TedX Revisited: Why do friends drift away in hard times? | Mark Webb | TEDxKingstonUponThames

So, we came up with the role of Head of Group Social Media for a company that employed 40,000 people. It was a pretty hefty role, and we kind of invented flexible working before flexible working was a thing. So, for the cost of the company, the cost of an iPad, 400 quid, I could continue to work and just work from home, tweet from bed when I needed, when I was exhausted, but still benefit the company and still feel proud and involved. And it was just wonderful, and again, something that just doesn’t happen to many disabled people. It was an imaginative and creative thing for the company to do, just human, and not letting me drift away, not drifting away. So, that’s me, me, me, me, um, but Richard E. Grant, lovely actor. He’s brilliant on Instagram talking about social media.

He’s a lover of life, adventure, travel, food, art, architecture, and his family. He lost his wife about four years ago to cancer, and he talks very openly about his grief. And I can remember, I think it was The Times, wrote an article relatively recently, and the title was, “First I lost my wife, then I lost my friends.” And it felt to him as if his wife had been canceled by the actions and drifting away of his friends. So, it’s a real thing, and it hurts. It really hurts. So, I’ve got one rule for our two boys, which is, for any new parent or soon-to-be parent, this is a good rule to have: be one of the good guys, because it kind of covers off bloody everything. Um, but in terms of this,

if I hear of a school friend or college friend of theirs having a tough time, I’m very insistent that they seek them out and they support them and they ask them questions and they try to keep urging them on and bring them out of whatever they’re suffering from, whatever struggle they’re having. So, my message to you is please think about colleagues and friends who you may have slightly avoided in the corridor in social occasions, and don’t drift away. We love company.

We’re human. We love hugs. Please invite us for a coffee, take us out for a glass of wine, invite us around to social occasions, talk to us at the water cooler. And if… look, maybe there’s going to be another TEDx talk that will teach you how to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This one isn’t going to win you the Nobel Peace Prize, but it’ll help some of you be better friends and colleagues to people who you might just have drifted away from. Thank you very much.

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