June 2, 2021

Reestablishing Friendships After This Weird Time

These days we're both alternating periods of social-butterfly celebration with times we’re still hiding under the covers. Reemergence is a process. Here's how we’re getting more intentional about reestablishing the friendships we’ve missed the most.

The pandemic shrunk our social circles, first literally and then metaphorically. Our time for ourselves evaporated, and with that any chance of catching up with our best friend– even if she lived two blocks away. We lost the once-a -month lunch friends, the "micro-interactions" with strangers, and even the overheard conversations that spark our curiosity and feed us more than we ever realized.

But picking something back up, after you've put it down for a long time, can make it seem surprisingly heavy. As the restrictions end, and we can see all of the people all of the time, we've been surprised by our own conflicting emotions about it all. Dr. Marlee Bower, a loneliness researcher at the University of Sydney, explains that "an extended period of loneliness can make social interaction feel more challenging in the longer term."

In this episode we talk about how we're alternating periods of social-butterfly celebration with days we still want to hide under the covers. It's a process, and we're all feeling it. Here's how to get a little more intentional about reestablishing those friendships we have missed the most.

Here are links to some of the writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Arthur Brooks for The Atlantic: A Once In A Lifetime Chance To Start Over

Celina Ribiero for BBC Worklife: How lockdowns are changing our friendship groups

Catherine Pearson for HuffPost: Moms Have Held Everything Together This Past Year, Except Their Friendships

Kelcey Borreson for HuffPost: Some Friendships Are Taking A ‘Pandemic Pause’ And That’s All Right

Anna Goldfarb for New York Times: “How to Deal With a Friendship ‘Quiet Season,’

Kat Vellos on Twitter

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