By Meredith Goldstein
"I've been the relationship advice columnist at The Boston Globe for more than a decade. That means I've answered thousands of letters from the lovelorn.
But when friends and family ask for advice, it's more complicated. It can be fraught-sometimes I know too much and it can be difficult to remain objective.
Also, if I don't get it right, I could hurt someone I love.
I think it works that way for a lot of us. Helping a stranger can be easier than advising someone we've known forever.
That's why I teamed up with Life Kit to figure out some best practices. Turns out, good advice is often about loosening the body, opening the mind and, more often than not, keeping your mouth shut."
It Takes 50 Hours To Make A Friend
Photo: Strelka Institute/Flickr/Attribution License
According to a study conducted by University of Kansas professor Jeffrey Hall and published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, you can forget about fast friends. The path to becoming BFF’s requires time-and not just any hours will do. “For working adults, more time at work was associated with less closeness in friendship,” Hall says. “Instead, time spent in leisure, at home, or at play really mattered.” In all, you’ll have to dedicate 50 hours to graduate from acquaintance to “casual friend,” 90 hours to jump to “friend,” and 200-plus hours to claim “close friend” status. The good news? That gives you plenty of time to finish making those friendship bracelets.
The Power of Vulnerability
By Brene Brown
"Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity."
In her talk she says, "vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it's also the birthplace of joy, creativity, of belonging and love."
Think Before You React
By Dr. Margi Fox
"With so many ways to have instant access to another person, it's so important for each of us to think before we immediately react by thinking through the various possible intended and unintended consequences of your actions. Your thinking impacts your emotions and colors how you see your situation. Take your own emotional temperature and if it's high give yourself a timed "time out" to calm down the intensity of whatever you are feeling. That will give you the time you need to chill so that you can then think about your thoughts. Sometimes you realize that you were thinking about the situation incorrectly or may have overreacted all together. Other times you realize that your thinking was right on track but that you may need to figure out your next steps. If you didn't hit the send button on your phone or computer, or already called or shown up then you still have time to logically think through what you need to do to be effective in the situation. Have the confidence to be your own resource.
Here are some questions you may want to keep handy.
The key is to be effective and not reactive."
10 Essential Tips for Long-Term Love
By Dr. Roni Beth Tower, ABPP
"A romantic relationship can be easily recognized by its intense and sometimes irrational driving force of emotion. Passion fuels our behavior, guides or distorts thoughts, changes physical and chemical functioning, and alters lives.
The romance might begin with a “coup de foudre," or the lightning bolt that we think of as love at first sight. The attraction can seem to have no earthly reason or explanation, and may appear to emanate from another planet, lifetime, or dimension. It could be the sort of experience that compels someone to abruptly stand up in the middle of a meeting and follow an invisible beam pointing to a person standing across a room.
Romantic love can also arise more slowly, building on a firm foundation of friendship. A base of shared history allows reason to remain in control for at least an initial critical period. It doesn't matter how you found your perfect partner; you typically know when he or she has arrived—and the rest is in the details.
But you must tend to these details to make your relationship flourish. These 10 strategies will help you nourish and sustain a close, romantic relationship."
By Brene Brown
We're all guilty of blaming others. Here's a short and funny video offering an explanation as to why we might quickly jump to blaming others when something goes wrong. She explains that blaming is a temporary discharge of anger, which is different and less effective than holding others accountable and being vulnerable enough to express our own feelings.
by Amit Chowdhry
Do you find yourself spending a lot of time on social media? Have you ever noticed that it can negatively impact your mood? Research is consistently showing that there is a direct relationship between social media usage and depression. More specifically, research is showing that the more time spent on social media or frequency of visits may increase a person's likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms. Continue reading to learn how social media can lead to depressive symptoms...
by Brene Brown and The RSA Animations