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Having good relationships with family and friends is important to your physical and mental health. Without people to support you, you may feel very lonely, which can make your pain even worse. Below are pointers in how to maintain good relationships:

  • Remember, to have a friend, you must be a friend. If a relationship revolves around only one person, then it isn’t a true friendship and that relationship will slowly dissolve.
  • Don’t talk only about yourself and your challenges. You may endure more than many friends and family members, but everyone has difficulties. It’s tiresome when a person insists on being the “only one” with problems.
  • Let your friends and family know that you appreciate them and value their company. Everyone wants to feel wanted and appreciated; this is an important part of relationships, even with family. Ask others, “How are you doing today?”; “How are things going for you?” And then listen to what they have to say.
  • Make new friends by exploring groups or activities that interest you. Free apps like “Meetup” (Meetup.com) make it easy to find activities near you where you can meet others with similar interests. You can attend a gardening club or a cooking class or other group that interests you. Most of these meetings are held in public places. It’s a great way to meet new people and do things you enjoy. Participating in new activities can keep you focused on something other than your pain.
  • Invite others out to lunch or to a similar activity; don’t always wait for friends to invite you.
  • Keep in mind that in most cases your friends and family are already aware of your pain and its limitations. Therefore, when you meet socially, skip the pain conversation and simply enjoy the moment!