Friends and Growing Up

Sometimes growing up means making new friends. But it isn’t how it used to be. You can’t just walk up to someone and say, “Hey, let’s be friends!”…..Or can you?

As you look around and see that your friendships are dwindling, you may not be motivated to do anything about it. But what if I told you that friendships that don’t help you grow are not friendships at all. As you start your new career, maybe get married (or stay single while everyone else you know gets married), have a family, it can become very easy to slip away from friendships. In order to evaluate your current friendships, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I taken initiative to call or text a friend?
  • Have I invited them to spend quality time?
  • Have I offered to make time to see this friend?
  • Have I made efforts to share with them in the joys and in their pain?

As life becomes increasingly busy, it can become even more challenging to be a good friend, but you must first evaluate yourself before you go questioning the nature of your friendships. Now for the tough part—friendship cannot be one sided. One-sided friendships lead to resentment, unrequited feelings and unmet needs. If you care about someone and consider them a friend, you should make them a priority in your life. One of the hardest things to do is to let go of the people in your life that are wearing the costume but not playing the part. Being a friend is hard work, but it should be hard work shared by two people.

Most of the time, as an adult, it is less about the act of making friends and more about finding people you actually want to be friends with. The best part of making friends as an adult is that you get to be more selective this time around! Sometimes our greatest mistake in developing friendships is looking for friends who meet needs that are already met. Instead, seek friendships that challenge you, develop you, and make you feel that you can be a better individual. Find people who disagree with you or someone who thinks differently than you do. If you meet someone who makes you laugh, who challenges you or someone you share something in common with, tell them you want to spend more time with them. After all, the best thing that can happen is you gain a new friend!