Do you need a friend makeover?

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

Friends
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

True friends can improve your life.

Having good long-term friends in your life can be even more beneficial than being in a good relationship. With today’s high rates of breakups and divorces, you’re more likely to have one of your school friends in your life than your ex when you grow older. Studies have shown that friends are even more critical to your happiness than your romantic partner.

Humans are inherently social animals, and we don’t do well when we don’t feel we belong in the herd. The strong sense of connection positive friends provide can improve both your physical and your mental health.

People with close mutual friendships are healthier and live longer.

Being connected with friends and spending time with them reduces stress. It makes you less likely to be lonely or to feel isolated. Being lonely and isolated is just as damaging to your physical health as smoking, drinking, or being seriously overweight. People with networks of positive friendships tend to live longer. Spending time with friends can brighten your day and improve your mood.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Have you ever noticed that some people start to look like their dogs? People also begin to act like their friends. Hang out with the winners, and you’re likely to be a winner. Hang out with losers – will you know what will happen. Positive friends help motivate you to do things. Negative friends suck all the energy out of you.

One of the things people in recovery from drugs and alcohol learn quickly is that they begin to act like the people they hang out with. If you want to stop smoking, don’t spend a lot of time around smokers. You won’t get sober spending a lot of time in a bar. If all your friends go to college, you’re more likely to go there, and even if you don’t, you’re likely to learn a lot from those friends.

Friends can provide emotional support.

Whatever the goals you are trying to accomplish, friends can support you. People with positive friends are more productive and more likely to take the actions needed to take you where you’re going. Whether it’s writing your book or losing that weight, telling your friends what you’re working on can engage them in supporting you. Having someone cheering you on can motivate you to keep going when things get tough.

There’s a difference between friends and acquaintances.

I wish social media had never started calling those links to your profile “friends.” While you may connect with one or two real friends on any social media platform, the bulk of the people you’re calling friends are electronic imposters. Those are pixels, not people. Real friendships are reciprocal. They would do something for you, and you would do something for them. And I don’t mean just push the like button on their latest post.

Beware of friends who are only around when they need something from you. When you’re going through the tough times in life, look around and see who still considers themselves your friend.

Developing genuine friendships can be challenging.

Making friends can be a struggle. As our lives progress, it’s harder to put yourself out there and meet new people. If you are an introvert, or high in anxiety, making new friends may seem impossible. Despite all the challenges in making new friends, the benefits of friendship are well worth the effort. Remember, there are others out there who would like to make a new friend just as much as you do.

Another way to increase the quality of your friendships is to reconnect with old friends you’ve lost touch with. Life gets busy, and sometimes we forget to stay in contact. Some of those friends you haven’t talked to for a while would love to hear from you again.

You make friends through shared activities.

Most friendships develop around something you do together. Lifelong friends are often someone you met in elementary school or high school. Old school friends are likely to be in your life come what may. If you engage in an activity, have a hobby or other interest, your involvement in that activity is a great way to create new friends.

If you want to make new friends, do more positive activities.

Whatever your interests, stop being passive and become involved. People who garden and join the gardening club frequently make lifelong friends. People who are active in sports develop friends who play the same sports.

Be careful about having your entire social circle revolve around your work. If the only thing you have in common is where you work, that friendship may not outlast your employment. People whose only friends are work friends may find themselves alone once they retire or leave the company. The people you enjoy spending time with are the ones who will contribute the most to having a happy life.

How satisfied are you with the quality of your friendships?

If friendships are an important part of your life, please leave a comment below. If you’d like to learn more about improving the quality of your friendships, please look at the other posts in the category – friends.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six 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.

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead. The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

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.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

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

Books are now available on Amazon.

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

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

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.

Reasons they don’t like you.

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

Reasons they dislike you.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

What you are doing to drive people away and how to fix it.

You find it hard to make friends and harder still to keep them. Does it often feel like people around you don’t like you? Chances you are doing things, and more importantly, you are thinking things, that are making it hard for others to like you. One big reason you may be feeling rejected is that you have been rejecting yourself.

If you don’t like yourself, you make it hard for others to like you. Are your insecurities getting in the way of having good relationships? People who are insecure often adopt negative behavior patterns to protect themselves from rejection by others. Some of the things you have been doing to try to make yourself feel more self-confident may be making you hard to be around.

Being arrogant drives people away.

The definition of arrogant is to have an exaggerated belief in your own importance and abilities. If you find you need to brag about everything you do, puff yourself up, to get other people to notice you, they may perceive you as arrogant. Arrogant people are conceited, afraid to admit when they made a mistake and are very egotistical.

The solution to being perceived as arrogant is to be humbler. Being humble does not mean low self-esteem. It means thinking and treating others as your equal. Respecting other people’s opinions and being willing to ask them for help when you need it.

Selfish, self-centered people are hard to like.

Taking good care of yourself is not the same things being selfish. Selfish people are concerned only about themselves. They lack concern or even consideration for others feelings and needs.

The cure for being selfish is to work on the ability to genuinely care about others.

Are you always negative?

Negative people are a real downer. We all understand that our family or friends may have difficult times. We want to be there for them through those challenges. But if you’re one of those people who sees everything and everyone as bad and worthless, your constant negativity will drive people away.

People who can see the good in others are enjoyable to be around. If you would like to have more friends you need to practice your ability to see the good in others. It’s often easy to see the mistakes others make, but a focus on those mistakes eliminate your ability to ever see the good that anyone has done. The cure for negativity? Become a positivity expert!

Are you an emotional vampire?

Some people practice the skill of sucking all the joy out of the room. If spending time with you wears people out and they feel like you’re sapping their energy, they will stop coming around.

Practice enthusiasm and you will feel more energized. Enthusiasm is contagious, and people like to be around people who enjoy being around them.

It’s hard to care about people who are apathetic.

If you do the minimum to get by, people are likely to pass you by. If you don’t care about the things you’re doing, start doing something different. It’s fun to be around people who love what they’re doing. Being around people who just don’t care is likely to make you not care.

If other people are seeing you as apathetic, maybe even lazy, find some goals you can be passionate about.

People who are no fun are hard to like.

If you take everything in life deadly serious, people will only be able to take you in small doses. It’s easiest to make friends with people who are fun to be around. Take the serious stuff seriously. But there are a great many things in life every day that is not a matter of life and death. Learn to enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy, and people will be attracted to you.

Want to be that fun person to be around? Learn to play more.

Rigid, defensive people create resistance.

If you are set in your ways, expect other people to take a different path. If you are defensive, people will begin to feel self-protective around you. They are walking on eggshells. Having to constantly worry that you will say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and upset someone is a difficult situation. If you are not able to give as well as take, people will avoid you.

People who are flexible and accepting are easier to like. Work on being more open to alternatives. When you meet people, who are different from you, view this is an opportunity to learn from them.

Look at yourself and your personality. If any of these characteristics of unlikable people fit you, consider this an improvement opportunity. Learning to be a likable person is an opportunity for personal growth. The more likable you become, the more you will discover you like yourself. Practicing likability is a great way to improve your self-esteem.

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.

Becoming your own best friend.

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

Friends

Best friend.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Would you treat a friend that way?

You teach others how to treat you. How you treat yourself is the model for the kind of treatment you get from others. Part of recovery, from whatever challenge you are recovering from, is to develop a good support system. That support system should begin with you. If you don’t treat yourself right no one else will.

Some people think they need to whip themselves in order to become a better person. Being cruel to yourself does not make you a more loving person. Learn to be a good friend to yourself and you will be practicing being a better friend to others. You need to be a good friend to have friends. Treat yourself better and you will find treating others becomes your normal way of being.

Here are some things you can do to treat yourself better.

Recognize what you do right.

People who only hear about the things they did wrong, start to feel like they can’t do anything right. Makes sure you are taking the time to notice the things you did well. Give yourself a mental round of applause for your accomplishments. Do not minimize what you accomplish by saying it should be more. Friends accept friends as they are and see the good in them. Do this for yourself.

Talk nicely to you. No name-calling.

Calling someone names and putting them down damages relationships and it hurts others. Do not call yourself names. It is a form of bullying, maybe even abuse. How can you expect others to treat you well when you abuse yourself?

Practice good self-care.

If you value things you take care of them. If you care about others you want to take care of them. Do the same for yourself.

Accept that however you are is OK.

Learn to accept yourself as you are. Sure you can try to grow and improve, but how you are now is OK also. This is the great dilemma of life. You have to accept yourself as you are to be able to grow. You will become a better person because you care about yourself not because you try to whip yourself into shape. Love yourself warts and all.

Want better for you.

A real friend wants the best for their friends. Want the best for you. Plan for a better life. Do not let where you are, determine where you are going. Be happy in the place you find you but always be striving to make you and your corner of the world better.

Make sure your needs are met.

You can’t get very many miles out of a car with an empty gas tank. Dead batteries do not make things go. Give yourself the best nutrition you can. Get plenty of sleep. Cars driven too far, too fast, break down. So do people, Do your daily maintenance. Keeping yourself together includes paying attention to your emotions as well as your body’s physical needs. Noticing you are depressed and using your tools to feel better will keep your emotions in better condition.

Challenge unhelpful thoughts.

Most people have a swarm of unhelpful thoughts every day. The should’s and can’t’s, the musts and have-to’s. If those thoughts you have, are holding you back challenge them. Do you really have to or is this something you are doing for someone else?

Work to please you not others.

If you get pleasure out of doing something well that pleasure will motivate you to keep going. Try to please others and they may let you down. We rarely get as much recognition from others for a job well done as we want. If you make sure to give yourself that recognition, you will never be lacking in that essential ingredient – approval.

Show yourself, love.

If you love someone you need to show it. Kids who never hear from their family that they are loved can grow up to think they are unlovable. If you do not think you are lovable no amount of love from others can fill up that empty hole. Learn to do little things for yourself that tell you that you love yourself. Then share that love with others who also love themselves.

Loving yourself does not make you selfish or self-centered. Feeling good about you is a strength that allows you to care about others.

Forgive yourself.

All humans make mistakes. There are no perfect people and the more you do in life the more mistakes you will make. Learn to forgive yourself which makes forgiving others so much easier. Fail to forgive yourself and you can become a judgmental person who is unable to find anyone who measures up to their standards.

Get honest with yourself.

Sometimes a real friend needs to tell their friend the truth. Learn to tell yourself the truth. You do not need to pretend to be better than you are. The way you are is just fine. You will become a different person over time. Life experiences change us.

The people who grow and improve are the ones who are able to face the truth about themselves and still like who they are. Knowing the truth can free you to make the changes you need to make to move forward. Lying to yourself is a prescription for staying stuck in your problem-filled life.

If you want more or better friends, begin by practicing being your own best friend and then expand that to befriending others. Let me know how this friend thing is working for you.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six 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.

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead. The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

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.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

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

Books are now available on Amazon.

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

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

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.

Ways to be more likeable

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

group of friends.

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Ways to be better liked

Some people are just easier to like than others. No, likeability is not genetic.

Likeable people have certain skills that they excel at. Even if you did not pick these skills up unconsciously you can learn them. Want to be one of those very likable people? Here are some skills you can practice to improve your likeability index.

Look for the bright spot in everything.

Likeable people are positive. They see good in every situation. People who only see the problems and the difficulty are downers. To be likable you need to pull others up not push them down.

Look at every situation and ask yourself “what is the good I can find in this situation?” Practice finding the good everywhere you go and people will invite you to go with them.

Look for the good in people.

Popular people have positive attitudes about those around them. They encourage others to be the best they can be rather than pulling them down. To improve your likeability look for the good in others. What you look for you will find. People like to be around others who like them.

Good leaders look for the skills in people and “encourage their strengths.” Encourage the best in others and you may become their best friend.

Be curious about others.

To become more likable think less about yourself and more about others. Cultivate a curiosity about others. What do they enjoy? Where do they like to go? Learn about their hobbies and their interests. You may find that something they care about interests you also. The best way to develop more friendships is to find interests you have in common. Shared activities build strong friendships.

Don’t look for someone to blame.

Avoid blame when things go wrong. Take responsibility for your errors and try to remedy the situation. If things go wrong look for alternative solutions, not someone to blame. People who are willing to help when things are off-kilter are more likable. Those who are always looking for someone to blame drive others away.

Practice patience to become more likable.

Impatient people are annoying. Patience people give others time to explain what they mean. Patient people are just easier to be around. Let everyone talk at their comfortable pace. Give others the time they need to learn a new skill.

Walk in their shoes.

Their Shoes

Their Shoes
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Think about what the other person is going through. Why do they see things the way they do?

There are often two, or more, ways to see things. Look at it from the other person’s perspective rather than asking why they don’t think and do things the way you do.

Let people see the real you – do not be fake.

Trying to be something you are not is not the route to popularity. Be the real you. Those who like you will be attracted to you. People who do not are just not the ones you need to attract.

Improve yourself – Be the kind of person you would like to be around.

Work on being the best you possible. Do not work on making others like you. Work on being the best possible person you can be and those who matter will want to hang out with you.

Look for the characteristic that you find admirable in others. Develop those characteristics in yourself. Become your own best friend and others will want you for a friend.

Have a clear moral compass.

Likeable people have a clear understanding of right and wrong. They do not need others to agree with them to feel confident in their beliefs. Do not change your beliefs to please those you are around. Learn from all the people you meet but be a consistent you.

Be willing to try something new.

Popular people are not set in their ways. They are willing to try new things and explore new ideas. This does not mean you should do things that you feel are wrong only because others are doing them. But do not close your mind just because the situation or the person is different from what you expected.

Say what you mean in a clear way.

Do not be wishy-washy. Likeable people are able to communicate well. They know what they want to say and they say it. Avoid “weasel words” and take a position. Do not keep others guessing about your true intentions.

Care about others.

Likeable people are not all about themselves. They care about others. Develop your caring skill and you will encourage others to care about you. If everything you do is about you, then you will be cultivating friends who are selfish and only care about themselves.

Practice these methods and develop the skills you need to become a more likable person, likable to yourself, and likable to others.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six 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.

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead. The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

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.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

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

Books are now available on Amazon.

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

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

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.