National Make a Friend Day is Everyday
On February 11th, we will celebrate “National Make a Friend Day.” This is a great opportunity to celebrate both the friends we are lucky enough to have had for a while, and the friends we may have just made.
“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.” – Shel Silverstein
National Friends day is a wonderful day to set a goal of either making a friend or re-investing in a current friendship. With individuals diagnosed with Autism making friends can present added challenges. We have created free resources in the form of social stories to help with important topics such as Using Friendly Words with friends at school.
How many times have you been in a situation where you just wanted to talk to somebody, and a friend you had never really “leaned on” shows themselves to be the perfect person to hear you out? In this instance, it may even feel like you’ve made a new friend out of an old one simply by having a conversation you’ve never had before (or haven’t had with them in awhile).
At Autism Behavior Services, Inc. (ABSI) it is our goal that the people we work with live as full and as productive a life as possible. This includes making friends and establishing support groups, and it’s why at ABSI we work very hard with our clients on the importance of social skills. We offer premiere social skills training at our clinics.
Think of all the things you want in a friend. What’s important to you? Their listening skills? Eye contact? That they don’t seem distracted when you’re having a conversation? When you do something together are they engaged or are they disinterested and only seem to want to do what they want to do?
National Friendship Day may only happen on the 11th of February, but isn’t every day kind of like National Friendship Day? Isn’t every day an opportunity to make a new friend or enrich the friendships we already have? Now, we may not make new friends all the time, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do our best to be friendly to everyone we might come across. Think of little things you can do like getting somebody a cup of coffee, listening to a friend who might need somebody to talk to, giving somebody a ride somewhere, playing a game that, maybe, you don’t love but the other person does. These things add up! They are all part of the sum total of what others do for us and what we do for them that makes up the friendship.
The social skills that we work at at Autism Behavior Services are not “just for people on the spectrum.” They are social skills that we ALL should be working on. By being a good, engaged friend we are helping others. Paying attention, listening while others speak, and not just waiting to talk goes a long way towards showing what kind of friend you are. In fact, others might see your interactions and, while maybe not voicing it, they might think you’re somebody who is a good friend. You might even meet more people by simply displaying kindness and friendship to others.
So why wait for “National Make a Friend Day” to be the friend you want others to be? Start now by showing all current and new friends that you’re the kind of friend they’ll have for life!
To paraphrase the Shel Silverstein quote above, “How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.”