The USPS Underestimated the Benefit of Going Electric, Study Shows

A peer-reviewed study offers yet more evidence the USPS conducted one of the shoddiest environmental reviews of all time.

By Aaron Gordon

The United States Postal Service dramatically underestimated the benefits of an electric delivery fleet in its environmental review when it agreed to purchase nearly all gas-powered trucks, a peer-reviewed study by University of Michigan researchers found. The lead author of the study, Maxwell Moody, called the USPS’s environmental review “significantly flawed” in a press release, adding yet another layer of criticism to the USPS’s handling of its new delivery fleet procurement.

Back in February 2021, the USPS awarded a multi-billion dollar contract to Oshkosh, a firm that mostly builds big, honking gas vehicles for the Department of Defense, to replace up to 165,000 of the Postal Service’s delivery fleet which is rapidly aging and routinely catching on fire. At first, the USPS said there would be both an electric and a gas version of the truck but not how many of each. Shortly thereafter, it said the order would be 90 percent gas and 10 percent electric, even though the Biden administration said it wanted the government’s vehicle fleet to go electric. The USPS didn’t have to abide by this executive order because since 1970 it is an independent agency of the executive branch rather than a fully-fledged portion of the federal government. The USPS’s decision to largely stick with gas trucks enraged environmental groups, many Democrats, and generally flummoxed anyone who knows anything about electric cars because the USPS is an ideal use case for electric vehicles (EVs). But, for a while, nobody could do anything about it due to the USPS’s independence within the executive branch. 

That dynamic changed in February when the USPS released its legally-mandated environmental review of the delivery fleet purchase, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. That law doesn’t require the USPS to do anything other than to comprehensively and accurately disclose the environmental impact of its purchase while considering plausible alternatives. In theory, the USPS could have conducted a very thorough analysis showing it was poisoning the planet and spending more money to do it and nobody could have stopped them.

But critics of the USPS’s decision were hotly anticipating this environmental review. If they were correct that the USPS was making a terrible decision for both the environment and its own finances—as detailed in a thorough study by Atlas Public Policy, a non-profit research group—then an honest accounting in the environmental review would lay it all out and at the very least embarrass the USPS and prove Louis DeJoy was acting as a poor steward for the agency’s future. In other words, the USPS would have to admit in writing that it knows it’s making a bad decision but plans on doing it anyways.

Instead, the USPS chose a different approach: Fudge the numbers to make it look like a better decision than it is. One way it did so was to list the vehicle’s curb weight as one pound heavier than a critical regulatory threshold that allowed the trucks to emit more than they otherwise could. Another way it did so was to assume the price of gas would stay below $2.55 per gallon through 2040, despite gas being more expensive than that for much of the last 20 years. A third way it did so was to only study scenarios it considered infeasible, like buying 100 percent electric vehicles, so it could dismiss them regardless of what the results of the environmental assessment would be. Meanwhile, it didn’t study sensible middle ground scenarios like buying, say, 50 or 75 percent electric trucks.

All of these issues were immediately obvious to anyone who read the environmental impact statement, including the Environmental Protection Agency administrator who sent the USPS a strongly worded letter claiming that the environmental impact study done by USPS was “seriously deficient.” Two months later, attorneys general from 16 states and five environmental groups sued the USPSon the grounds that it violated NEPA with its shoddy environmental review.

Which brings us to the University of Michigan study that confirms the environmental review was indeed shoddy. The study looked specifically at emissions estimates for the gas and electric versions of the trucks, including the so-called “cradle to grave” analysis that includes the entire vehicle life cycle, something the USPS opted not to do. Overall, they found the USPS underestimated the emissions of gas trucks and overestimated the emissions of electric trucks, making the electric trucks seem worse than they would be and the gas ones seem better. 

Even after accounting for the increased emissions for the battery manufacturing, electric trucks would result in fewer emissions than gas trucks. The study found this for every scenario it tested, including one in which the grid efficiency continues on its current trajectory even though most experts believe it will get much more efficient over time.

Not only that, but the study found the USPS drastically underestimated the benefits of electric trucks. Under the “business as usual” scenario where grid efficiency continues on its current path, the USPS understated the benefits of EVs by 32 percent. If the grid gets decarbonized by 2050, then the USPS underestimated the benefits of EVs by 44 percent, because the cleaner the grid is, the lower the emissions of EVs when they charge. 

The researchers also found discrepancies within the USPS review. For example, the USPS estimated a shockingly low estimate of 323 grams of CO2 equivalent per mile driven in the new gas trucks—equivalent to a MINI Cooper convertible or a Mazda 3 sedan despite weighing about twice as much—a figure the study says “cannot be reconciled” with a stated fuel economy estimate of 8.6 miles/gallon. When the authors calculated expected CO2 emissions on their own based on the combustion intensity of gasoline, they estimated an emission rate about three times higher than the USPS’s estimate. 

As it happens, the USPS has since upped its electric truck order to 40 percent of the total order, a scenario that was apparently never considered feasible and therefore not studied by the USPS in its environmental review.

The New USPS Trucks Would Probably Be Illegal If They Weighed One Pound Less

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

I love classic Christmas songs. I always have. Sometimes what is old and comfortable is new again and finds new meaning.

I am writing this in the beginning of December and I am a VERY long way from home.

I am living and working in the beautiful country of Switzerland. Christmas markets are popping up in every town. Snow is falling. A truly amazing place for Christmas. But I am without my family.

The other day I was doing some planning and I put on my Christmas playlist for some background music. Bing Crosby’s version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” came on. It was as if it was the first time I had ever heard it. The emotional response was deep.

According to Wikipedia it was originally written to honor soldiers overseas who longed to be home at Christmas time. The song is sung from the point of view of a soldier stationed overseas during World War II, writing a letter to his family. In the message, he tells the family he will be coming home and to prepare the holiday for him, and requests snow, mistletoe, and presents on the tree. The song ends on a melancholy note, with the soldier saying, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams”

Magglingen Switzerland is a long way from anything that resembles a war zone and I am surrounded by wonderful people. Unfortunately I am just not near the ones I am closest to in my life.
I originally was supposed to be in Colorado this weekend for a family vacation. Our daughter and her boyfriend live there. Our son and his girlfriend were joining my wife and I. A new covid variant was detected and travel restrictions were put in place that prevented me from being able to join them.
The gymnasts I work with here found out about this and got in contact with my wife and kids. My family recorded videos letting me know I was loved. The affections I felt from my gymnasts was immeasurable. As they showed me the video, they let me know that I did have family here. They may not be the family I was born with or created. But the family that I made along the way.

During line up before morning training they presented me with the video.

I will be going home for Christmas and I look forward to the time with my family there. But While I am there- I will miss my gymnastics family here.

To my Team Suisse Gymnasts. Thank You. I love you

Post Script:

In 1943 the chaplain on the Battleship North Carolina knew that the crew was feeling homesick as they were expected to still be overseas during the holiday season. He had an idea and collected $5 from every crew member that had children back home.

The chaplain made a list of all that gave him money for their children at home and he sent that money along with the addresses of the sailor’s home to Macy’s department store. The request was made for Macy’s to buy gifts using the money provided for the crew’s family and have the gift mailed to their homes in time for Christmas.

As Christmas approached, the service men on the ship gathered for the annual Christmas show that involved songs, skits and entertainment for the troops aboard the Battleship North Carolina. When the entertainment had ended, the chaplain had a surprise to reveal.

When Macy’s received the money from the chaplain along with the list of the addresses, they thought that in addition to just giving gifts to these military families at home, they should give a one of a kind gift to the soldiers as well. Since they had the addresses for all the sailors homes, they reached out to each family and asked if they wanted to come to the Macy’s store and send a special message to their loved one who would not be able to be home for Christmas.

The men aboard the Battleship North Carolina sat there and saw their wives, children and loved ones appear before them on the screen as Macy’s had videoed each of their families sending them a Christmas message. These rugged sailors watched, wept and rejoiced.

What history tells you about post-pandemic booms

People spend more, take more risks—and demand more of politicians

This article came up as I was listening to a podcast from the Economist the other day. My undergraduate degree is in History so this kind of thing I find interesting and it got me thinking. I have been trying to plot the course as we emerge from the pandemic. How we as a society will work and how my businesses will work. Will the 2020’s ROAR like the 1920’s? Will it lead to a crash?

Money, machines and mayhem

The cholera pandemic of the early 1830s hit France hard. It wiped out nearly 3% of Parisians in a month, and hospitals were overwhelmed by patients whose ailments doctors could not explain. The end of the plague prompted an economic revival, with France following Britain into an industrial revolution. But as anyone who has read “Les Misérables” knows, the pandemic also contributed to another sort of revolution. The city’s poor, hit hardest by the disease, fulminated against the rich, who had fled to their country homes to avoid contagion. France saw political instability for years afterwards.

Today, even as covid-19 rages across poorer countries, the rich world is on the verge of a post-pandemic boom. Governments are lifting stay-at-home orders as vaccinations reduce hospitalisations and deaths from the virus. Many forecasters reckon that America’s economy will grow by more than 6% this year, at least four percentage points faster than its pre-pandemic trend. Other countries are also in for unusually fast growth (see chart 1). The Economist’s analysis of gdp data for the g7 economies going back to 1820 suggests that such a synchronised acceleration relative to trend is rare. It has not happened since the post-war boom of the 1950s.

The situation is so unfamiliar that economists are turning to history for a sense of what to expect. The record suggests that, after periods of massive non-financial disruption such as wars and pandemics, gdp does bounce back. It offers three further lessons. First, while people are keen to go out and spend, uncertainty lingers. Second, crises encourage people and businesses to try new ways of doing things, upending the structure of the economy. Third, as “Les Misérables” shows, political upheaval often follows, with unpredictable economic consequences.
Take consumer spending first. Evidence from earlier pandemics suggests that during the acute phase people behave as they have during the past year of covid-19, accumulating savings as spending opportunities vanish. In the first half of the 1870s, during an outbreak of smallpox, Britain’s household-saving rate doubled. Japan’s saving rate more than doubled during the first world war. In 1919-20, as the Spanish flu raged, Americans stashed away more cash than in any subsequent year until the second world war. When that war hit, savings rose again, with households accumulating additional balances in 1941-45 worth some 40% of gdp.

History also offers a guide to what people do once life gets back to normal. Spending rises, prompting employment to recover, but there is not much evidence of excess. The notion that people celebrated the end of the Black Death by “wild fornication” and “hysterical gaiety”, as some historians suppose, is (probably) apocryphal. The 1920s were far from roaring, at least at first. On New Year’s Eve 1920, after the threat of Spanish flu had decisively passed, “Broadway and Times Square looked more like the old days”, according to one study, but America nonetheless felt like “a sick and tired nation”. A recent paper by Goldman Sachs, a bank, estimates that in 1946-49 American consumers spent only about 20% of their excess savings. That extra spending certainly aided the post-war boom, though the government’s monthly “business situation” reports in the late 1940s were nonetheless filled with worry of an impending slowdown (and indeed the economy went into recession in 1948-49). Beer consumption actually fell. Consumers’ caution may be one reason why there is little evidence of pandemic-induced surges in inflation (see chart 2).

The second big lesson from post-pandemic booms relates to the “supply side” of the economy—how and where goods and services are produced. Though, in aggregate, people appear to be less keen on frivolity following a pandemic, some may be more willing to try new ways of making money. Historians believe the Black Death made Europeans more adventurous. Piling on to a ship and setting sail for new lands seemed less risky when so many people were dying at home. “Apollo’s Arrow”, a recent book by Nicholas Christakis of Yale University, shows that the Spanish flu pandemic gave way to “increased expressions of risk-taking”. Indeed a study for America’s National Bureau of Economic Research, published in 1948, found that the number of startups boomed from 1919. Today new business formation is once again surging across the rich world, as entrepreneurs seek to fill gaps in the market.
Other economists have drawn a link between pandemics and another change to the supply side of the economy: the use of labour-saving technology. Bosses may want to limit the spread of disease, and robots do not fall ill. A paper by researchers at the imf looks at a number of recent outbreaks of diseases, including Ebola and sars, and finds that “pandemic events accelerate robot adoption, especially when the health impact is severe and is associated with a significant economic downturn.” The 1920s were also an era of rapid automation in America, especially in telephone operation, one of the most common jobs for young American women in the early 1900s. Others have drawn a link between the Black Death and Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press. There is as yet little hard evidence of a surge in automation because of covid-19, though anecdotes abound.

Whether automation deprives people of jobs, however, is another matter. Some research suggests that workers in fact do better in the aftermath of pandemics. A paper published last year by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco finds that real wages tend to rise. In some cases this is through a macabre mechanism: the disease culls workers, leaving survivors in a stronger bargaining position.

In other cases, however, rising wages are the product of political changes—the third big lesson of historical booms. When people have suffered in large numbers, attitudes may shift towards workers. That seems to be happening this time: policymakers across the world are less interested in reducing public debt or warding off inflation than they are in getting unemployment down. A new paper from three academics at the London School of Economics also finds that covid-19 has made people across Europe more averse to inequality.
Such pressures have, in some instances, exploded into political disorder. Pandemics expose and accentuate pre-existing inequalities, leading those on the wrong side of the bargain to look for redress. Ebola, in 2013-16, increased civil violence in West Africa by 40%, according to one study. Recent research from the imf considers the effect of five pandemics, including Ebola, sars and Zika, in 133 countries since 2001. It finds that they led to a significant increase in social unrest. “It is reasonable to expect that, as the pandemic fades, unrest may re-emerge in locations where it previously existed,” researchers write in another imf paper. Social unrest seems to peak two years after the pandemic ends. Enjoy the coming boom while it lasts. Before long, there may be a twist in the tale. ■

5 Great Things We Should Never Forget About Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)


Source: 5 Great Things We Should Never Forget About Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

5 Great Things We Should Never Forget About Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)


A Supreme Court hero, and all-round wise woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87 surrounded by family at her home in Washington, D.C.

She was the second woman justice to serve on the highest court in the land—a pioneer in her field, when there were few females in the halls of legal offices or law schools. But there were other reasons we will always remember her.

1) She proved that mothers get things done—and then some. 

RBG showed that being a mother can prove an advantage and not an impediment to a woman’s professional life.

In a 2016 essay for the New York Times, she wrote that she believed her success at Harvard and…

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My Son is Graduating College Today


Call me sentimental, but I’ve always loved graduations: the way they tie up loose ends and signify new beginnings, the chance to reflect on the past, and celebrate the future. I feel bad for the graduates of 2020. Schools closed 2 months ago. Students finished (what they could) their education on line.  When I graduated I can still remember handing in my last paper.  I remember getting together that night with a few others who were graduating and having a little barbecue in front of our apartment.  We had an opportunity to share what came next. Grad school, Law School, Work, Summer jobs, Internships. Even the fear of “What’s Next” was exciting.

Like the final months of their education, 2020 graduation will be online and virtual.

We will be ok, we will get back to normal. We, as a society have rebounded from much worse.  I hope at that time…

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A Season of Hope. Winter Solstice

The winter solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. As the shortest day/longest night of the year, this start of the solar year is a celebration of light and the rebirth of the Sun. We have all completed one more official journey around the Sun.


As the Winter Solstice has arrived, it is a time to consider yin and yang, darkness and light – and the exquisite balance that exists between all things. After weeks of shortening days, we have been affected in a number of ways by the scarcity of light and the growing darkness. Though we may have experienced sadness or slowness as a result of this winter season, we must also remember that the darkness is necessary in order to experience light.


Many of us gather with our friends, family and loved ones, and no matter what tradition we observe for this holiday season, we begin to create our own light – the light of the love we feel for those we care the most about. It’s also a time for remembering those we love that are not with us- those who are separated from us by miles or death or simply the loss of relationship.

Many of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with the Solstice have survived into the 21st century so let’s see how we can join in this ancient celebration to bring love, light, joy and meaning to this season.

ENLIVEN YOUR SURROUNDINGS with the color red. The color of the sun is energizing, and symbolic of love, courage, warmth, fire. Wear red sweaters, scarves and hats, light red candles, bring in red flowering plants (the red poinsettia is a great one). The color red has a powerful effect in the darkest days of the year to lighten your mood and create a festive, heartening atmosphere.

ADORN YOUR HOME with sacred herbs and colors. Decorate your home in holiday colors red, green, and white. Place holly, ivy, evergreen boughs, and pine cones around your home, especially in areas where socializing takes place. Hang a sprig of mistletoe above a major threshold, an evergreen wreath on the front door to symbolize the continuity of life and the wheel of the year. Bring in a Christmas tree with colored lights.

CONVEY LOVE to family, friends, and associates. At the heart of the Solstice was the custom of family and friends feasting together and exchanging presents. Continue this custom by visiting, entertaining, giving gifts, and sending greetings by mail and/or phone. Play games, enjoy children, roast chestnuts over an open fire (what fun). Consider those who are and/or have been important in your life and share appreciation.

HONOR THE NEW SOLAR YEAR WITH LIGHT. If you have an indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire circle, burn an oak log as a Yule log. Decorate the inside and/or outside of your home with electric colored lights.

PARTY HEARTY on New Years’s Eve, not just to welcome the calendar year but also to welcome the new solar year. Celebrate and remember how much the sun means to our planet earth, bringing heat, and light.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE MANIFESTATION OF MORE WELLNESS ON OUR PLANET Donate food and clothing to the poor in your area. Volunteer time at a social service agency. Put up bird feeders and keep them filled throughout the winter to supplement the diets of wild birds. Donate funds and items to non-profit groups, such as churches and environmental organizations. Meditate for world peace. Work magic for a healthier planet. Make a pledge to do some form of good works in the new solar year.

CELEBRATE As you think about setting goals for next year, take some time to write down and celebrate everything you have accomplished this year. Keep your focus on your successes. Be careful of negative self-critical thoughts coming in when you remember the goals you did not achieve. Put those on your list for next year.

CELEBRATING keeps our focus on the positive and attracts more for us to celebrate. Take this energy of celebration with you into the new year and keep it with you throughout the whole year.

However big or small the occasion, look for excuses to be in a state of celebration. You can celebrate failures too. They open doorways for something new to come in. Your positive attitude will make sure you attract more positivity and goodness.

A Season of Hope. Unexpected Gifts


This time of year is a weird time of year for me. I miss my friends from when I was growing up. I miss my current friends who I simply do not get enough time to spend with. I miss my family in NY and I miss my own kids who both live in Colorado and  are busy with their own lives.

It can at times seem hopeless. But when I stop and look around- there are many reasons to have HOPE.
On I have been writing that this is a SEASON of HOPE. It started off as a challenge to myself a few years ago. Could I come up with something hopeful to write every day for the month of December?
Since then, I have written and re-written these posting them. Editing them, reposting them.

Every now and then you get an unexpected gift. It could be a coffee, a note, or even just someone forwarding something to you that brings a smile to your face.

The other day I got a FB message from a person I met out west. A  women who I met at a party after  a clinic I was doing. She had seen some of my “Season of Hope” postings and just wanted to say thanks for the reminders.

It made my day and I truly appreciate it. I look forward to seeing her again and I wish her well.

Thank You.

I hope you have a great holiday.


Season of Hope. Remember that if you are reading this- you’ve got it pretty good.

We can call get so engrossed with our own lives and problems that we forget that others may need a helping hand. Not just this year, not just this time of year but every day, every year.

For the most part our biggest issues are overeating during the holiday season. Finding time to workout, making time to cook and buy presents.

We can help others. We can extend a helping hand. Take a minute to help someone. We will always be one world and we must be a world full of hope. That is what I want my legacy to be.

In 1984 I was in my first year of college.  Bob Geldof and Midge Ure formed the supergroup Band Aid  to raise money for anti-famine efforts in Ethiopia by releasing the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”  On 25 November 1984, the song was recorded at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, and was released in the UK four days later.[4][5] The single surpassed the hopes of the producers to become the Christmas number one on that release.

Looking back it seemed like an obvious hit but at the time, it was a risk and a chance taken to help others.

The group reunited with current stars in 2014 to bring help to the Ebola Crisis in West Africa.


You don’t need to be a superstar to help those around you. You can get involved with groups within your community.

Habitat for Humanity, No Kid Hungry ,  The Salvation Army and one I just learned about in my town, The Community Toolbox 

GIVING, like politics starts local. You do not need to think big to have a big impact.  One of my employees travels with bags of sandwiches that she gives out to people asking for money at the side of the road. She has passed this lesson on to her daughters.

I fully believe that no man stands so tall as when he stoops down to help another.


Season of Hope. New Friends



One of the most important and yet least understood areas of psychology concerns the role of friends in our lives. It is often awkward when you are at your spouse, partner or GF/BF holiday party. They know everyone, they are in on all the jokes. Find another awkward looking person at the party at strike up a conversation. You already have something in common, you would rather be somewhere else.

As I was finishing up school in NY I was invited to a Christmas party at a friends house. He gave me his address and I headed over there. I pulled onto the street saw cars were lined up down the street. I parked my car and followed a couple up the street into to the house. I walked in was welcomed, my jacket taken, a drink put in my hand and directed to the food. I made small talk and joined in some humorous talk. Looking around the party I realized I didn’t know anyone. I searched for friends and a wave of dread came over me when I realized, I AM AT THE WRONG HOUSE!

The host came in and asked if I needed anything,

Me, “No thank you, what a great party!”

Host, “You are at the wrong place aren’t you?”

Me, “ummm, yeah- but this party seems pretty great!”

Host, “I’ll get your jacket and you can sneak out the back door. I think the party you are looking for is 2 houses down.”

Me, “Thank you so much!”

I snuck out the back door (drink in hand) and went to the party that I was invited to. It was an equally fun party.

The next week I was getting a coffee and the guy in front of me looked familiar. Yep- The host of the party I crashed. We laughed, had a coffee together and had dinner and drinks a few times before I left for New Hampshire. I am NOT a tremendously outgoing individual.  At work it’s easy for me to be social because we have a shared experience. At parties, it’s much more difficult for me. I do not particularly enjoy “small talk”. I can never understand how my wife can go up and just start a conversation with someone.  (ANYONE HAVE ANY HELP FOR ME HERE?!)

I have been pretty lucky to have made some great friends recently. I look forward to dinner and drinks with them. We always laugh and each night, no matter how casual, is memorable.

I am thankful for these friendships and look forward to sharing this holiday season with them.

When it comes to happiness, your friends are the key.

I’ve tried to distill Friendfluence into what I believe are its most important lessons.

Here are 15 reasons to appreciate your friends:

Friendfluence is the powerful and often unappreciated role that friends—past and present—play in determining our sense of self and the direction of our lives. Whether you realize it or not, your friends have shaped who you are today. You are even the product of the friends who are no longer your friends.

Friends can give you vital life skills.  There are many perks of friendship include sharpening your mind, making you generally happier, knowing yourself better, becoming inspired to reach your goals, advancing your career, helping you meet romantic partners, and living a longer and healthier life.

Childhood friendships start your learning process. Early friendships play a vital role because they occur while key developmental changes are taking place. They help teach us some of those important life skills but also shape our life “narrative.”

Teen friendships shape your later romantic bonds. Though parents spend much of their time worrying about who their teenage kids are with, these relationships are a training ground for the later long-term bonds that will evolve through adulthood.

Friends can help you define your priorities. People tend to pick friends who are similar to them. This fact falls under the general proximity rule of close relationships, in that like tends to attract like. Because we fall prey so easily into this similarity trap, it is important to try to stretch yourself to learn from some of those opposites.

Having friends can help you get more friends. People tend to like others who have a reputation for being nice and helpful, and they like people who like them. If you want to be the type of person who attracts new friends, these qualities will help get you on your way toward building your social group. Once you have more friends, you’ll be able to enjoy some of those perks of friendship.

Close friends support you through thick and thin. To take the most advantage of friendfluence, put effort into your closest friendships. Although being friendly can get you more friends, you don’t need hundreds to help you through life. You may have to prune your friendship tree as you get older to be sure that you give enough attention to the ones who will really matter for your well-being.

You’re less lonely when you have friends.  Loneliness is painful, especially when you are living with loneliness for a prolonged period of time. This is yet another reason to put time, energy, and attention into finding and cultivating a close circle of friends.

Your online friends can steer your thoughts and behaviors. Although online friends are qualitatively different than your in-person friends, they shape you nevertheless. They can also be your source of life support.  Of course, your online friends can also make you miserable too, especially if you get caught in the “friendship paradox” (the fact that most people on Facebook have fewer friends than the average number). If you can avoid having Facebook envy dominate your life, you’ll have more rewarding connections with your extended friendship community.

Friends matter to you, regardless of gender. Although much is made of the difference between male friends, female friends, and male-female friend pairs, all share the qualities of having the potential to influence your life. If you restrict yourself to one certain type of friendship, you may be missing out on bonds that transcend gender boundaries.

Couple friendships can help your own relationship. People experiencing similar life events can often provide the most valuable support to each other. Unfortunately, some couples withdraw from their friendships when their relationship turns serious. You can benefit both from maintaining your separate friendships, but also from sharing with the couples who are experiencing transitions such as becoming parents, raising teenagers, and helping older family members.

Friends can also help you alleviate your work-related stress. Even though you may be stretched to the limit time-wise, the investment you make in these friendships will be worth the psychological benefits.

Friends can give you a reality check. Who but your closest friends will tell you that your new purchase is ridiculous? What person you meet on the street will let you know that your latest romantic interest is going to bring you heartbreak? Because friends know us so well, they are able to see things that we can’t, and aren’t afraid to share their dose of reality with you.

Banding together with friends can help you effect social change. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fight for a cause, raise money for charity, or even just make a few small improvements in your community on your own. Friends are the first step to building successful social movements. Facebook provides one way to enlist the support of thousands of people. At a less grandiose level, people are more likely to engage in helping and altruistic behavior at the urging of their close friends.

Being a friend helps your friends. Friendfluence works in two directions. Not only do you benefit from its many perks, but by being a good friend you are helping those closest to you.  If you are aware of how you’re affecting your friends, you’ll work harder to stay close to them which, in turn, will benefit you as well. Being a good friend also includes asking them for help when you need it.

Giving someone the gift of being influential can be one of the greatest joys you pass on to your friends.




Go make a new friend today. At least try.