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Seasons of Friendships

Seasons of Friendships

Growing up the biggest thing that was pushed upon in school and camp for all of us was to make friends. So many times people, movies, TV shows, and others would say “make new friends”. All my people raised on barney know what I am talking about. We all want friendships to last a lifetime. Growing up we always see the positive, happy, magical, best version of what our life can be. Especially when it comes to friendships. When we make friends we think they are going to be with us forever and ever, you’ll never grow apart, and you’ll always have their back just like they have yours till the day you die. However, nobody tells you that life is going to test those friendships you have had for years. No one tells you that growing up sometimes means growing apart from your childhood lifelong friends. All because people, most people don’t realize the importance of having strong friendships. 

One of the biggest questions of advice I find myself asking my mom and even hearing asked on podcasts is what about friendships? Aren’t they supposed to last? What do I do when I feel like it is ending? How do you make a friendship from childhood last into adulthood? I don’t have all the answers but I am going to try!

Friendship Facts with growing up: 

  • Not all friendships last forever
    • It’s sad but true as much as we wish friends or even best friends to last forever and ever they don’t. It is okay if you feel like a friendship is ended or has run its course. 
  • People grow at different paces; do not compare your growth to your friends 
    • Just because all your friends may be in relationships, or married with kids does not mean that you also have to be at the same point in your life. Growth is done on your own time at your own pace. 
  • Change to fit whats you believe not what others believe 
    • Change is a part of life do not base what you believe or your opinions on those you surround yourself instead surround yourself with people who have similar opinions to you. Do not try and fit in just because you have been close for so long stay true to who you are. 
  • History is not a marriage 
    • Just because you have a history with someone does not mean that you are stuck being their friend forever and ever. Make the decision that is going to be best for you. You had a history with your ex doesn’t mean you invite them to the beach trip
  • Pay attention to who waters the friendship 
    • It is important to pay attention to who is putting care into the relationship if only one person is; then the relationship is one-sided.

It sounds crazy but friendships are a lot like relationships. They require care, attention, and you have to keep a lookout for red flags. You also have to look out for when someone is being genuine or just using you for their own personal gain. Friends are more than just who we grab lunch with when we have free time. They are who we talk to when we have issues, who we go to when we don’t want to be alone, who we confide all our secrets in and so much more. Friendship is important and a lot of us ask how can we be a better friend? What can we do to strengthen our friendship? For each friendship, there may be specific things you have to do however there are some general things you can do.

Stentheing the Friendhsip:

  • Reach out when you can
    • Like the airplanes say please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. reaching out to see how someone is doing is good! But also make sure you have the emotional capacity to do so. You can even say “Hey I’ve been thinking about you hope you’re doing well. I’m just been dealing with some things but I promise to reach out and catch up when it gets better”
  • Follow up after bad days or bad events 
    • If you found out or find out that your friend got dumped, got fired, had a bad day, lost a pet, lost a family reach out. Show you care with how you listen. You don’t have to give them everything. And if you are not in the right headspace it can wait a day or 2 just make sure you do eventually reach out. People tend to remember who was there when things fell apart.
  • Invite them even if you know they have plans 
    • People like to feel included and wanted so even if you know your friend Fred is going camping this weekend; still reach out to him about the group brunch you planning. You never know if plans get canceled plus you made them feel like they matter to you. Assuming makes an ass out of you and me. 
  • Give a heads up!
    • If your going to be late, or cannot attend an event you said you will, or even if you’re going to be home let them know! Communication is so important. I always try and set reminders around birthdays or parties that I agreed to a few days in advance to not only remind myself that it’s coming up but also to make sure I can still attend. And when I am coming home I like to give the people I am friends with back home a heads up to see if we can make plans. 
  • Speak up 
    • If someone says or does something that really bothers you; speak up about it. Reach out and talk to them about it. Get their side tell yours. But be adults so many friendships end because people refuse to see the other side or hear someone out. You’ll build a stronger bond and a much better understanding of the situation. 
  • Be their cheerleader 
    • Support them! If they are starting a blog, or have a new relationship, new job, moving, or whatever be supportive of them. Showing you care about their happiness is a world of difference. Also, don’t tell a friend to be realistic…that is not very nice at all. 

Growing up we all have to deal with our own life issues and struggles. Having friends by your side helps make life easier but also more enjoyable. However, don’t force yourself or someone to stay. Unfortunately with growing up some friendships end and that is okay. This is why we get so many opportunities to make new friends. I look at my parents and they have friends from all different phases of their lives. I’ve seen people come and go but I have also seen a lot of people stick around. I mean they have friends that they have known from elementary school, But I have also seen them realize that an old friend and them no longer line up. It’s one of the not-so-fun parts of life. 

Breathe there is nothing wrong with you sometimes it is just life. I’ve gone through it I still going through it, it happens and it’s okay! All you can do is focus on strengthening/working on the friendships you want to save/ the ones you value. Realize it’s okay to walk away from the ones that aren’t; no one wants any fake friends. Those are the worst. Just focus on the good ones, I promise you they will shine through. I know you got this. If ot just ask your big sis – KMH


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