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  • Brenda Ridgley

2023 Friendship Resolution

Happy New Year Inner Circle!


For years, every January I would lay out extravagant plans to "fix" things that I perceived weren't working in my life by making a New Year's Resolution. I would go on a diet, exercise more, and commit to massive action in my business. It seemed to work for a while, but something would inevitably derail my efforts and I would be left feeling like a failure. Can you relate?


Fed up with the negative history I had with resolutions, about 6 years ago I decided to change it up. Instead of adding work... or a "have-to-do" to my list, I decided to add something fun... a "get-to". I LOVE to entertain, and I am lucky to have some really beautiful fine china and even some vintage family pieces that had just been collecting dust for years. My resolution that year was to use my china more, and that year I hosted 6 small events and got to use it all. At the same time, I created some wonderful memories with friends and family. What a fun way to feel successful!


Maybe entertaining and using china isn't your thing, however, this year, I propose you think of something that is fun for YOU to do MORE of in 2023! How about meeting some new people and building friendship? How about learning and sharing more with the friends you already have?


Last year in January I wrote about creating a Friendship Resolution and it has some great tips if you would like to take a look. Additionally, I follow Marisa G. Franco, PhD and she shared some science-backed resolutions to make more friends in 2023:


1. Reconnect with an old friend.

One study found that when we reconnect with people, they appreciate it more than we assume. Scroll through your phone contacts and find someone you wish you never fell out of touch with. Send them a text saying you were just thinking about (XYZ memory) and you wondered how they were. If they seem interested, ask them to hang out.


2. Ask your friend to put you in touch with someone you might get along with.

We tend to be less lonely when our friends are friends with one another, one study finds. Making friends with your friend's friends is a sustainable way to connect because then any one of you can reach out and maintain relationships for all of you.


3. Repot a relationship to make it a friendship.

“Repotting,” according to Ryan Hubbard, founder of the Kitestring Project, means varying the settings in which you interact. The more we repot a friendship, according to one study, the deeper the friendship. Repotting looks like asking a neighbor, or colleague, who you've been wanting to get to know better, to go for a walk or join you for tea.


4. Join something repeated over time.

One study involved planting strangers in a large lecture course for varying numbers of classes. At the end of the semester, students in the class were asked who they liked best among the strangers. It turns out they preferred the stranger who showed up for the most classes. This was true even though the students didn't remember any of the strangers AND didn't interact with any of them during the class. This phenomenon is called the mere exposure effect: our tendency to like people once they become familiar (and for them to like us!).


Research a group that meets regularly around a hobby or interest of yours (hiking? board games? sports? alumni groups? language classes?; Meetup is a good place to start). Commit to showing up for 2-3 months, so mere exposure sets in, and friendships can sprout.


5. Remember everyone else is looking for friends, just like you.

Sometimes, there are wonderful friend options around, but we discount them because we think "they already have friends," or "I don't want to seem lonely." One study found we overestimate how socially connected others are, and it makes us feel like we don't belong (though it can also motivate us to try to make friends).


This is the mantra I recommendation for you in 2023: "So many people want to be my friend; they're just waiting for me to ask."


As you put yourself out there to make friends in 2023, I am confident it will work for you and even perhaps be life changing! My book Lady and the Tribe, How to Create Empowering Friendship Circles offers more insights on making friends. And if you read it, please share your thoughts.


All my love,


Brenda

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