Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

How Do the Bonds of Friendship Really Form?

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Jun 23, 2013 9:38 PM

Couples and friends are people with a bond. How did that happen? Social psychology says two major factors are physical proximity and one person experiencing something positive in each other's presence. So, someone wins a prize, has a success, or receives appreciation from others and the new friend or boyfriend accompanying her evaluates her highly and she glows in her self-reflection in his eyes. Other ways to bond-help someone together, meet others together, play a game with each other, fix a problem as a team, make a meal and/or eat a meal together, exercise, be engaged in a creative endeavor, or work near or with each other.

So, why aren't more partners and team members, colleagues, really friends? Is it because they do things together but still irritate each other, so quality of interaction counts more than quantity or just plan presence? Is it because intimacy depends on needs, so it doesn't happen with togetherness unless both people want it to happen , whicch may depend on whether they're lonely, bored or happy with their status in other relatinshps or overwhelmed with too many social obligations? Then, need determines whether the connection "clicks" or not.

What about Facebook friends and other electronic connections? Do real bonds form? There's sharing and positive experiences in front of each other. There may be need. Sometimes, there's a game or a project. But, are the people really accomplishing something concrete together and does intimacy really occur? I doubt it but you may disagree.

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