Friendships

Welcome to Thriving-Baby-Boomers – A Whole person approach to wellness

“Empowering others to take a balanced approach to their own health and wellness by focusing on all aspects of the whole person.’

“Focusing on the whole person to maximize health and wellness for life.”

 

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Friendships For Baby-Boomers

Friendships in the lives of Baby-Boomers’ are essential for one’s mental health and well-being. There are many levels of friendship – casual, close and intimate.

We will explore each of these levels in a little more depth below.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we all need people to meet different needs on this scale. First we need our basic needs of air, food, and water. Next, one has safety needs. In the third and fourth levels of this scale (Social & Esteem) is where the importance of human contact is important for adults.

One doesn’t need many people in their lives, just a few close and intimate confidants who one can share their deepest heartfelt hopes, dreams, wishes and even their fears and insecurities.

Friendships serve many purposes.

Casual

Casual connections are created and maintained through common interests, such as Bridge or Scrabble games, or sports teams. Others are developed through fraternities and continue throughout one’s life. Some are founded through community service agencies such as Rotary, or church outreach and missionary work.

As the name casual implies, these connections aren’t very deep and people can go weeks, months, or even years without keeping in touch.

These meet one’s needs at a social level; however, people have deeper emotional needs than just social.

Close

People need to be seen and to be heard. They need intimacy (into-me-you-see). This need is more easily met through close connections where one shares more of their day-to-day lives with others. These are usually maintained on a more frequent basis, possibly over a cup of coffee or a meal during the week. Sharing is more personal than the casual social banter that is shared amongst casual acquaintances.

People who connect in a close way generally make up a part of one’s cheering section that honors their achievements thus contributing to their self-esteem needs.

Intimate 

The deepest connection is the intimate one – the most personal details of one’s life are shared amongst these confidantes. It can take years to develop the level of trust necessary to become intimate. Sometimes intimacy can happen quickly – it depends on the people and their level of honesty and integrity that can be seen by the other.

 

Oprah and Gayle are an example of an intimate friendship.

 

Gail & Oprah - best of friends

Gail & Oprah – best of friends

(Photo courtesy of Daily Mail UK)

 

As Baby Boomers age, their peers are also aging, and with that comes incapacity through illness and/or Alzheimer’s, dementia, or death. As one loses these important connections, it is important to find and develop new ones. Continuing, or beginning new hobbies and interests, joining groups or attending social events often offered in seniors’ housing are good avenues to open the door to meeting new people with whom to relate and potentially develop new connections.

 

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