Friends Smiling

Feature Resource

Building Positive Relationships with Fellow Educators
If you and a team of your colleagues want to upgrade the quality of your professional relationships this year, consider a few of the following action steps …


Challenge Video #63: Kind Words – WellRight
The Kind Words Challenge invites you to say only kind words about other people for 30 days. We always feel uplifted with we say something nice to another person. Why is it, then, that so much of the time we tend instead to dwell on the weaknesses of those around us instead of their strengths? During the next month, limit yourself to saying only kind things about everyone. If you catch yourself criticizing someone, immediately say something positive about that person to redeem yourself (and them!).

5 Ways to Spread Empathy Through Education – informED
Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected, globalized, and complex. Wars are being waged, conflicts displacing refugees across borders, economies booming and failing, all while innovative solutions are discovered and shared. Amid the challenges and opportunities, the need to really listen and understand one another is becoming not only a desirable skill, but an economic, social, and environmental imperative. A global spread of empathy is being demanded.

Friends Helping Friends – American Psychology Association
Know someone showing symptoms of anxiety or depression? Need help reducing stress? If a friend or family member is having trouble coping with life’s toughest situations, a psychologist can help. Watch this video for more info…

How Empathy Affects Learning, And How To Cultivate It In Your Students – informED
More than two decades ago, scientists made a discovery that fundamentally altered the way we think about empathy. While observing monkeys, they noticed that certain brain cells responded both when a monkey performed an action and when that monkey watched another monkey perform the same action. The same cells can be found in the human brain. These cells, called mirror neurons, fire when we see something happening to someone else that we could imagine happening to ourselves, from stubbing a toe to winning the lottery.

Maintaining Friendships

Why Your Friends Are More Important Than You Think – Alliance Work Partners
Through all our lives, the importance of friendship has been hiding in plain sight.

To Counter Loneliness, Find Ways to Connect – Alliance Work Partners
Much of modern life, though seeming to promote connectivity, has had the opposite effect of fostering social isolation and loneliness, experts say. According to the foundation, “Internet and social media engagement exacerbates feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety.”

5 Ways to Maintain Lifelong Friendships – Psychology Today
When it comes to our physical and mental health, friendship may truly be the best medicine. An Australian study showed that strong social networks may lengthen survival in elderly men and women, with good friends being even more likely to increase longevity than close family members.

Friendship Boundaries

Everybody Needs Boundaries: 6 Ways to Make Them Work for You – Psychology Today
While we all should expect others to respect our boundaries, just as we should respect theirs, that’s not how it always works. Sometimes we have to clarify our boundaries in order to make sure that others respect them.

8 Signs of a Toxic Friendship – Psychology Today
A best friend can bring great joy, comfort, solace and fun to your life. People are pack animals. They love to roam together. They need friends to thrive, friends that share the good times and offer support in the bad.

Great friendships extend life. A 10-year-long Australian study showed that participants with solid friend groups were 22% more likely to live longer.

Unfortunately, a bad friend can have the opposite effect, yielding increased vulnerability to all the stress-related body signs—higher blood pressure, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), lowered immunity, higher blood sugar, depression, anxiety; the list goes on.

Creating Boundaries on Social Media After Loss – Psychology Today
Grief can be a lonely and scary journey. There may be times it may seem natural to want to share your experience online via social media; however, this method can also backfire. And in turn, this stress from social media might impact your healing. For example, your intent might be to keep the memory of your loved one alive in a positive light, but in doing so you discover others do not share your same sentiment. Sound harsh?

Your Children’s Friendships

Children’s Growing Friendships – Psychology Today
Just as children usually crawl before they walk and walk before they run, they also show a developmental sequence in their friendships. Children of different ages think very differently about friendship. As they mature, they become better able to understand another person’s perspective, which adds depth and meaning to their friendships.

Make New Friends But Keep the Old… Or Not – Psychology Today
This children’s song expresses a nice ideal: the ever-expanding circle of friends. Sometimes things actually work out that way. I’ve met adults who’ve said, “We’ve been friends since kindergarten!” A friend who has known you forever is a treasure. But friendships don’t always last—especially for children.