The pandemic has forced us all to change our behaviors in many ways, some good, some bad. In isolation, some of us have been forced to spend more time and actually connect with our immediate families. (As I said, some good, some bad.)
During this time, it’s easy to lose track of friendships. For men, these relationships are often based on socializing. Going to sporting events, happy hours after work or game night with the boys are important activities for many men.
So, what do men do when the gatherings that men associate with friendship are suddenly impossible? That’s the topic of a recent article in the Washington Post by Samantha Schmidt. Schmidt writes that according to the men she interviewed, “casual chats about sports and politics have suddenly led to deep conversations — about the struggles of virtual schooling, family illness, breakups, births, wedding postponements and job losses.”
The article appears to illustrate that during unprecedented times like this, men who typically stick to emotionally safe, surface-level banter with buddies are now beginning to yearn for deeper conversations and are bonding with their friends differently.
This is good news since research indicates that close friendships and social interaction are important for optimum health. “Not only do strong social ties boost the immune system and increase longevity, but they also decrease the risk of contracting certain chronic illnesses and increase the ability to deal with chronic pain, according to a 2010 report in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.”
Though it’s a natural tendency for some to self-isolate during the pandemic, too much isolation is bad for your health. If possible, find some safe ways to interact and maintain friendships. After all this is behind us you may have found your circle of friendships have become much more meaningful.