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Let’s Celebrate International Friendship Day in Kent

Let’s Celebrate International Friendship Day in Kent

Let’s Celebrate International Friendship Day in Kent

This two-minute read looks at different types of friendships and how to
strengthen them.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 30 July as International Friendship
Day in 2011. Friendships are crucial for
our wellbeing and mental health, whether in person or online.


Casual relationships can be with neighbours, fellow gym-goers, or the
waitress in the tea room. These are characterised as low-stake relationships.
This doesn’t mean they’re unimportant. In fact, quite the opposite.

In 2014, a study* showed that people with higher numbers of
acquaintances feel happier than those with less. This is because you feel a
greater sense of belonging and feeling of being part of a community. Dr Anna
Akbari, a sociologist and author, describes these as ‘passive friendships’.

So, when you’re out walking the dog, look up from your phone, make eye
contact with other walkers and develop your network.

Deeper connections

Active friendships are those where you share a deeper connection. You’re
likely to share similar values. Dr Akbari explains that these are the people “you
go out of your way to schedule with, to show up for, to learn from, and to make
new memories with”.

If you feel joy when you’re with them, can confide in them, if they
challenge you, and you feel able to learn from them, they’re likely to be your
important relationships.

Maintaining balance

It can be easy to think of living a balanced life as maintaining a good
work/family life. To truly develop balance, we need to also pay attention to
exercise, hobbies, and our friends, too. Some ways you can nurture your
friendships include:

positive body language when you’re together, like putting your phone down or
leaving it in your bag

Take five
minutes to call or text your friends. You don’t have to spend hours together
for it to be meaningful

traditions, so seeing one another becomes a habit, as important as a business
meeting in the diary

two areas of a balanced life and exercise or take a hobby class with your

photos to one another to share parts of your lives

articles that might interest them when you’re scrolling the news anyway

Bring home
souvenirs for your friends when we can travel properly again

Show up
for events, even if it’s only for half an hour (if you’re tired or busy).

Making new friends can feel like an intimidating task but starting as
acquaintances is a good place to be. How did you meet your friends? Let us know
so we can share with new people moving to Kent. Email