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Making friends matters

Making friends matters
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For the social animal in all of us, there more factors than just physical health that influence our health and happiness. Experts believe that the...

For the social animal in all of us, there more factors than just physical health that influence our health and happiness. Experts believe that the benefits of being sociable and having a healthy social life are immense and that being social is just as important as exercising. “It is really important to be social. Not maintaining proper social contacts will not only put us at the risk of depression but also increase the chances of dementia”, says Arpita, a psychology practitioner, adding that healthy social contacts help people stay emotionally and physically sound.

But in this day and age, where technology and the internet have taken over our schedules, is it really so easy for us to be as social as our ancestors? Some of us are gifted with the natural talent of maintaining healthy social contacts. But unfortunately, for others it is just as hard as baking a cake. But since all human beings are programmed to be social, it is easy to develop the skill.

A recent research published in the Journal of Child Development by lead researcher Virginia Slaughter, professor of psychology at the University of Queensland, Australia, notes that, understanding a peer’s mental perspective may help a child become popular and bring about useful interactions that would help him grow. Children who are good at understanding what others want and think are better at making and retaining friends than their peers, states research.

“Being social is an important skill. Every parent should teach their children to be social as it will not only help them stay happy but also will also keep behavioral issues at bay”, says Dr Sreenivas, clinical psychiatrist. “Teaching children to stay sensitive to others feelings will help them improve their relationship with their peers”, he added. “Caring for others will never make you weak; it will make you strong and will improve your maturity levels.

It’s important to have friends as we cannot live by all alone”, says Kavya a class ten student, who agrees with the research.“Individuals who are polite to others are at a greater advantage than others and are good at displaying self control. They are also well trusted among their peers and are good at academics”, says Parameshwar, a school teacher. “Most of the children nowadays are facing issues as they are not able to make friends easily. By training the children to be sensitive to others, we can help them overcome this problem and reduce suicidal tendencies”, says Bhavani a mother of two children.

By: Vaishnavi Girish

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