bit of a newbie to the blogosphere myself, I was interested to read Jenny’s take on Redefining Friendship.

She writes: “I'm stoked to be going shopping in Second Life twice in the next few days -- tonight for skins, and Monday with the After a Fashion gang for bikinis. Not just because I've been hankering for a new skin, and a bikini to properly show it off, but because it gives me a chance to socialize with my dear friends Eden and Kate.”

If you’ve been living under a rock like me and haven’t signed on or even heard about it yet, Second Life (SL) is a 3-D virtual world that has enticed more than 7 million members from around the globe since it was created in late 2006...


Intergenerational friendships: The special joys of friendships at different ages and stages


I met Dr. Rita Dunn when I was just eleven years old. She was a kindergarten teacher and I was her class monitor. I stood at the end of the line as she took her little ones to the playground, and I helped pick up their blocks and clean the messy jars of finger paint after play period. I loved the time I spent with her. She was beautifully attired, stunningly attractive, and had a knack for making an awkward preteen feel special.

Also the school drama coach, Dr. Dunn coaxed me to try out for the role of Ado Annie in Oklahoma---and ultimately gave me the part. I never could imagine another circumstance under which such a shy young girl would ever find the self-confidence to appear center stage and belt out, “I Can’t Say No.” She told me I could do it and I did. In the audience, my startled parents beamed with pride. From time to time, I still hum the lyrics in the shower and look back at the cast photos in my closet...


Friendships that are truly HEART-FELT

If you need another excuse for getting out of a fractured friendship, here it is: Stressful friendships may be bad for your heart.


A new study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine (June 25, 2007) suggests that the stress of unpredictable love-hate relationships, characterized by ambivalence, can lead to elevations in blood pressure...