Motivational Monday – Friendship: The best holiday investment you can make!
Humans are social beings. There are hundreds of scientific studies that prove this to be true. I believe that that our desire for social acceptance along with a desire to be loved, are the core intrinsic motivators for most of our behavior. I love socializing which is one of the reasons I enjoy the holiday season so much. At a holiday party this weekend I met a woman who told me about a study that was done at the University of Kansas to determine how long it takes for friendships to develop. The article states: “In a new report published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Associate Professor of Communication Studies Jeffery Hall, found that it takes roughly 50 hours of time together to move from mere acquaintance to casual friend, 90 hours to go from that stage to simple ‘friend’ and more than 200 hours before you can consider someone your close friend.” https://news.ku.edu/2018/03/06/study-reveals-number-hours-it-takes-make-friend
I found that fascinating! Based on this research technically I cannot call this woman I met my friend yet since I only spent about 20 minutes talking to her at a party.
I chose this topic today because I think this is especially relevant with the holiday season upon us. I am fortunate to have many wonderful people in my life that I am honored to call friends. Some of my closest friends are also family members. I believe the same principle of time spent together also applies to our “friendships” with our family members.
So how does this apply to motivation? As I stated at the beginning of this article I believe the motivation for friendship and connection is one of our key motivators. Raising my daughter, I always told her that in order to have friends, she needed to first be a good friend. I also told her that it would not always be easy but that it would definitely be worth it. In order for friendships to grow, it takes the investment of time. We all need our friends. Have you ever gone through a major life event, good or bad, and your friends showed up to help when you needed them the most? Remember the gratitude you felt in those moments.
Holiday movies are full of heartwarming stories about people’s lives who were changed when they opened their hearts to friendship. Classic examples include Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”, or “The Grinch,” whose heart grew three times when he first experienced friendship, or another one of my favorites is the characters in Land of the Misfit Toys from the original “Rudolph the Rednosed reindeer.” It is easy to get caught up in the materialism around the holidays but the truth is that things that matter the most in life are the things that money cannot buy.
During this holiday season, I encourage you to consider your friendships. Maybe there are some new people in your life that you want to get to know better. Perhaps there are some old friends with whom you accumulated way more than 200 hours with in your younger years and when you see them after months of no contact, you are able to pick up where you left off. Friendships are so valuable. During this holiday season, take a moment to be thankful for your friends. My mom always told me that investing time in people would never be a waste of time. That was some very good advice, and my mom has been one of my best friends for many years.
This week’s challenge:
- Take time out of your crazy holiday schedule to go to lunch or coffee with a friend.
- Watch a classic holiday movie with a friend.
- CALL, (not text!) at least one friend to tell them how valuable they are in your life.