The Art and Power of Friendship
Creating and maintaining friendships is an art. But what is the power of friendship? It is also a major stimulus for your brain’s growth and development. Friendship promotes the production of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and expands the influence of the most organized parts of your brain. See this interview with Dr. Joann Ruthsatz.
These expand your intrinsic mental powers, increases the depth of connection with others and makes it easier for you to continue to do the same. Let’s explore a few potential challenges to the opportunities friendships offer.
Most of us are born into our family relationships. You have little to do with choice of parents, siblings or extended family. This gives you the opportunity to interact with people you may not have necessarily chosen. This promotes diversity and flexibility in your relationships. They are genetically similar so there will be inherited and familial traits that allow you to compare management of similar tendencies. Family relationships also encourage resilience as these relationships, in one way or another, last a lifetime. Resilience represents increased connectivity between your Conscious and Subconscious Minds. This helps you avoid anger, anxiousness, addiction and judgmentalness in conflictual situations. See the article Why People Suffer.
The Power of Friendship: The Early Days
Your first steps into a non-family situation begins a pattern that will take effort to change. When you first visit another family or go to school, who do you trust? What are the rules and who are all these other little people? Skills are borrowed from your family relationships that help you feel safe and comfortable. Initially, the presence of family members can make these transitions easier and promote early success. Early success is critical and will ease such transitions in the future.
Your Subconscious Mind remembers everything you have ever been through and stores these memories as stories connected to the relationships of your life. Your first interactions with new friends creates a “memory peg”. It will recall the way family relationships helped or didn’t help your early transitions. It will create habit patterns born of traits you drew from family relationships that lead to successful conversations. Your Amygdala, your emotional memory storage house, will tag each memory with the emotions felt at the time. This will create a cascade of thoughts feelings and actions that will be replayed and refined many times in your life. See the article Integrating Childhood Issues: Opening Up Old Memories.
Many things can affect the early success of friendship formation. ADHD can cause attraction to others with ADHD. See the article The Neurobiology of ADHD. You also may miss nonverbal cues that will make relationships a little more difficult… like those with your teachers and classmates. They will expect you to see, remember and respond in ways that may not yet be possible for you. The combination of these effects can lead to a hesitance in friendship formation well into your future. Through the influence of Mirror Neurons there will also be a tendency to fill your life with others with symptoms of ADHD.
Bipolar Disorder is another largely inherited tendency that can be hard on the continuity of friendships. Changes in mood and behavior often begin in junior high. Earlier you may have established great relationships at home and school although often multiple members in the family are frequently affected making even early relationships potentially difficult. Somewhere between 10 and 15 years of age, just as estrogen and testosterone hit, your “highest mind” tries to integrate into the system before it’s ready. See the article Healthy Habits and Psychotherapy for Bipolar Disorder.
This integration usually begins the process of thinking for yourself. This can be a difficult life transition and is made more difficult with the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. It seems this part of the mind isn’t yet unready and is unable to integrate its mood and relationship responsibilities. Home relationships are often turned upside down - particularly feelings involving parents. Additionally, old friendships tend to give way to new friendships with those who also struggle with Bipolar Disorder or another similar disorder.
How to Tap into the Power of Friendship
No matter what the challenge, your choices provide you the ability to change your brain and enhance your life. You can overcome such initial difficulties with awareness of the factors that remain under your control that increase the innate value of your friendships. Studies have indicated that your progress in life is largely determined by your five closest friends. You can discover and expand personal strengths. With these efforts, you can simultaneously increase the depth of your relationships and your ability to contribute to your world. Here are a few suggestions. These suggestions and many more are central to the Oneness Approach and the video course called the Oneness Grow Membership.
Friendships build personal strengths. Look at your friendships
- Improve the quality of present friendships to help build personal interests/strengths.
- Find people to build personal strengths that presently aren’t supported by a friendship.
- Search for a world class friend to help you build the strength that means the most to you.
Friendships can build your personal depth and resilience. What happens to your friendships over time? Is there a story your friendships usually follow?
- Think back to three relationships you wish you had held onto.
- Determine what you could have done to be enjoying these relationships today. Then… do this today!
- Determine what you did to form these relationships and what you could do today to form new relationships like these.
Friendships can make life fun!
- If you are bored, what friendship could help you shake up your boredom and add balance to your life.
- What life interest have you let go?
- What talent needs nurtured?
- If you want to take some aspect of life “to the next level”
- Who is the best on Earth at this? Read their book. Attend their conference. Become their friend.
Each type of relationship adds zest and purpose to life. The Oneness Grow Membership is full of such information and is available to you right now! Just follow this link to sign up, risk-free.