Numerous studies have shown that good relationships play an important part in overall health and longevity. In fact best-selling author and longevity expert Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones) has determined that close, long-term relationships are critical to our well-being, and social connections of friends, family, neighbors and colleagues can improve odds of survival by 50 percent.
Unfortunately, men are often taught from an early age to hide their feelings, which may make it harder for authentic relationships to develop. Here are five ways men can develop healthy relationships and lead a more fulfilling life.
Be Available – Show up, and be prepared to share yourself with others. Vulnerability can be uncomfortable, especially for men, but it also is the key to getting to know the real person and develop a deeper connection.
Be Honest – Share your opinions and feelings while still being respectful of others. Being truthful can be tough at times, but it often leads to a great level of respect and understanding between people.
Practice Empathy – Sometimes it’s helpful to put yourself in another person’s shoes and attempt to see a situation from their point of view.
Respect Differences – No two people are exactly alike. Making a sincere attempt to understand and accept other’s thoughts and views on various topics can lead to greater understanding and personal growth.
Give It Time – Good relationships don’t develop overnight. Give friendships time to create a strong base and grow from there. Although male friendships may take longer to establish, they often remain strong for years.