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Manage Your Social Life 

Friendships can play a major role in your well-being. But CF can make some social situations tricky or awkward.

While it may not always be easy or natural for you, talking about CF with your friends is a great way to connect with them on an even deeper level. And, like many things in life, a little humor can go a long way in making everyone more comfortable! 

Here are some tips and thoughts about taking control of your social life and reaping the rewards: 
  • Get comfortable about opening up. Although being a teenager is typically the time when people with CF are most insecure, adults
    Box Top Small Blue

    Words to Live by...

    “I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.”

    Tracy Chapman, singer

    of all ages may think twice about letting people know about their disease. Choosing to tell your peers about your CF is an individual choice. There are no rules. You have to follow your heart and trust your instincts.

    It helps to look at the pros and cons of telling your social group about your CF. Think about what you are afraid of. Would it be a relief that you wouldn’t have to hold in a cough, hide an IV (intravenous line), or have people make harsh comments after you come out of the bathroom? Or is it better to be just one of the gang who won’t be treated any differently? Are you a private person generally? Sometimes it depends on the person you are telling. 

  • Find relief in telling your CF story to others. You can stop explaining yourself or making excuses. You can show them who you really are, and that you do not just take time off, flake out or arrive late to dates because you are careless. And your friends can support you in your CF journey — like helping you with treatments or joining you at a doctor’s appointment.

    It can feel really good to joke and share laughter about all the stuff that goes along with CF — for example, warning them “Do not go in there!” — Chances are, your friends who know about your CF are inspired that you are living a full life.

    Since not very many people have CF, you act as a CF ambassador — educating people about what this disease really is. Inviting your peers to a Great Strides walk can be a nice way to start the conversation. They can help find the cure!

  • Build stronger, deeper friendships. Believe it or not, sharing your CF story with others can open the doors to even better relationships. You’ll be educating healthy peers about diversity and disability. Many people appreciate the closeness that comes from talking about life challenges with each other. Besides, you also are inviting your friends to share something personal about themselves with you!

  • Beware of unhealthy situations. There will be times when you have to make quick decisions. Would you visit a friend who has a sick baby at home? Can you pull an all-nighter on the town? Will your friends pressure you to smoke, drink or use illicit drugs?

    Make choices that are in your best long-term interests. Charm and humor can help get you through difficult social situations. You’ll develop your own communication style with practice.

Updated 8/27/13

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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.