It’s time for the monthly Wellness Wednesday hosted by Natalie from Natalie the Explorer and Leslie from Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After. Each month, we can update our health and fitness goals and also have a topic to write about. This month the topic is ‘Friends and Relationships’ which fits very well with my Ageing Well in August theme for Day 10 – ‘Hang Out with people of all ages’.
Friendship has no age barrier
Part of Ageing Well is to stay connected. Most of us know that but who make up your circle of friends? Are they all around the same age as you? Many of us would answer ‘yes’ because we feel that we have more in common with our peers and feel comfortable in this type of friendship. These friendships are certainly valid and cherished.
However there are many benefits to looking past the number and discovering new friendships that have no age barrier. I recently read about ‘Age-Gap Friendship’ and it backed up what I have always thought. I’ve always had friendships and relationships with people from all stages of life. I’ve written before about working with some women, young enough to be my daughters who encouraged me to start running. They didn’t see me as a 50 year old woman, I was just Sue and we had some fun times together. They certainly encouraged and helped me step out of my comfort zone.
Dr. Angharad Rudkin, a chartered psychologist and member of The British Psychological Society, suggests:
“We tend to seek out people who we believe are similar to us – social status, experiences, looks, age,”
“Benefits of age-gap friendships include learning from one another’s experiences, developing empathy for people of different ages and possibly (though I’m not sure of the evidence for this) having a different perspective on life as a result of knowing someone older/younger well.
American clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Bonior suggests:
“Cross-generational friendships allow us to be ourselves without as many expectations of what our lives are ‘supposed’ to be focused on at any given stage, and they can be among the most meaningful and cherished of relationships.”
Benefits of Age-Gap Friendships
- Different Generations bring different experiences, ideas and opportunities
- Younger friends challenge our thinking and beliefs
- Older friends can provide life experience and mentor younger friends
- Younger friends keep you more active
- You may be introduced to new interests and hobbies
- Conversations have more variety – whether your friend is younger or older than you, conversations are never dull as they discuss what is happening in their life’s journey.
- It is easier to stay current – you are introduced to the latest trends and popular culture. This helps you stay in touch and connected with the world. It helps us to stay vital and youthful
- You aren’t invisible – the friendship is not based on age but respect