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How do you make social connections?

Seems like it is widely accepted today that the key to living a happy content life is to feel socially connected to others. People here in US (I live in the South) accomplish that by being part of a church congregation where they join others that share the same believes and values, they socialize together and make friends. Do you think they are all believers? or some feel comfortable pretending or not questioning the existence of God just to be able to be part of that social group? How do people in other countries (where the church has more of traditional religious role and not that much a social role), handle making social connections?


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    Oct 7 2013: Connection happens when you get:

    concrete help, such as having a friend pick your kids up from school
    emotional support, like hearing someone say, "I'm really sorry you're having such a tough time"
    perspective, like being reminded that even the moodiest teenagers grow up
    advice, such as a suggestion to plan a weekly date with your wife
    validation, like learning that other folks love reading train schedules too

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