Friendships are special relationships that can offer both parties support, joy, affection, and companionship that can promote positivity in their lives. International Friendship Day (also known as national friend day or national friends day) is a holiday designed to encourage people to honor and appreciate their current and old friends. The International Day of Friendship takes place on July 30 each year, and there are many different ways you can celebrate. Let’s take a look at a few ideas.
International Friendship Day or World Friendship Day was founded officially in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly. Per their website, it’s centered on “the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities”.
Prior to 2011, Friendship day had been celebrated informally for decades. Most notably, on International Friendship Day in 1997 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan named Winnie the Pooh the world’s ambassador of friendship. Outside of the UN there are other friendship day holidays, the World Friendship Crusade, based as a national holiday in Paraguay, also uses the July 30th date to celebrate. While the International Friendship Day date is the 30th of July, some regional communities also celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday in August (or on August 7th), although many celebrate on Saturday as well.
Friendships can help expose people to others who are different from them so both parties can learn from each other, and they can help build strong communities too. Quality friendships can also provide us with the crucial social support that we all need for our well-being. For example, one study found that those who say they have “people they can count on in times of trouble” are “consistently more likely to be satisfied with their personal health”. The study also points out the many potential negative health effects of loneliness, which include high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, and depression, among others.
Friendships involve a mutual understanding and shared spirit of solidarity and may develop because two people have much in common, or because they have little in common. Friends may see each other daily or even live together, while others may go years without being in the same place—and friends that originally met online may never meet up in person. Considering some of the many different types of friendships that can be formed may help you appreciate the diversity of your own social connections or encourage you to build more, broader friendships. Some common types of friendships include the following.
Childhood friendships are built during one’s formative years, typically with peers of the same or a similar age. These connections are often founded on having the same experiences, such as school or extracurriculars. Friendships can be a healthy part of childhood and adolescence, as they offer young people opportunities to build important relationship skills and to connect with others outside of their families who understand what they’re going through at their age. Some people maintain their childhood friendships throughout their lives and become old friends, while others naturally lose touch with these friends over time after going in different life directions.
Making friends as an adult can seem more difficult than making friends as a child. Busy schedules can make it harder to find time to spend together, meaning that these friendships typically take more intentionality and effort than childhood ones did. Additionally, adults are often more set in their personality traits and interests, whereas children are still figuring themselves out and may click more naturally with more potential new friends. However, having friends you can lean on throughout the challenges of adult life can be just as important as in any other stage, and these friendships can be meaningful whether they last months, decades, or a lifetime.
Some people also find friendship within their own families. It’s not uncommon for siblings or cousins to become close friends, for instance, and parents and adult children may transition into healthy friendships over time, too. Having the same life experiences and long history is common among families, which can be the foundation for a strong, friendly bond.
In the digital age, many people also find themselves making friends online. Some of these friendships may only ever be digital, while others may involve meeting up in person eventually. Regardless, these connections can be valuable. They’re often formed via social media networks, online groups, or forums dedicated to a particular interest, life experience, work industry, or hobby, which can form a foundation for a friendship. For those who wonder about how much benefit a person could get from a friendship that strictly takes place online, the research may surprise you. One study found that both online and in-person social support are associated with “lower levels of depression-related thoughts and feelings”, and that online friendships can be especially nourishing for those who lack sufficient in-person support.
Here are a few resources that discuss more about friendship:
There’s no one way to celebrate your friendships, whether on July 30 or at any other time of year. The main goal of International Friendship Day is typically to simply show your friends that you care for and appreciate their friendship, which can take many different forms. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to celebrate Friendship Day, consider the ideas below.
Plan For Quality Time
Simply spending quality time with your friend can be a meaningful way to celebrate your friendship. You might arrange for the two of you to do your favorite activity together, or to have a nice meal. You could revisit the place you first met and reminisce on the best moments of your friendship. You could even take a trip together or come up with another activity that allows you to enjoy each other’s company and make new memories.
Give A Gift
Giving a gift is another simple way to show appreciation for your friends and may make your friend’s day. It doesn't have to be anything big or expensive; it could just be something you think your friend might enjoy. Bringing or sending them a handwritten note, some flowers, or their favorite dessert could go a long way in expressing your gratitude for their presence in your life.
Have A Virtual Gathering
For online friends or those who live far apart, you may hold events like a virtual friendly gathering to spend time together and celebrate your friendship. You could have a video chat to catch up about your lives and reminisce about time you’ve spent with each other in the past. You could also play a game together online, watch a movie together virtually, or post photos on social media of some of your best memories with them.
Make A New Friend
Adding a new friendship to your life can be another way to celebrate International Friendship Day. To meet new people you might get along with, you could consider volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about, joining a hobby club or sports league, or getting to know friends of friends.
How Therapy Can Help You Improve Your Relationships
In general, friendships require communication, compassion, and respect, as any other type of relationship does. If you’re looking to improve your skills in areas like these so you can improve your relationships, therapy is one method to try. For example, a therapist can help you build the confidence to meet new people, learn how to set boundaries in a relationship, and polish conflict-resolution skills so you can effectively deal with any challenges that may arise in your friendships. Education in these areas is critical for maintaining friendship. One study found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in particular can help individuals who are looking to improve the quality of their friendships. It reports that participants who underwent CBT reported increased empathy, reduced conflicts, improved trust and intimacy, and improved relationships overall after treatment.
You can choose to connect with a therapist in person or online, depending on your preferences. Research suggests that the two can offer similar benefits in most cases. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, online therapy may be worth considering. With a virtual counseling platform like BetterHelp, you can get matched with a licensed therapist who you can meet with via phone, video call, and/or online chat from anywhere you have an internet connection, and for a cost that’s comparable to the co-pays of most insurance plans. Based on your location, therapist availability, and preferences therapy at BetterHelp costs in the range of $60 to $90 per week, billed on a monthly basis. Regardless of the format you may choose, therapy can be one way to help you improve the relationships in your life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: What is the significance of Friends Day?
A: Friendship Day might be a day to celebrate and appreciate the bond of friendship. Friendship Day is an opportunity to show your friends how much they mean to you and to make new friends.
Q: When is Friends Day celebrated?
A: Friendship Day should be celebrated in August, specifically the first Sunday in August by many, but National Friendship Day is July 30th.
Q: How can I celebrate Friends Day with my friends?
A: There are many ways to celebrate Friendship Day with your friends, including having a picnic, throwing a party, going on a trip, or simply spending time together and enjoying each other's company.
Q: What are some ways to strengthen my friendships?
A: To strengthen your friendships, make time for your friends, show genuine interest in their lives, and be a supportive and trustworthy friend. Communication and empathy are also key to building and maintaining strong friendships.
Q: How can therapy help improve my friendships?
A: Therapy can help individuals understand and address the psychological and emotional factors that impact their relationships. A therapist can provide guidance and support to help individuals communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and build stronger, healthier relationships with their friends.
Is Friends Day in August?International Friendship Day is celebrated each year on July 30th, according to the United Nations' decision to do so as of 2011. However, in some parts of the world, this celebration of National Friendship Day takes place on the first Sunday of the month of August. With that in mind, Friendship Day is celebrated in either July or August depending on where you are located in the world geographically.
Which date is Happy Friendship Day?
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