Friendly.

Friendly.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Friendly
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”

― Aristotle

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can prove useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

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Friendship.

Friendship.

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Friendship.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Friends.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Friends.

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

― Mark Twain

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

9 Ways to make new friends.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

group of friends.

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Getting good at making new friends.

Many people find that it’s very hard for them to make friends.  Very few people tell me that they have too many friends.  Making friends is a skill and like any other skill you can learn or improve your ability to do this.  If you have ever thought that you would like to have more friends take a look at the list below of ways to improve your friend making skills.

1.  Friends are made around shared activities.

Want friends, you need to get out there. Most friends in life are the result of things that you do with others.  People make friends and schools from kindergarten all the way through graduate school.  Sometimes we make friends at work.  The who join a club or have a hobby often make friends as a result.  If you decide that you would like to have more friends than the first step is to get out there and be in places where you will meet people who might become friends.

2.  Introduce yourself if you want to make friends.

If you want to make friends don’t hold back waiting for others to approach you.  The fastest way to break the ice and create friendship opportunities is to be the one that puts your hand out and introduces yourself.  Remember there may be other people there who would like to find new friends also.  They’re waiting for you to be the one to make the first move.

3.  Asking people about themselves starts friendly conversations.

Most people’s favorite topic is themselves.  One really quick way to get a conversation started is to ask someone about themselves.  Try to avoid overly personal questions.  Ask simple and easy questions that might get the conversation rolling.  Good conversations develop and strengthen friendships.

4.  Give others sincere compliments.

Make it a point to give sincere compliments when you see someone or something that you like.  Avoid overly sugary and insincere sounding compliments.  Letting someone know that you like are appreciate what they have done is a great way to open up a conversation.  Don’t be stingy with sincere compliments.  Develop a reputation as someone who appreciates what others do for them.

5.  Hear them out to create friendships.

Make it a point to listen to what the other person is saying.  Make sure they’ve finished their statement before you interrupt and begin to comment.  People who are good communicators develop friendships.  The key to the art of communication is to understand what the other person is saying, not to force them to understand what you mean.

6.  Get clarification.  Don’t assume you know what they are talking about.

In any kind of conversation, it’s very important to be sure you accurately understand what the other person is saying.  Ask for clarification.  Sometimes it helps to summarize what they are saying.  Pay special attention to the feelings behind the facts.  Knowing why someone feels what they feel will help you to understand them as a person.

7.  Ask potential friends about their opinion.

In the beginning of a relationship, it is more important to ask other people about their opinion that it is to express yours.  Find out what this other person thinks about things.  This will help you decide if this is someone you want in your life or someone who you should avoid.

8.  Stay in contact to strengthen friendships.

When you meet someone you think is a potential friend don’t let it end with that first meeting.  Make an extra effort to get their phone number or other contact information.  Find a reason to make a second contact.  Look for other opportunities to do something together again.  It takes repeated contact to turn an acquaintance into a friend.

9.  Give as much as you take to maintain a friendship.

In the beginning of new friendships, it is important that they be reciprocal.  Make sure to avoid relationships with people who may be out to use you.  Be careful about pursuing friendships when you’re only desire is to get something from that other person.  The best friendships are ones where you would feel comfortable doing for them and expect that they would do the same for you.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

How to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Avoiding confusion and misunderstandings

Avoiding confusion and misunderstandings
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do misunderstandings and confusion harm your relationships?

Misunderstandings can damage relationships at home and at work. If your life and relationships are plagued with misunderstandings, people misunderstand you or they say you misunderstand them, there are ways you can improve communications. These examples apply mostly to the office or work setting but the same principles apply at home and in your personal relationships.

Asking lots of questions reduces misunderstandings.

Rather than jumping to a conclusion based on a few statements, ask questions. Often as you get more information you will discover that the other person left out important details. They may not have been trying to lie or mislead you, they just did not know that you did not have part of the information.

When someone uses the word “hot” do they mean a warm temperature or do they mean very desirable? If they talk about plans to go somewhere do they intend to go there today or next month or after they retire?

Many misunderstandings are the result of bits of information that were left out.

Check out your understandings to avoid confusion.

When someone says we are all going, who is all? Does that include Mary? And Bob? What if Mary and Bob just broke up, does the speaker still want them both invited? Does the person you are talking to know about that break-up?

The other person may assume you know what they know or that you are thinking about the same place they are. Ever show up for a meeting and find that the person who called the meeting had a different location in mind but failed to convey that information?

Precise language makes things clearer.

Fuzzy language leads to misunderstandings. Strive to fill in the details. Things like “and stuff” and “you know what I mean” leave a lot of room for serious misunderstandings.

How big is big? If we need a lot of paper is that one ream or 100 reams? If you partner says to not let the kids do something is that today or ever? Should you tell them no or are you expected to hold them down and stop them?

Put it down in writing to get it right.

A saying in many offices is that “if it is not down in writing than it didn’t happen.” Documenting things avoids misunderstandings. This is especially important if there is money involved or someone is doing something now and the other person will do something else later. When is later?

Successful meetings usually have minutes. Deciding who will do what works better if it is written down and everyone gets a copy of the minutes. More than once we have done that only to find that not everyone was in agreement. I thought one person was in charge and someone else thought they were in charge of that activity.

Just because I said we needed to do something did not mean that I planned to be the one to do it.

Written lists are important in your home life as well as you work one. Give kids more than one thing to do and they tend to forget the second and third thing. Written chore lists help avoid forgetting.

When I am going to the store I make a written list. Otherwise, I get one ingredient but forget something else and need to make a second trip. This becomes more problematic when someone else needs to do the shopping for me.

Check back during the process to keep the communication working.

If things will take time to get accomplished it is wise to check back as the project progresses. Things change. The person who said they would do something may have gotten sick or discovered they had too many other things to do.

Checking in as things progress lets plans be adjusted. Better to change plans than to spend a lot of time at the end on whose fault it is that something did not get done or was done wrong.

Double and triple check your facts for reduced misunderstandings.

Sometimes that thing you were sure you knew turns out to not be true. Recheck dates, times, names and costs. Get those facts right.

Sunday your family member says that there is an important meeting “next Monday” Does that mean tomorrow or a week from tomorrow. I know purists have ways of telling you the correct way to say things, but does it matter who was right when you show up for an event on the wrong day? Recheck the facts and avoid the misunderstandings.

Make your yes’s yes and no’s no.

Sometimes people say yes to acknowledge that they heard the speaker. They may be agreeing that so and so said that, but not agreeing to the truth of the statement or that they will do as requested. No may mean that the statement was not accurate rather than that they were opposed to the goal.

Do not say yes or no unless that is what you mean. When others say yes or no check what they are agreeing with or disagree with.

Don’t take things personally.

People may say things about others behavior. They have in mind a particular behavior and a particular person. They may not have you in mind at all.

Do not assume that people are knowledgeable about your needs or tastes.

Keep things simple.

The longer the statement the more time there is for there to be confusion and misunderstanding. Long explanations rather than making things clearer often make them harder to understand. For clearest communication use short simple sentences. Check that people are following what you say as you go.

Many misunderstandings are the result of a long conversation with few pauses which leave the listener with a different message than was intended. The less the person you are talking to knows about your topic the simpler the explanation needs to be. This is especially important in communicating with younger children and those with some emotional or mental disabilities or cognitive impairments.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

11 rules for Making Friends and Creating a Support System

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

True friends.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.

Positive social networks can keep you healthy.

Modern society moves at a fast pace. People move a lot and there are smaller families than there used to be. One challenge for all of us is how to create or strengthen those support system. Networking is just as important in your personal emotional life as it is in your professional life.

The best professional networks should include some people who you would want as friends and supporters. Here are some suggestions on how to strengthen those connections with others by making friends, developing networks and strengthening your support system.

1. Shared interests build friendships.

Most friendships develop around shared interests. If you want to make more friends go where people who like the same things as you hang out. Hang out at a bar and you meet drinkers. Go to the book club and you meet readers. The activities you enjoy are the best places to meet people who like what you do. Do not wait till you have friends to do things. Do the things you love first and you will make friends who love the same things you do.

2. To meet new people come early and stay late.

Arriving late for a meeting keeps you from talking to others. So does running off before the meeting ends. If you want to meet others you need to budget your time as well as your money. Come a little early to meet people and plan to hang around a few minutes after meeting ends so you can talk to other like-minded people.

3. Help others – get into services.

Offer to help out. Set up chairs make coffee or hand out programs. Doing things to be of service makes you more a part of the group and is a great way to meet other people.

4. Be a giver, not a taker.

If you are only there for what you can get out of a gathering you are likely to be disappointed. A selfish person is not high on the desirable list. Learn to do things for others just for the joy of giving and you will find that others appreciate you and what to get to know you.

This does not mean that you need to let others abuse you or that you need to buy your way into a group by doing or paying for things. What is important is that to make friends and supporters you need to act like the kind of person they would like to have for a friend.

5. Take someone with you.

Friendships are networks. Invite someone to go with you and you are not alone. They may well invite you the next time. The best way to meet people is through the people you already know. Make sure that the friends you hang out with are positive people. Your friends tend to introduce you to others just like they are.

6. Stay on topic.

If you are in a group that is talking about school activates do not try to take over the group and tell the stories of your last trip to where ever. Even in small-talk conversation try to share about the things others are talking about.

7. Help others join in.

The fastest way to make new friends is to help others to join in. Put your hand out, say hello and you will find you are the go-to person for making friends.

8. Pay attention to the person you are talking to.

Remembering people’s names is a blessing. Work on it. Refer to others by names some of the time. Be careful that you have something real to say rather than punctuating every other sentence with their name. Having someone repeat your name several times in a sentence makes them feel like you are talking to a creepy call-center person.

One way to develop a deeper connection is to really pay attention to the person you are talking with. Look at them and stop looking around. Looking over your shoulder for the next conversation victim tells the person that you are talking with that they do not matter that much to you.

9. Don’t cling on desperately – be ready to mingle.

In new situations, once you meet someone and engage them in conversation be ready to let them go. Having someone you just met latch onto you and follow you around the rest of the evening can feel like you now have a stalker.

10. Try to reconnect. Send emails, friend, connect on social media.

Whenever possible get a person’s contact info. Make sure you send them an email, friend them on social media or give them a call. Reach out to them like you want to be friends not like you are trying to sign them up for your multi-level marketing company.

11. Be sensitive to others needs for privacy.

Some people are all out there. Their life is an open book. Others, they are more private people. Do not push to invade others privacy. Some people keep their social media set to only a handful of close friends and family. Others have 15,000 best friends in their circle.

Know whether the person you met is open to you just dropping by or do they keep their home a sanctuary for just them and their family.

When adding friends to your support system think first about how public or private you want this relationship to be and make that clear if there is a chance that the person you just met will friend you and show up for dinner.

You will have some friends that are in all parts of your life and others that may be in only a few shared activities.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Characteristics of a good friend.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Characteristics of a good friend.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are your friends really good for you?

Some friends are positive factors in your life. Other people, you are calling friends are destructive. We all need people in our lives but how do you tell which of these folk you should keep as friends and which should be demoted to the “acquaintance” category?

Friends are those people who you can turn to when you are down. The ones you think will hold your secrets. Acquaintances are those people you can talk to about sports or the latest show on T. V. but do not feel comfortable telling them things they might use later on to hurt you.

An old but true saying goes “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” For better or worse we become more like our friends over time. Pick your friends wisely.

Here are some characteristics to look for in friends that will enrich your life, not pull you down.

1. Friends build you up not tear you down.

There are some people in your life that it just feels good to be around. They are positive people, and they are positive about you.

Negative people tear you down in order to make themselves feel better. Hang with those who want you to succeed not those who expect you to fail.

2. Friends want the best for you.

If that supposed friend is backbiting, spreading rumors or competing with you, cut them loose. Some people are too jealous to enjoy seeing you succeed.

A true friend will be happy for you when good things happen in your life. True friends are not jealous.

3. Friends accept you as you are.

True friends know about your flaws and like you anyway. They should care enough to tell you the truth when you mess up but they should also like you anyway.

You do not have to pretend to be someone or something you are not in order to keep their friendship.

If a friend insists you look a certain way, attend a certain function or spend money on specific things to fit in with their crowd, – beware.

4. They don’t insist you change if they are to remain your friend.

Friends want you to grow and change. They do not ask for the changes because they think there is something wrong with you, they love you for who you are after all. They do want to see you grow and develop because they see that you have so many possibilities that they what to see you succeed.

Friends who insist that you conform to their standards to be with them are all about themselves and not about you.

5. You are happy around them.

Good friendship makes you feel good. If it hurts to be around someone, if seeing them always brings you down, take another look at this relationship.

Friends are a source of joy. You should feel at ease around a good friend not feel that you are constantly being judged.

6. Friends bring out the best in you.

There is just something about having a good friend that makes you want to do more, be more and results in you being the best you can be. Your friend should be encouraging you to greater accomplishments. They should not be pulling you down.

If that person is holding you back – they are not a friend.

7. Friends are supportive of you.

Friends are there when you need them. They support you in the tough times as well as the good ones. If you only see someone when times are going well they are “fair weather friends” the kind that has no substance when the storms of life occur.

Pick friends who support you, come what may.

8. You like the same things.

Friendships customarily develop around shared activities and interests. It is possible to be friends with someone who likes or believes different things than you do. But not having any common interests makes for some difficult choices. If you find that you are both sharing things that help both of you grow and develop this is helpful. But if you find that you need to give up your interest and beliefs to be around this other person, question this friendship.

9. You share common goals and values.

If your friend is all about shopping and having the latest things and you are determined to save and be frugal this friendship is headed for trouble.

Divergent views of right and wrong can undermine your values.

Sure you can hang out with a drug addict and not use, but is that really enjoyable or are you giving up having a friend to be their rescuer?

10. You are headed in the same direction.

Where are you going in your life?

Do you what to be a good parent and this friend wants to stay young and party? Are you serious about your career, relationship or recovery? Does this other person respect your values and support them or are they always trying to get you to go along with them in things that do not align with your goals?

11. Friends are happy when you succeed.

Does this person get happy for you when you succeed? Or are they jealous and undermine you? True friends revel in their friend’s accomplishments and offer you recognition for what you do well.

Take a look at these characteristics of real true friends. If the ones you have measure up, be thankful. If your friendships are less than they should be work on improving those friendships. But some people you have been calling friends may not belong on that list. Sometimes there are people in our life we need to let go of.

Consider taking an inventory of your friendships today and decide what you need to do to be rich in friendships.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.