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DO YOU HESITATE to call a friend? Do you procrastinate on that? Do you feel like you should call but never get around to it? Strange as it may sound, it is probably because you're thinking of what you will gain from the conversation.

If you would change your thinking and think about how you can benefit your friend, you would be more eager to pick up the phone.

But what can you give your friend, you ask? More than you might think. First of all, the fact that you called says someone cares and that in itself is a gift. It directly helps your friend to feel cared about. Feeling cared about is good for her health. It is good for her mood. It makes her happier.

Then in the conversation, you can be a good listener. That is an enormous and rare contribution. It will help her. Your caring, attentive ear is something you can give. Something worth giving. It helps your friend think. It helps her sort out her thoughts and feelings and makes her actions saner and her mood better. It is a real contribution. Read more about good listening here.

And through your listening, you will find out your friend's hopes and goals and fears and problems, and because you did, in the days following your conversation, you will come across an article or have an idea that might help your friend, and you can pass it along, so this is another way your listening can benefit your friend.

If you want to increase your motivation to connect to others, because you know connecting with and helping others is healthy and makes you happier, forget about that. The benefits will come to you whether you think about it or not, so you don't need to think about that, and thinking about it is now counterproductive. Focus your mind on what you can do for your friend. Turn your attention to the loving care of your friend and you will end your procrastination.

go to the summary of Cultivating Closeness

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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