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Friends

Print the whole article here!

You are around people every day.

  • You see some people a lot:
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Co-workers
  • Some are very close to you:
    • Girlfriends and boyfriends
    • Husbands and wives
    • Partners

You know other people, too.

  • Some people are not as close to you:
    • Your doctor
    • The person who works at the bank
    • The person who lives next door
  • As you get to know people better, they may become your friends.

Why are friends important?

  • A friend is someone with whom you can:
    • Talk
    • Have fun
    • Share thoughts and feelings
  • Without friends, you may feel lonely or sad.

What do friends do for each other?

  • In a healthy friendship, people:
    • Talk and listen to each other
    • Respect each other
    • Work out problems or disagreements

Do you have a healthy friendship?

  • Do you like to spend time with your friend?
  • Do you feel safe with your friend?
  • Do you feel good when you’re with your friend?
  • If you said yes to all of these questions… you have a healthy friendship!

Do you have an unhealthy friendship?

  • Do you feel sad, angry, or scared around your friend?
  • Does your friend say mean things to you?
  • Do you feel you have to spend time with your friend?
  • If you said yes to any of these questions… you may not have a healthy friendship.

You can get sick or hurt in an unhealthy friendship.

  • If you think you have an unhealthy friendship, talk to:
  • Another friend you trust
  • A counselor
  • If a friend hits or hurts you tell someone you trust today!

Making New Friends

  • Some people are shy.
  • That makes it hard to make new friends.
  • Here are some ideas that can help you take the first step.

Step 1: What’s Going On in Your Town?

  • There are lots of places nearby where you can make new friends.
  • This worksheet will help you explore your community. Fill it out together with friends or your support staff.

Step 2: What do you like to do?

  • Make a list of things you like to do.
  • Ask someone who knows you well for their ideas, too.
  • Where do people go to do these things?
    • A place (like a video arcade or bowling alley)?
    • A club (like a train club, gardening club)?
  • That’s where you’ll find people who like the same things as you.

Step 3: Just go do it!

  • What will you try first? A club? A new place you haven’t been? A sports event?
  • Do you need support - like a ride or help filling out a form? Ask!
  • Do you want someone to go with you? Ask!
  • Now… just go do it!

Other Places to Meet People

  • Ask your support person if there are:
    • People First meetings in your area
    • Dances for people with disabilities at local Recreation Centers or ARCs
    • Activities at local Recreation Centers
    • Volunteer opportunities at local parks, theaters or museums

What if I meet someone I’d like to have as a friend?

  • Smile!
  • Say your name and ask for theirs.
  • Talk about something you enjoy:
    • “This is a great baseball game.”
    • “Have you seen this movie before?”
  • Ask questions about the person.
  • Before you know it, you have a new friend!

Remember:

  • Everyone needs friends
  • Everyone deserves healthy friendships
  • If your friendship is unhealthy, talk to someone you trust
  • If you are being hurt call someone today
  • Making new friends is as easy as 1,2,3
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Last updated on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 16:53