I was asked the other night at dinner if my husband and I had a good group of friends out here in Arizona, to which I answered truthfully, no.
If you would have asked me that, even last year, I probably would have been incredibly embarrassed to answer it honestly. To admit that I’ve lived somewhere for almost 13 years and still don’t have a strong group of friends has always been a little embarrassing to me. However within this past year, I’ve learned to be okay with it.
The truth is, it is HARD as hell to make friends. Especially REAL friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some friendships that were great while they lasted. I’ve never really felt that my social life was lacking per say, but there was never that strong bond with anyone.
Listen, I’m not going to lie and say I’ve put a ton of effort in. I am an introvert. More often than not, I prefer being home than going out. I prefer to be with just my husband than a large group of people. I don’t go out of my way to talk to people. And networking scares the living shit out of me.
For reference…I went to meet a couple of bloggers (who I am still friends with, yay!) for dinner…when I arrived, I was shaking and so nervous that when I went to introduce myself, I totally blanked on my name. MY NAME! Who does that?! Me, I do that.
Since turning 30, I’ve learned so much about myself (how cliche). This whole not having a good group of friends has definitely been part of that.
As I continue on this journey, friendship is something I’d really like to focus on. I mentioned above that I’m not the most outgoing person, but I think there are some things I can work on, not only to build new friendships, but to also grow the ones I currently have.
Three things I’m working on when it comes to friendships…
Staying True and Kind to Myself
First and foremost I think I need to ease up on myself. Cut myself some slack. I think the fact that I was able to answer the “do you have a good group of friends” question honestly is really good progress for me. However there is still room for improvement. Making friends isn’t easy, but there is no reason to pretend to be someone else just to try and make those friendships happen. Practicing self love and compassion is serious work, but I think it’s the key here. Once you know who you are and you can accept yourself, you’ll be able to surround yourself with people who accept who you are as well.
Don’t Expect So Much From Others
I definitely have an idea in my head of how I want my friendships to be and what I expect of others. But expecting something from others isn’t really fair. Everyone has their own life, their own issues and most likely can’t live up to the expectations we put on them. This provides us the opportunity though to be the type of friend we do want. Like I said, I can definitely be an introvert and I much prefer others to reach out rather than doing it myself, but I’m trying to change this. It’s incredibly intimidating, but if I don’t start to make an effort, I can’t expect others to do so either.
Focus on the Relationships I Do Have
It’s easy to get into a mindset that we don’t have “enough” friends. However I think most everyone would rather have a couple of good friends than a bunch of acquaintances. By focusing on the relationships we currently have we are able to build our confidence and find purpose within those friendships. It gives us a chance to really hone in on what we want/don’t want out of future relationships.
If you are someone who makes friends easily this post is probably pointless. For me though, it’s a reminder to myself that I need to step out of my comfort zone. A reminder that I need to put in the work in order to build the relationships I want in my life.