A Series of Friendships
Today’s post will be the first of a two-part series about friendships. I’ll be tackling how friendships begin, how they change/grow, the different types of friends we have/had, why friendships end, and why we need friends in the first place.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, our friends can shape the way we see ourselves. It’s easy to decide our worth based on what the people around us say, even if we don’t realize we’re doing it.
If a friend compliments an outfit I’m wearing, I’m far more likely to wear it again in the future. Or if they recommend a book or movie that they love, I’d be more likely to check it out.
Making friends when we’re little used to be a walk in the park—literally. You could go up to any kid that was close to your height, and ask them if they wanted to play with you.
Voila! Instant friend!
But as we get older, it feels like the way we approach friendships and make friends changes a lot with age.
After all, there was a time not so long ago when parents warned their children not to talk to strangers on the internet. Now, the majority of the world spends time on the web, meeting new people and making new friends.
We went from “tag you’re it” to “I’ll tag you in these pictures”.
How Do Friendships Begin?
Friendships usually begin because of something you have in common with someone else. Usually, it’s a place or an interest.
Maybe you go to the same school, work together, have music lessons, or play sports together. If you’re around a person long enough, chances are that you’ll form some sort of relationship with them, even if you aren’t sure you’d call them good friends.
The Cost of Friendships
Friendships take time and effort—from both you, and your friends.
There are people who you can go months and years without seeing, and still find that you’re friends, but that isn’t always the case.
Scrolling through Instagram and liking all your friends’ posts isn’t the same as spending time with them in person and telling them about your day.
For the longest time, I thought I was an outgoing extrovert. I loved meeting new people and could talk for hours if given the chance.
Then I found that the more friends I had, the more work it was to maintain those friendships.
I’d get drained from being around so many people—a feeling which shocked and terrified me since I’d never felt it before.
Having a lot of deep friendships is a balancing act that few can truly master. So if you find yourself overwhelmed, take a moment to evaluate how many friendships you’re trying to maintain. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably on the internet. If you’re not, then I’m shocked.
I’ve made a lot of friends thanks to the internet, but sometimes being online is just as overwhelming as speaking to someone in person—or even more. After all. the words you post on social media last longer than most friendships, so there’s usually a lot of pressure to say something people will remember, or consider funny and intelligent.
Online, you can make friends with someone and later find they’re nothing like you thought they were since so many people try to present the best version of themselves.
It’s the same in our everyday lives, but instead of filters we have makeup, and instead of likes we have laughter.
Friendships can be difficult if you aren’t being authentic, because a small part of your mind will always wonder if people would really like you if they knew who you truly are.
How can you be authentic—without it seeming like you’re trying too hard?
There’s no simple, easy process. It takes time, and it involves forming different habits. But it is possible.
Being authentic doesn’t mean you share everything with everyone, all the time. It just means that you’re not pretending you’re something you’re not.
This means that to be authentic, you have to know who you are, so you can know who you’re not.
I’ll be tackling authenticity in an upcoming blog, so be sure to subscribe to my mailing list so you don’t miss it!
Because of the shift in how friendships work in today’s society, it’s easy to get confused or overthink things. Especially as you reach an age where you’re constantly busy and don’t have as much time to hang out with your friends as you used to.
But having good friendships is definitely worth it, and we’ll discuss why in next week’s blog!
Before You Go…
How have your friendships changed over the years? Let me know in the comments below!
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I as well have found myself shrinking the amount of people I interact with in order to give my best to the few deep friendships I have! These are all great thoughts and observations, Thirzah!