Category Archives: Relationships

Having strong boundaries and dating deal breakers–and sticking to them!

laymitrustgiftglowinghands I was thinking earlier about dating and how some people have very strict guidelines for what they want in a relationship. Sometimes we call them deal breakers….

In my own experience, I have an ideal in mind. I know that there are certain qualities that are essential to me. BUT, in the past, I have almost always let them slide. I have dated too many people who weren’t a good match for me, and I knew it from the start. Maybe there was something they did that I found ethically unacceptable, or a belief they held that I thought was really awful, or any other personality trait. Knowing that something made me uncomfortable, I’d still date someone that I knew wasn’t a good match. Why? I always thought I was being very open-minded and I was great at compromising. How about…I wasn’t being true to the qualities that mattered to me? I’m not talking about a cute butt or nice wavy hair, but about core religious or political values, life goals…things that matter.

I’ve always been super shy, so I was just so glad that someone wanted to date me, that I never stopped to wait for someone who was more my type! On the other hand, I know people who will refuse to start a relationship when they know there is a deal breaker. I just turned fuzzy and waived what should have been deal breakers for me, but people who have stronger self-esteem, more patience, and more respect for themselves seem to be better at making choices that will enhance their lives in the long run.

There’s something to be said for giving everyone a chance, but there’s also something to be said for holding strong to the qualities that are very important to us. That’s a lesson I’ve had to learn–very painfully–in life.

I know my tendency to “over compromise” and to be very long-suffering has a lot to do with my having dated more than one abusive man. If one of them did something that would scare away a girl with more sense, I’d just ignore it and keep trying to make the relationship good. Lost cause!

I am learning to be the woman who says “that is not good for me, and it’s not what I’m looking for in a relationship” when it’s obvious that the relationship is not going to go well.

The jump between knowing what you need to do to grow and actually doing it

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Earlier someone asked me if I’d been abused before and knew the signs, how did I end up with another abuser? So, I wrote about it on my narcissism blog. There were a few reasons I was naive enough to let it happen again, but one of them really got me thinking because it related to this blog about learning and growing. The reason I hadn’t yet changed and grown went beyond just recovering from abuse.

I made the mistake of marrying a second abuser because I didn’t do the work I needed to do to recover and learn after the first one! I naively thought that just knowing what to look for was enough for me to avoid any more abuse. I thought that it couldn’t happen again and I’d get lucky the next time. Wrong! The reality is, I knew in my head what was going on, but I didn’t change my life. I didn’t change my poor coping skills that led me to marry the first abuser.

Even though I’d started reading so many of the self-help books I review for this blog, and I truly believed them and loved what I was reading, I hadn’t yet made the jump to LIVE them. I passively thought reading them was enough. I used to go to therapy and understand all of the psychological reasons I was the way I was, and all the textbook reasons I repeated abusive relationships, but I would ask my therapist HOW to go from having the knowledge in my head to activating change in my life. My heart was not catching up with my brain.

This problem translates to all parts of life–not just abuse recovery. I was trying to take the easy way out and acting like reading books was going to fix my problems. In reality, *I* had to fix my problems, and the books were just the instruction manuals. I truly believe there is so much to learn from therapy, self-help books, and the wisdom of others, but I needed to be an active participant in that learning. That was the final step that took me a few more years to master.

If you want to change, you have to change. You have to make the jump from head to heart to life. You have to know yourself to see your weaknesses then choose to be proactive about changing your behavior and your thoughts.

It’s like learning a dance. You can read a book about it, you can watch videos, you can think about it until you are an expert in how it should be done…but you don’t actually dance until you get up and do it. And this is the same leap that I needed to make to connect what I learned with how I was going to start living.

For me, even though I hated the way my life was going, and I felt frustrated that I met two different controlling, narcissistic men after growing up with a narcissistic mother, I hadn’t yet hit the point where I was desperate enough to change. For several years, I learned and learned and learned until I understood what was going on, but one day, I had to get fed up and move to the next level. That’s when my life really began to improve.

1. I had to recognize the problem.
2. I had to examine the problem.
3. I had to find the source.
4. I had to learn how to fix the problem.
5. Then I had to live the solution!


For several years, I was stuck on step four. On my narcissism blog, I write all about my observations of narcissists and their victims. This blog is my journey through the final step–living my life the way I make it!

Overcoming family denial and secrecy, and learning to trust people who can help

Don't dwell on painful memories. Replace them with hope for the future!

Don’t dwell on painful memories. Replace them with hope for the future!

Both sides of my family are dysfunctional. Lucky me! My dad’s family members argue, yell, and drink…a lot. He can tell stories of a very traumatic childhood. They don’t try to hide their dysfunction, but he also looks down on therapy as “stupid,” and thinks others need to toughen up. My mother’s side was not so obvious, but was far more toxic. She used to scapegoat my father as a horrible drunk, and she made her self the sad victim, but under her false front was pure evil. I preferred the honest anger of my dad’s family to the two-faced backstabbing of my mother’s.

I always knew something was severely wrong, but when I spoke up, I was beaten and shamed for “talking back” and “disrespecting” my mother. No one wanted to address the lies, manipulation, gossip, fake Christianity, addictions, and worse that were floating around in their pseudo-good religious family. My mother is a narcissist with hints of Borderline Personality Disorder. She could play very nice at church then come home raging and threatening to kill me. But, I didn’t have a name for what was wrong with her until I was in my 30s. In her family, denial and secrets were more important than getting functional and mentally healthy. This link about dysfunctional family dynamics is a good summary of what life was like. As I started learning, many times I tried to share my feelings and some literature with her, and she mocked me, rolled her eyes and was not willing to listen. (This link about narcissistic mothers is one of the ones I sent her in hopes of getting her to open her mind.)

When you grow up in a dysfunctional family, you learn to cope in dysfunctional ways. Even though I knew something was wrong, I still didn’t know how to live like a normal person and overcome that dysfunction. I coped by being a doormat and “compromising” so much that I totally ignored all of my needs and desires. After all, I had learned to trying to speak up for myself led to whippings!

When I married a covert narcissist who acted quite a bit like my mother, my first reaction was to blame myself and hate myself for making people treat me that way. But, I knew that it was time to figure out what was wrong. I started reading self-help books for the first time. I wanted to learn everything I could to figure this out! I had thought that if I just married a good man and found a new family, I could escape mine and all would be well. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy when I married the male version of my mother! I started going to therapy and really opening up to the idea that it could work. I had tried it a couple times previously, but always put up a big emotional wall instead of trusting a stranger. But, I was miserable and willing to do whatever it took. So, I started pouring out everything to my therapist. She was able to help me grasp that my family really was as sick as I thought they were, and I was not “crazy.” She also helped me start getting on the right track to realize how I could stand up for myself and choose to escape their cycles of abuse.

That was over eight years ago, and it was my first step to becoming a whole person. I now strongly believe that therapy is essential–even if your life isn’t that bad. There is always something we can learn from others–especially those who are trained to recognize and understand human behavior. All therapists are different, but when you find the right one for you, they can become an amazing mentor. You just have to open your mind and trust that there is a problem and it can be fixed.

I’ve been reading self-help books and keeping up with new ideas and research ever since, which led me to start this web site. One of the first books I read that helped me release the guilt of wanting to escape my toxic family was: Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life. This author is a great resource and just one of the many good books to help validate the pain those of us with abusive/dysfunctional parents have had to live with while our parents denied everything that happened.

In dysfunctional families, denial, emotional walls, secrets and lies are common, but to heal, we have to be honest with ourselves and others. For me, opening up to a therapist, and opening my heart to the words of others in self-help books was the beginning.

Loving and appreciating the right people even after abuse

Letting go of the bad things lets the good things come in!

Letting go of the bad things lets the good things come in!

Earlier this week, I was watching old episodes of one of my favorite shows–Criminal Minds, and found a story line that has always frustrated me. It hits the worst point in the second episode of Season Three called: In Name And Blood

What has always bothered me about this episode, (and the earlier shows with the same story arc,) is one of the main characters’ wife is always angry about his demanding job. In this episode, she leaves him because he refuses to quit his job.

Why does this bother me? Yes, I know it’s not real, but it is a theme that happens in real life. When I see this show, I see a woman with a beautiful home and a good-looking husband who respects her–a man who saves lives for a living. I know men who seem liked good, normal guys who have flaws but aren’t abusive. And sometimes, their wives leave them for things that could have been compromised on, so I look at my own situation…. Both of my ex spouses are narcissists–the first was mild and covert, but the second was overt. When I was married, my first ex-husband criticized me constantly for little things, and nothing I did was good enough. My second ex-husband was a sociopath who raged and screamed, and called me stupid multiple times a day. He still won’t keep a job and pay child-support, so when I see the above mentioned Criminal Minds episode, I cringe and think “lady, you should count your blessings and compromise with your husband who is who he is and isn’t hurting you!”

Since I often blog about the abuse I went through and my recovery, I am usually writing about my ex as abuser, but that doesn’t mean I hate men. In fact, I really like men. Even before I was married to an abuser, I used to see men who worked hard but had demanding wives, and it bothered me. It bothers me just as much as seeing men who pick at their wives. When I was with my ex-narcissists, I loved to care for them and loved to be loving. I loved the first one unconditionally, and took everything on myself when he kept attacking and controlling me. I would compromise so much that I was the only one giving anything. I really tried with the second one, but I had gained enough self-esteem by that point to realize I didn’t want to be abused hourly. It wasn’t little things, little frustrations that caused me to leave. It was big abuse. If my exes’ only issues were things like working long hours, leaving dirty clothes on the floor, not doing dishes, I would still be married. Unfortunately, it was my unconditional loving and giving that made me an easier target for abusers.

This is where it becomes important to know the difference between someone who deserves that love and compromise, and someone who doesn’t. I don’t want to stop loving, and start nagging someone to change. If I were to marry again, I’d want to marry someone I could love, respect and compromise with without having my own rights trampled on.

And just like I couldn’t change the abusers to get them to respect me and stop abusing, I can’t…and don’t want to change someone who isn’t abusive. No one is going to be perfect, so we need to choose the safe people whose flaws aren’t harmful to us.

So after thinking about this episode, and real life, I would say to anyone who has an imperfect spouse: if your spouse loves and respects you, contributes to your home and doesn’t abuse you, count your blessings. Some of us had spouses who threw us around and hurt us for fun. Remember to love your non-abusive spouse for who they are.

And for those of us who are single after abuse, let’s remember that no person is perfect, but most are not dangerous and abusive. I don’t want my bad experiences to make me afraid to love and cherish the right person who could come into my life at some point.

Learning to trust and be supportive of the right people

Let your confidence shine!

Let your confidence shine!

I’ve lived with myself nearly 40 years, and I frequently discover I’m good at things I never realized I was good at. As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes we believe what others or society tell us we are instead of really thinking about the truth.

Lately, I’ve been frustrated by some friends who let me down in a very bad way. And I’ve thought about how much I supported them over the years only for them to drop out right when I was needing friends and a support system the most. Some friends. I’ve thought about how much I regret putting myself on the line to defend their reputations. It’s hard to know who to trust, and I’ve written before that I often do so much for people who do so little for me. Why are we so backwards this way? Idealizing people who don’t care about us, but neglecting those who do?

While I was pondering these things, (and mentally telling off my backstabbing former friend!) It hit me that I’m a very supportive person. When something helps me or someone helps me, I want to let others know so the helper can benefit and get the kudos they deserve. If I find an artist or musician I really like, I share their work–hoping they can make more sales. If one of my friends is the target of gossip or a bully, I jump in and take hits to defend them. (Figuratively, not literally. I am soo not a fighter!)

When you’re a doormat like I *used* to be, and you pick the wrong people to defend and support, this is not really a good thing, but as I learn to be more astute, trust the right people and value my real friends instead of being fooled by false friends, I think this hidden talent of mine is actually a really good thing.

Longing for other people’s blessings instead of your own

Comparisons can be hurtful and toxic. We are all different people on different paths with different experiences. Don't expect your way to match someone else'sI’ve been thinking a lot about being grateful for what I have, and looking for what I can achieve rather than feeling bad because someone else has more…or seems to have more. Yesterday, I wrote about how unhealthy it is to compare ourselves to others, and a while back, I blogged about learning not to feel like a loser compared to my old classmates who seem to have so much more. It may look like others are doing much better than we are, but it’s not always true. Tonight, I realized just how real life can be.

I often feel sad, and maybe a bit jealous when I see happy, loving couples with extended families and a great support system. I feel sad that I don’t have a caring spouse to help me and to be there for my kids. I feel sad that my parents are toxic and incapable of love. I see these “normal” families and homes where the husband isn’t throwing the wife around and the parents aren’t threatening/trying to kill the kids, and I feel the hurt of never having had a loving, healthy family. It’s not fair! I know that I married an abuser because of the way I was raised–because I didn’t know any better and never learned to expect anything better–so I feel cheated.

Tonight, I was Facebook surfing and looking at profiles of people I used to know. I found one person I had known very casually, and her page caught my attention. Why? Because the family was beautiful. The home was gorgeous. The vacation photos were stunning. The love was apparent. The kids were smiling, the husband and wife were looking at each other with love, the captions were happy. I got a bit of that jealous feeling again. I have struggled so hard to be a loving, good person and find the love I never had in childhood. I want a family. When is it going to be my turn to find a spouse who doesn’t abuse me and can respect me? When will my kids get to have a father? When do I get the cozy home?

But I looked further. I turned cold and I found myself crying. Why? Because that love-filled happy family with the nice home lost a smiling child to a tragic accident. Their happy beloved toddler was grinning one minute…and dead the next. I think I would literally die if that happened to my child. How could anyone go on? Then I realized that, even though that family was very blessed in many areas, they had faced more tragedy as well. They needed all that love and support to get through the worst thing that can happen to a parent. How can I feel jealous of their family support system when they are leaning on it to survive something so bad?

Instead of feeling sad for all the things I don’t have, I want to feel grateful for all the things I have.

10 Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives–book review

Click here to purchase Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives

A lot of women make poor choices to keep a man around or to avoid being alone. (Been there, done that!) Being alone is scary, and when you don’t have a lot of money, it’s hard to make it on your own sometimes. A lot of women get trapped by these types of fears and waste their time in bad relationships. I bought this book when I was in an abusive marriage and I was trapped by these thoughts. I was scared to go out on my own, to live on my own, to be alone. I thought I couldn’t make enough money to pay my bills without a partner. I thought I’d be sad and lonely without someone to come home to. I thought being miserable was a less scary choice than being alone. WRONG! This no-nonsense book helped knock some sense in to me. Yes, it was still lonely and scary to leave and be by myself, but it got much easier. In fact, now I like being single.

The chapter titles in this book are:

1. Stupid Attachment
2. Stupid Courtship
3. Stupid Devotion
4. Stupid Passion
5. Stupid Cohabitation
6. Stupid Expectations
7. Stupid Conception
8. Stupid Subjugation
9. Stupid Helplessness
10. Stupid Forgiving

Dr. Laura gives sensible and practical advice explaining why we all of the above choices are not healthy for us, (or our children.) Each chapter is broken down into smaller sections of a couple paragraphs to a couple pages each, so it’s easy to read a little at a time without getting lost. Here are some of the main ideas: You don’t need a man to define you, you don’t have to lower your standards to keep one around, you should not let one back in your life after he abuses you, you should not let one hurt your kids or prevent you from being a good mother. The point is you can be strong on your own and keep your dignity instead of degrading yourself for a pseudo relationship. Dr. Laura encourages you to be strong and have good boundaries and self-respect…and hold out for good relationships. She also brings up important questions about why we would end up in bad relationships in the first place–what needs are we trying to fill? I think this is a good book for those of us who have settled for less than we wanted or deserved in the past!

How I’m learning how NOT to be a predator magnet!

Gaining the confidence and skills to discourage predators

Gaining the confidence and skills to discourage predators

So after I started recognizing all the qualities that were drawing abusive people, narcissists and con-artists towards me, I knew something needed to change! I was shy, a wallflower, non-assertive, lonely, and lacking self-esteem, but I think my two biggest issues were I had zero to no boundaries and I was kind of desperate. In fact, I didn’t start dating abusive men until my late 20’s. Before that, I’d dated all nice guys. What changed? I honestly think it was the biological clock issue. The guy I dated through most of my 20s was not the kind of person I wanted to marry. But, as I got closer to 30, I started panicking! Instead of waiting for a man who really fit my values and gave me time to get to know him, I fell for the charm and insistence of a man who turned out to be a narcissist. He wanted me to move in with him and get engaged pretty fast, and I went with it. I should have had some boundaries and given myself time to really know that person. I used to have a lot of strict dating rules, but I let go of them over the years. I have to admit, when I was more strict, (especially about sex early in the relationship,) I did not end up with jerks. Hmmm….

So this is where I need to learn about boundaries as well as learn to say “no” without guilt or explanation. How sad that it never occurred to me before that I could say “no” to people without feeling like I had done something wrong! I also realized it was okay to be a bit choosy. I don’t have to date whatever guy asks me out. I can say “no” and wait for someone who is a better match. (Duh!)

I started reading about boundaries, co-dependency, good relationships, self-esteem, success and more. Here are some of the things I learned could help me avoid being targeted by bullies and predators:

“No” is a complete sentence.

I don’t always have to defend myself or my choices. If you get caught up defending your valid life choices, the bully is going to back you in a corner demanding you explain yourself. Nope. I don’t need to explain a thing! Bullies want a reaction and they want you to keep talking. Sometimes, moving on without a word is the smartest response. Furthermore, engaging and defending yourself makes you seem weaker because you care too much about what others say rather than remaining confident in your own truth. The more you say, they more a bully can find to pick on.

I need to STOP telling people too much too soon. Bullies will take your insecurities and run with them! And the more you tell people, the more they have to work with when they want to mock, stalk or prey on you. People with poor boundaries violate their own privacy by giving away too much information which shows predators that they are easy targets.

I need to practice self-control. Instead of letting myself get caught up in romance, I need to limit myself and give myself time to think instead of rushing in. The romantic predator is hoping to overwhelm you and push you into a relationship to get you hooked before you know what is going on.

I need to beware of making hasty decisions–especially if someone is pushing me–and stop being afraid to ask questions.

I need to recognize my needs and desires and speak up for them. Predators want an easy target. If you start being a “pain” and asking for equal rights, they are probably going to move to someone less difficult to control. Plus, if I don’t know what I want, how am I going to meet the right people?

I need to stop being mousy and start being bold.

Those guidelines work with an emotional predator, but from a crime perspective, we are less likely to be targeted if we move with purpose and look around us to let the predators know we’ve seen them. This article has some really interesting information. For instance, studies show that the way we walk is hugely important to how predators choose us. It shows our confidence levels. To quote the article, “What distinguished the likely victims from the rest of the pedestrians was their posture, body language, pace, length of their stride, and overall awareness of their environment. Criminals judge a person’s level of self confidence by the style of their walk, such as a walk that lacks interactional synchrony, wholeness, organized movements, and a flowing motion. This signified to the perpetrators that the pedestrian lacks self confidence. On the other hand, those who walked fast and fluidly were less likely to be victimized.”

But this is the part that really surprised me: “Even though it is thought that women who dress provocatively are the most likely to be rape, studies show that women with passive, submissive personalities are more likely to get raped. These women tend to wear clothes that are concealing such as high neckline, long pants and long sleeves. This may sound ironic but, predatory men can identify submissive women by their style of dress.” Wow. If we dress like we are timid, even if we think we are covering up and protecting ourselves, it’s a signal to a rapist that we are actually more easy to prey upon!

I think all of these things come down to inner strength and confidence. If we have it, we project it. We trust ourselves, we value our own privacy and personal boundaries, we walk without fear, and we dress with confidence. Just small changes in the way we view our selves can show predators that maybe we aren’t such great targets after all.

I have been thinking a lot about how to protect myself emotionally, but the information about the importance of the way we walk has me thinking. Protecting yourself from predators isn’t just about setting guidelines in your mind. It’s about every part of you and the image you project physically and emotionally. Live like you matter. That’s something I never used to do.

Why do predators pick the people they pick? And why do they avoid other people?

Remember, the narcissist sees something of great value in you or they wouldn't be trying so hard to get it for themselves by smashing it out of you.

Remember, the narcissist sees something of great value in you or they wouldn’t be trying so hard to get it for themselves by smashing it out of you.

For most of my life, I have felt like a magnet for abusive people. I got taken advantage of more than I’d like. I was abused and neglected by my mom, abandoned by my dad, bullied by other students, mocked by my mother’s relatives. I got conned by a carpet cleaning company, charmed by a salesperson at a traveling renaissance show, cheated at a pawn shop, screwed over on a car repair. I married a narcissist, dated a con-artist, married a sociopath. I was sexually harassed by a “nice” old man who pretended to be my friend, actually…sexually harassed a lot from touching to lewd comments, stalked by a woman from a support forum, bullied by an aggressive co-worker, and more.

Every time, I said, okay, I must be weak. I am going to be stronger and smarter next time so I don’t get screwed again. And I’d go back to living only to have someone con me again or bully me when I tried to stand up for myself.

A few years ago, I posed the question in a group I was in: Why are some people prone to being victimized? One woman said she had never had been sexually harassed. Really? I have even had college professors say creepy things to me and ask how I am in the bedroom. Seriously. Some of my stronger female friends said that no man dared say things to them. But it happens to me a lot.

So, I decided to Google, how do bullies pick their victims? How do predators pick their prey? How do abusers pick their targets? Why are these jerks drawn to me?!

Here’s part of what I found:

They choose people with poor support systems–because there will be fewer people to help and advise the victim

For the same reason, they pick outsiders or people who are less popular–because there is less of a support system

They choose people with poor self-esteem, often people who have been abused before–because previous victims with low self-worth are more likely to think they “deserve” it

They choose people with poor boundaries–because people with poor boundaries are often afraid to say “no” or stand up for themselves

They choose people with passive body language–because they look submissive and non-confident in themselves and their surroundings. In fact, studies show that a known sociopath can pick out a previous victim from a crowd of people just based on body language.

They choose people who will react–when people react instead of ignoring, bullies get a rise out of their response

They choose people who speak out about injustices, broken laws or other bullying–because they don’t want to be called out

Bullies also aim for popular people who do well at their jobs or socially–because of jealousy

And bullies go for all ages! This page about toddlers shows some reasons that one kid will be bullied over another:

  • Anyone who’s different – whether that is their looks, weight, accent, clothing or interests. Disabilities make some children an easy target.
  • Those who are small or young – and not so able to defend themselves
  • Those who will react quickly – popular targets are children who get upset or cry easily
  • Kids who are not sporty or are poor performers at school
  • Anyone who is socially anxious or struggles with shyness

I was each and every one of those. Ouch! But I know it now. Yay! And that is a big part of why I started this site to document all the things I read and learn on my journey to escape being a target.

Now bullies are one thing, but physical predators are another. A predator with a mental illness knows who to go for. This article states, “Psychologists have known for years that human predators select their prey based on signals given off by their potential victims. In a matter of seconds, the predator acquires a sense of who is and isn’t a suitable target. For every victim that is attacked, many more are past [sic] over. What are the criteria that predators use to select their victims? I’ll tell you.” The same article goes on to explain the details of The Grayson/Stein study done with violent convicts. They showed the predators videos of people and asked who would make a good victim, and the predators independently picked the same people! The researchers concluded that the potential victims walked differently–as though they were less confident with themselves and less aware of their surroundings.

In romantic relationships, abusers look for all of the above listed qualities, but narcissists in particular also look for people they can leach off of. They want someone attractive, desirable…a prize to show off. They want someone loving and sweet that they can take advantage of. They want someone popular who can boost their own social standing. They want people who have good qualities that they don’t have.

Basically, bullies, predators, abusers and jerks are looking for someone who has what they want and someone who will be easy to overcome. Studies show that people who have been victimized once are more likely to be victimized again. Once you’ve been abused, you gain traits and qualities that you might not be aware of…but the predator is!

Look at these crime statistics:

“One of the best predictors of future victimization is past victimization.”

4% of victims endure 44% of crimes

Compared to women with no history of assault, odds of a new assault double for a woman who has been assaulted once, quadrupled after two assaults and were TEN times more likely after 3 or more previous attacks. Statistics are even worse for people who were sexually abused–especially as children.

So if you feel like you are being victimized again and again, you probably are. You might have the body language or personality traits predators are drawn to. You might seem vulnerable without a support system. Normal people wouldn’t seek you out, but predators are far more aware of you than you are of them.

Next up…learning how NOT to be the target anymore!

The health benefits of friendship

Since I posted yesterday about the importance of strong relationships for a long life span, I thought this post from would tie in nicely!

They have a pretty long article to go with the photos and charts, so I’ll just share the parts that stood out to me:

A gathering of 148 research studies found that people with strong friendships had better survival rates than those with weak relationships–50% better!

There are two main theories about why friendships help: 1. You have help and support with stressful situations and 2. when you are part of a crowd, you might be more likely to follow the group in taking care of yourself

People with quality friendships have better health–specifically heart health, while those with little support are more likely to have health problems.

The article points out that quality matters. Having a bunch of superficial fake friends is not as helpful as having true, close friends.

I’ll let the photos show you the rest!


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