Tagged With friendship

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A few years ago an ex-boyfriend of mine got married. Our breakup was amicable and we both stayed friends with a lot of the same people. That meant when it came time for his wedding weekend, my Facebook feed was flooded with pictures of his rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception. Yes, I was happy for him, but not happy enough I wanted to see (literally) a thousand pictures of the festive event I wasn't a part of.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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There's something magical about cancelling plans last minute - yes, I've heard the John Mulaney joke. You instantly get to do whatever you want and not feel beholden to anyone. True freedom is only a shameful text away. But flaking out is a slippery slope that can lead to a detrimental, and fairly rude, habit. Here's why you get such a rush of relief when your evening suddenly frees up, and how to stop yourself from becoming the person who always bails.

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Have you ever had a moment of connection with a stranger? I'm not talking about a romantic or sexual connection (though those are nice too), but more of a quick smile as you pass on the street, or a one-off joke shared while waiting in the grocery-store line, or some other brief, shared experience that made you feel that stranger was actually special and could have, in other circumstances, been a friend? I love those moments, which are few and far between, because they make me feel like the universe of potential friends is bigger than I'd thought. I've always wondered why those moments happen - why they happen with one person and not another, or at one time and not another.

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Workplaces are funny little ecosystems. You spend all your time working and developing complex relationships with everyone from the security guard to your shared desk mate, but occasionally, these fragile work friendships can go south.

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Everyone does not have more friends than you, even though, as a study at UBC Vancouver indicated, plenty of people believe their friends all have more friends. Everyone is not going to parties you're not invited to, meeting a wide array of people across all backgrounds and slices of life, who come together in a rich tapestry of social circles that rivals the opening titles of Sesame Street.

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Have you ever heard of emotional labour? The concept has been around since the sociologist Arlie Hochschild defined the term in 1983. It's essentially the work that we do, either professionally or personally, to regulate and present our emotions in a socially acceptable way -- and to care for the emotional well-being of others. An epic thread on Metafilter about emotional labour touched on the kinds of things that people (often women) are expected to do to maintain relationships: Make nice holidays and meals, shop for appropriate gifts for their families and often their partners' families, and -- here's the kicker -- send birthday cards.

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Last Friday, we spent the evening with two other families with young children at the supermarket. We have the routine down to a science. After having dinner together, we'll head to the shops, cram all the little kids into a couple of shopping carts, and while the dads push them through the aisles, the mums will do some grocery shopping.

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Judging from the many internet rants ("10 Things Childfree People Will NEVER Understand", "Why Mums and Dads Are Selfish and Annoying"), you'd think parents and non-parents are entirely different species. Something happens the moment a baby is born -- adult friendships that once seemed so easy become filled with obstacles ("What do you mean you can only eat dinner at 4:45PM?" "Why don't you answer my phone calls, ever?" or "Sorry, I don't have to time to hear about your promotion/mother-in-law problems/recent holiday -- the baby is crying").

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Some of us just aren't great at remembering faces, which can result in an awkward moment when we think we're meeting someone for the first time and they say we've met before. Or even worse, we think we've met someone before and greet them that way, only to find out they have no idea who we are. Here's a one sentence trick to avoiding these embarrassing moments.