Written by Cloé Vaz-Wiggins
Image by @uchjn
Do you often think about the specific point in which making friends became something you had to consciously think about? Or does it usually catch you by surprise? The fact is, something changes as soon as we enter the glorious most hectic hood of all: adult life. We now have all of the syndromes, all of the conditionings, fears of being rejected or not being liked and to top it all off, less time than ever.
And no, I don’t mean to sound super dramatic or negative, but this is the reality and the first and best place to start is always, with the reality. Because, it is harder to make friends as an adult, we are now the picky grown-ups that are not naturally open or vulnerable, we’re not easily impressed nor do we let our guards down for a lot of people and when we do, how many of us are really open to the process of building and investing in a new relationship? Like truly, how many of us can say, we’re really willing to freely give our time and effort to finding that balance between what we know we deserve and what, all of us, as friends and human beings need to work on together to ensure the relationship works?
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that in the end, we’re all human, we will disappoint each other, we will hurt each other and so look for people that are good listeners, people that are able to have conversations that clear the air no matter how awkward they are, look for friends that are able to take accountability for their actions but most of all, are willing to work on themselves and your relationship.
Be clear on your values
One of the most challenging things about making and keeping friends as an adult is the disconnect between the exciting of whatever brought you together and the consistent effort and alignment necessary for it to stay that way. Maybe for you family is the most important thing in this planet and for your friend is not, this can be challenging when dynamics change. Being clear on what values you live your life by can be a great way to get to know and determining if they certain people are for you or not.
As terrifying as it is, you have to be open. Open to reach out to whoever you have a good feeling about, open to have uncomfortable conversations and really let yourself be seen, open to truly get to know the person on the other side. You have to be open to cultivate meaningful relationships, so brave up and go all in. Also, when you’re in situations where you could potentially meet new people, you have to be open to it, so you know, put yourself out there. Be open!
Bars, clubs, seminars, church, markets you name it, if you’re going to meet someone in person, you have to be out and about. Plan new activities by yourself, maybe a Pilates class, maybe a painting class, yoga, whatever it is, put yourself in that space and go for it.
The virtual world
We have to talk about this because, yes, it can be scary and dangerous, but it can also be quite special to meet someone online. Whether it’s through apps, social media or starting a relationship online, it is possible to create beautiful relationships online, so if this is for you, set the apps up, reach out to people.