Human Connections: Connect with Others to Connect with Yourself


In order to lead a healthy, well balanced life, it is important to have some special people in your life. This makes you feel connected, loved, cared for and valued. We all need human connections to thrive and also to be the best we can be in this world. There are many qualities that make up a good friend. Here are three important ones:

1. People who think you are amazing just as you are. Finding friends who like your personality; shy,happy, loud, funny, etc. It is important to surround yourself with people who love you just the way you are. Who don’t judge or try to change you.

2. People who lift you up when you are down. People with chronic illness unfortunalty receive lots of negative feedback from people, so it’s important to counteract that with lots of positive comments from those nearest and dearest to you. One day, after experiencing one of life’s setbacks, I phone a friend to share the experience. Towards the end of the conversation, I jokingly asked, “So, you still think I am the best thing since sliced bread?” My sentence was barely complete when she was uttering the word “BETTER!” with complete sincerity. We all need people like this. They are in your corner 100%, they say just the right thing to put things into perspective, make you laugh and generally lift you up when you are down.

3. People who are there to share the good times. Some people love a good sob story. They love it when you are down on your luck. They can commiserate with you and tell you their woes, too. However, not everyone is able to share the good times with you, too. The people who can are worth keeping close. They don’t feel threatened by your achievements and accomplishments, and are genuinely delighted for you. Life does have its ups and downs and you want the people you’re with to be able to share BOTH with you.

The following five steps will help you to make these important human connections:

1. Think of who in your life is a “good person.” What makes a person a good friend? Having wonderful people in your life does not happen by accident. It takes a little time and awareness on your part. So think about who is in your life at the moment. Feel grateful for the wonderful people who are already in it. Also be aware of those who no longer support you,or “trigger” bad feelings or behavior so you can spend less time with them.

2. Remember that you deserve good people in your life. If you haven’t been used to having them, it may seem a bit strange at first. However, you are not asking them to do or be anything you aren’t to them. Be a good friend, and you will soon be surrounded by friends.

3. If you already have people in your life who are amazing, then spend a few minutes thinking about how you could spend more time with them. This is especially important if you feel like you have been islolating yourself from your current friends and family.

4. If there is room in your life for new people, spend a few minutes and think about how you could meet them. Joining groups where people share a common interest, such as a book club,a knitting circle, or a gym is a great way to find new friends with similiar interests. Another wonderful way to meet people and to give back to the community is volunteering for a charity that captures your interest.

5. If you have had great friends in the past that you have lost touch with, try to reconnect with them. Facebook is a great tool to help you with this. You can write a hand written note on pretty notepaper. Everyone loves to get a nice “hello” note in the mail. Make a phone call. If you don’t know what to say, start with a simple “I am thinking of you”.

2010 (c) Christine Miserandino –

  • Tina Brown

    Fantastic, I needed to hear this, tend to be a hermit.

  • Tami Brotosky

    Good article. Reminds us that staying connected with friends boost mental health and helps manage pain.

    thanks Tami

  • Cathy

    Thank you, for posting this article. it meant alot to me

  • Crystal

    I had to smile when you mentioned a knitting circle. Everyone knows that sometimes I can come and feel great, other times I can’t come for a couple of months.
    There are also online groups for common interests and chat sites where you can just talk and maybe meet other people. My mom has meet some wonderful friends through groups that she likely will never meet in person due to distance but she considers them good friends. For chat sites I like IMVU because it is one on one talking and the other person has to agree to talk. I would look up common interests when I could not get out much, that way I still felt connected to the world, even normal for a while. Unexpectedly I even meet my boyfriend there.
    Places like that are great when you want to talk but you know it is too late to call your friends. There are always people online. I find chat rooms too confusing but I have a friend who loves them.

  • Things change when you have a chronic illness(s). For me, it all came to a halt. The job, friends(some) I had and i do feel isolated sometimes. It is vital to have good friends in your life. Living with Lupus can be “loopie” sometimes. One day your up and going and the next you can be feeling not well. It takes strong, caring, friends who you don’t have to explain things too every time, they just know how it goes. Thanks for the article because iam still going thru changes and this article was very helpful. I hope you are aware of what a blessing this website is for people living with chronic illness.

  • Honda

    What a lovely article and it’s so true also! Thank you for sharing it.

  • Thank you for posting this article. It can be very hard to make friends, especially since it takes energy to do it.

  • Thank you for this article! It is so true and we do need both loud & fast as well as soft & slower moving & talking friends. Both fill a definite need in our lives, each in their own time.

    Every word you wrote is so very very true~
    Thank you~
    gail e (AKA the Stitch ‘n Frog)