Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Friendship - A Life or Death Choice ? Part I
Questions that Require Answers
Does having friends make you live longer? Did you choose your friends? Or did they choose you? Was it circumstantial or was it a deliberated, calculated plan on your part or theirs?
In this fascinating investigation of friendship which includes the results of studies done in the late 1990's, this series about friendship will show the difference of the friendship of men versus women and the impact it had on their health and mortality. Studies are still ongoing with regards to friendship and the latest is one conducted by scientist in regard to online friendships and their field of investigation is none other than Face Book, one of the largest social network sites which is like a free group of online subjects.
One particular area of friendship, I will be touching on is the area of friendship of health professional and their clients. I know there are many health professionals who are finding online and phone therapies cloud the boundaries between a therapeutic friendship and a non-therapeutic one. What if someone is already a good friend and wants to be your client. Usually, if it is a chronic condition, I've declined and referred them elsewhere. What if your satisfied client decides to become your friend? In Part 2 of this investigation, I will address that.
Friendship among Women
Researchers in a UCLA study, found that when oxytocin which is released as part of the stress responses in a woman buffers her fight and flight responses and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women which in turn produces a calming effect This is opposite to men producing testosterone in high levels when they are stressed. Later it was noted that when women were stressed during the research, they came in to the lab, had coffee and bonded, while the men stayed each by himself. (Taylor, Klein,Lewis,Gurung &Gruenewald2002)
Another study showed that people who had no friends increased their risk of death over a 6 month period. The Nurses Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged and lived happy lives.
Please feel free to send me your comments and I might include it in my next post in early March.
Now I'll go and put a thread on the discussions on my social network online and see what my online friends have to say! Hope you will ponder on this quote.
"Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success."
- Oscar Wilde