National New Friends Day
National New Friends Day rolls around annually on October 19. This holiday is all about making room for new connections in your life, and celebrating the potential for friendship everywhere you go. Research has found time and time again that strong social support is a key to living your happiest, most fulfilled life. So get out there and add some new friends to your docket!
HISTORY OF NATIONAL NEW FRIENDS DAY
National New Friends Day seems to have developed out of several existing holidays built around friends and friendship. Generally, there are several variations on a theme with National Make a Friend Day on February 11, Friendship Day and International Friendship Day both celebrated annually either on July 30 or August 1. However, National New Friends Day, seems to be an internet-generated holiday. There’s no actual date of first appearance but there are several related days with interesting origins. So, read on.
All of these days seem to spring out of a promotional effort by Hallmark Cards’ founder, Joyce Hall in the 1920s as a marketing tool to consumers. Unfortunately, a skeptical public never really embraced the idea of a friendship day. By the 1920s, consumers were influenced by evolving movements in art and film and probably the promotion of friendship was viewed as a bit gimmicky. This started a downward spiral for a Friendship Day resulting in little interest in the 1930s. By the 1940s, Friendship Day all but disappeared. Still, Paraguay initiated World Friendship Day in 1958. Everybody needs friends.
Then, something strange happened. Friendship Day became a “thing” in Asia with lots of interest and strong popularity. With the rise of the internet, GIFS and memes, it’s easy to cross physical boundaries to make friends across countries and even continents. By 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations got in on the action with another day, International Friendship Day, declaring its annual observance on July 30. This day is also celebrated on the first Sunday in August.
NATIONAL NEW FRIENDS DAY ACTIVITIES
1.Get to know an acquaintance better
If there’s someone you’ve always wanted to get to know better, now is the time to go for it. Maybe it’s someone you always run into at the local cafe, or a coworker you always wanted to get to know better. Celebrate New Friends Day by sharing a little conversation (and maybe a sandwich) with your coworker.
2.Make sure your current friendships are healthy and happy
Today is a great day to take stock of the current friendships in your life. Make sure that all of your friendships are mutually beneficial. Are you being a good friend to the people closest to you? Are they doing the same for you? If you’ve got any toxic friends in your life, now is the time to consider trying to resolve those issues or peacefully ending the friendship. It’s not easy, but it makes room for new friendships that are more fulfilling.
3.Attend your local neighborhood meeting
One of the best ways to make new friends is to get involved in local activities. Join a community volunteer group or a meet-up focused on a hobby you’re passionate about. Showing up to your first meeting might be intimidating, but it’s the first step to making new friends with people who share some of your passions. At a block party, new friends may hang out on your front porch, for a change!
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL NEW FRIENDS DAY
A. Friendship makes us happier
Friendship makes us feel included. When we’re surrounded by close friends, we feel like we’re being “seen” and that we matter. So many of the reasons people struggle in life are due to loneliness. Forging new friendships helps us combat some of the most common culprits of unhappiness. Of course, friendship is reciprocal — your new bond can enrich your new friend’s life just as much as your own.
B. Our friends are a reflection of who we are
According to famed motivational speaker Jim Rohn, we are the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time. If your friends are kind, hardworking and motivated people, you’re more likely to have those traits as well. Like attracts like.
C. New friends expand our horizons
We have to remind ourselves that it’s okay to be different. Sometimes, the only way we’ll learn about all the exciting hobbies, thoughts, or beliefs in this world is through watching a friend explore them. Making friends with people from different walks of life is a great way to better understand the world around you and to grow as a person.
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