All Entries For friendship
A couple of months ago, I wrote about popularity--and why it matters less than it once did. It sparked some interesting discussion worth following up on. The quality of friendships matters more than the quantity of friends, I wrote then. Today, let's talk about what matters most in choosing friends. And parents, listen up: This matters as much to you as it does your kids.
My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Catherine Bagwell, and I spent two years writing our book, Friendships in Childhood and Adolescence. The overarching question we encountered: What is the significance of friendship? We learned it is one of those questions to which everyone immediately answers, "there is a lot of significance in friendship," but answering with substance takes more effort (as our editor pointed out).
So what is the significance in friendship? And how can you both choose good friends and be one yourself? That, my friends and readers, is what we're discussing today. Read More ›
When friendships start to unravel it can really throw us for a loop. Learn how to set things right and make a fresh start.
Not long ago, I was browsing through a friend's Facebook page when I saw a discussion she was having with some mutual buddies about a party they were planning. It sounded like a lot of fun. The only problem: I wasn't invited. Should I call them? Ignore it? Do something sneaky, like ask if they were free for dinner on the date of their big bash? The incident reminded me that even though I'm no longer in middle school, my friendships are as important—and almost as emotionally charged—as they were back then. "Connections between women are so intimate that any bump in the road can make us feel vulnerable, hurt and betrayed," says Irene Levine, Ph.D., author of Best Friends Forever (Overlook Press). We asked the experts to weigh in on five of the most common friendship flaps—and how to solve them. Read More ›
Last year I had the honor of traveling to Pittsburgh to participate in the 11th Annual Just a Short Run event in a suburb just outside of the city. This SparkPeople tradition was started two years earlier when Bob (BobbyD31) and Anne (MIAMIA7) Dawson invited SparkFriends from the Pennsylvania and Ohio area to run/walk in this fabulous event which offers a 5K, 8.1 miler, half-marathon and a 30K--a distance for every runner and walker alike. It was such a success that year, the team decided to make this an annual event. This is the 3rd year now and with each passing year more and more SparkPeople members have made the pilgramage to Pittsburgh to share in a weekend of pure SparkFun!
Talking with Bob on Friday night at the dinner our magnificent SparkPeople members put together, it was evident that this has become more than just a meet-up, it has become a tradition. Growing from 12 participants in 2010 to over 60 plus members this year it is one event I will not miss. With over 13 states and 5 provinces in Canada represented, it has grown from a homegrown tradition, to one that embodies the true SparkSpirit of friendship, support and living our lives as an adventure. Read More ›
Some may think of SparkPeople as just a healthy living website, but it is so much more! Many members form long-lasting friendships with other members (even in other parts of the world). Recently we found out that there was a couple that met on SparkPeople and got married earlier this year, which I believe may be the second SparkPeople wedding to date. Where else can you find such fun, long-lasting friendships and/or a possible mate who also enjoys living a healthy lifestyle? Only on SparkPeople, of course!
Being someone who also met their spouse on the internet by chance (over 15 years ago), I truly enjoyed the story about how Jan (JANHIM) and Greg (TRAILTRODDER) met (and are now married). I am very excited that they allowed me to interview them for the dailySpark so we can share their beautiful and fun story with all of you too. As you will see, Jan and Greg are definitely Making Their Lives An Adventure together!
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Back in my high school days I was a long distance competitive swimmer and participated on my school team, as well as the city team. During those four years of swimming I put in countless thousands of laps, hours upon hours of training, but never fully mastered one stroke.
On one occasion I remember my coach having the entire team get out of the pool so they could stand there and watch me swim the butterfly stroke. He wanted to teach them how not to do it. Talk about utter humiliation. Eventually I graduated and moved on, finishing as captain of the team and successful in some distance events that others wouldn’t dream of swimming. Always in the back of my mind though, was the fact that for some reason I couldn’t master the butterfly stroke.
Fast forward three years into college and I met a friend who also was a high school swimmer that specialized in the butterfly stroke. I was quick to tell him how horrible I was at it and that I would never be able to do that stroke correctly. He gave me the “pffft” noise and said “get in the pool, and I’ll show you how to do it.” Within 30 minutes he had me swimming a great butterfly stroke, up and down the pool. How did that happen?
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If you believe the song lyrics, soap operas and romantic movies, loving another person more than you love yourself––or life itself––is enviable, even desirable. But what that sentiment actually refers to is codependency, defined as a relationship in which one person (or sometimes, both) loves the other to such a degree that they exclude their own needs, wants and desires.
“A small amount of codependency is normal,” explains Tracy Prout, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York, and a therapist in private practice in Manhattan. “Sacrificing your own needs in moderation, or temporarily, can be good for a relationship.” It’s when you are totally out of touch with your own needs and feel that your partner "completes" you that your behavior can imply something unsettling: that you're not OK on your own. Read on to learn what you need to know about codependent relationships, how to figure out if you need help and where to find it.
How Do You Become Codependent?
No one just wakes up one day, looks at her partner and thinks that his happiness is more important than her own. Not surprisingly, in many cases, codependency has its roots in childhood. “Research suggests that codependents have a history of neglect,” says Dr. Prout. “Being abandoned as a child is not necessarily a direct cause, but it does seem to be connected.” Adds Edythe Denkin, PhD, certified marriage counselor and author of Relationship Magic, “When your feelings have been discounted all your life, you end up choosing a partner who will discount your feelings without even being aware of it.” You may be at risk of landing in a codependent relationship if you grew up with parents who:
• Neglected or ignored you
• Were self-centered and/or narcissistic
• Were substance abusers or addicts
• Were clinically depressed
• Were so controlling of everything you did that your own desires and feelings didn’t seem to matter
Though kids from these types of dysfunctional families don’t always end up in codependent relationships, what can happen is that they become “parentified,” says Dr. Prout. “They eventually develop the habit of either parenting themselves or parenting their parents.” In the case of substance-abusing parents, for example, these kids may be accustomed to cleaning up after a parent or making excuses for them. “A parentified child becomes an adult who is never truly herself because she has never allowed herself to have her own needs,” she says. As a result these now grownup children tend to be attracted to people who, they feel, need them. Read More ›
By Denise Schipani, WomansDay.com
You love your best friend—but you can do without her offensive husband. Or maybe you adore spending time with her—but are getting tired of all the times she "forgets" her share of the bill. If you find yourself swallowing your true feelings in order to keep the peace, you're not alone. "Often, women have a hard time being direct," says Debra Holland, PhD, a Los Angeles–based psychotherapist. Instead, we tend to absorb the anger, annoyance or whatever until we get upset—but that's not healthy for you or your relationship. If you value your friend and want to keep her in your life, it's important to learn how to be honest without offending her. Below, check out eight tricky situations you can get into with friends, and how to resolve them without losing the friendship.
Situation #1: She's Judgmental of Others
You two are at a party together, and your pal comes out with comments about others that make you cringe, like, "What the heck is that woman thinking wearing that dress?" What's worse, she's often judgmental about people you're both friends with. Friendship-saving strategy: Speak to her, in the moment, with genuine curiosity (rather than using judgment yourself), by saying something like, "Did you mean to be so critical? Because you sounded that way," suggests Dr. Holland. "That gives her a chance to save face. She may not acknowledge it, but she's now aware of it." Read More ›
According to a recent dailySpark poll, 75% of you do not work out with a buddy. I'm more of a solo exerciser myself, but sometimes—especially when I need a little entertainment or motivation—I like working out with a friend. I don't strongly take one side or the other on this issue. I think different things work for different people. But some new research is showing that pairing up to work out might have more benefits than you realized… Read More ›
It's hard to believe just ten short months ago SparkPeople runners and walkers traveled from all over the country to run the first of many races in 2010. We all met in New Orleans to run in the Mardi Gras Rock N Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon at the end of February and I must say it started a trend that I am sure will continue well into 2011 and beyond.
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With the advent of 2011 just a few weeks away, many of us are preparing to take on the new year with vim and vigor and what better way than to recruit your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend even your child to help you both achieve your fitness goals.
Partner exercises are a fantastic way to keep you accountable especially when you are just starting a new exercise plan or life gets too busy.
Working out with a buddy is also a simple way to integrate new exercises (and a little fun) into a workout routine that has become a little mundane. Here are 10 exercises designed for two that you can try during your next workout! Read More ›
When you think back to the holidays of your childhood what comes to mind? What memories come first? For me there are so many but the first are always the things that were considered traditions and part of each year's celebrations.
Traditions create an identity for a family or a group of people. For example, football fans enjoy the tradition of watching the Detroit Lions or Dallas Cowboys play each Thanksgiving afternoon. Once Thanksgiving is over and you hear a bell ringing around town, you expect to see a red kettle and someone representing The Salvation Army.
Traditions are held practices, customs, beliefs, or values handed down from one generation to the next. Through the oral tradition, much cultural and historical information was passed down through generations. Much of the information was captured once a written language was established. Thoughts, stories, and ideas common to a group of people that have been tested to be enjoyable or reliable tend to continue and while those that are not fall away. Children learn by repetition and thrive in the predictability of routine. When they have participated in an activity or routine several times, they come to expect them, which helps reduce anxiety from the unknown and unexpected. Traditions keep loved ones alive in our hearts and minds when they are away from us and create a special bond for years to come. Many of the happy experiences we remember as we age come when we revisit the memories of routines and traditions we enjoyed in our youth. It isn't difficult to establish traditions with neighbors, family and friends. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your time together this holiday season.
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You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.
Here's one that works for me: surrounding myself with other active people.
Maybe it sounds obvious, or maybe it sounds impossible, but either way, I believe that it really does matter. As much as we like to think of ourselves as unique individuals, able to make our own decisions, able to resist the influence of others, it turns out that we are actually very similar to our friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances. Whatever is the norm in your social group, usually becomes the norm for you, too.
This isn't just my opinion. Research supports the idea, too—that obesity is "contagious" and that when we eat with other people, their food choices affect us—how much we eat, what we eat, and how we feel about it. We are always making decisions based on other people's thoughts, actions and habits, which is why it's so important to surround yourself with people whose values and habits support your healthy lifestyle. Read More ›
Just one short week ago, 12 SparkPeople members and countless volunteers shared and lived a dream by participating what is often referred to as The Mother of All Relays--The Mount Hood to Coast Relay-- a 197-mile relay that begins on the slopes of Mount Hood and finishes on the beach in the community of Seaside, Oregon.
What started out as a simple mention on the SparkTeam Running message boards around this time last year, blossomed into 12 individuals coming together to form the 2010 Sparkin' Hood to Coast Team. The team consisted of runners from the United States and Canada with various levels of running expertise. However, the one common bond we shared was that we all met on SparkPeople.
I was honored to participate in this prestigious event. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined just 5 1/2 short years ago when I was 80 pounds heavier and hardly able to walk a mile much less run 15, that I would ever step out of my comfort zone to push my body past the grueling physical and mental fatigue it took each of us to get our team across the finish line.
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Last September a trend started in the SparkPeople Road Runners SparkTeam that has since blossomed into a full-fledge SparkPeople movement. The unofficial SparkPeople Inaugural Race took place at the New Orleans Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon and Half-marathon in February 2010. Since that time, race get-togethers have been slowly building momentum with each subsequent posting on the message boards.
This past weekend was no exception as SparkPeople members gathered in Grant Park early Sunday morning to run and walk in the Second Annual Chicago Rock N Roll Half-Marathon. The day was absolutely gorgeous with not a cloud in the sky. It was a little warmer than ideal and the humidity was quite high, however, we all went out to run our very best.
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Last week I made my second trek across the country to participate alongside other SparkPeople members in a racing event--the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon. The minute I stepped off the plane the temperature was a good 25 degrees cooler than it had been when I left Dallas just a few short hours before. In Texas, we had an extremely warm June with temperatures hitting well into the triple digits so being in the Pacific Northwest was a nice change.
I was greeted at the airport by my friend Tami Auntie65 whom I stayed with while in Seattle. We have been virtual friends for a few years via the Rookie Running Group, as well as the Road Runners Group, but we have never had the opportunity to meet one another in person until last week.
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