Happy TUESDAY, fam. Today’s post has been weighing on my heart for a while. I am patiently waiting for the day that a Tinder-for-bffs is made (and like not a creepy one) so that I can meet more friend soul mates and live happily every after. Lately, I’ve been pondering what it means to be a good friend, how to make friends as an adult, what it takes to keep your friendships long lasting and and how to effectively communicate in your long-distance friendships (and even your close friends). I wrote a post last year that touched on the communication portion (read that post here), but I felt like I needed to go more in-depth on the actual friendship portion itself. AND HERE WE ARE. So, let’s go ahead and dive into it.
I am a woman that is surrounded by other strong, intelligent, kind women in my life. I like to think I’ve truly, truly found my “tribe” (I literally cringed writing that – sorry, mom, I know you hate that phrase) but I couldn’t think of anything better to describe it. I have my best friend all the way back from high school that I still talk to every day, of course, my sweet friends from college that I love, high school friends I’ve reconnected with since graduating college. But those are all friends that I made while in an environment that fosters friendships. You see them every day for class, or you room together in college or you are part of the same after school activities. The hard part is going out into the real world, once you’re done with school, and making friends. It becomes harder to connect with like-minded people and form lasting bonds of friendship.
I feel lucky because somehow, I’ve stumbled upon some really amazing women since being out of college, and I am lucky to call them friends. Some I’ve met through blogging, some through church and others still through mutual friends and what-not. Here are my tried and true tips to makeup friendships as an adult and keeping them solid.
Join an activity.
This one should be easy. Find an activity you genuinely enjoy and start doing it. Go to your handy dandy Facebook page and start searching local groups. Want to meet other people who like to knit and watch The Bachelor? There’s probably a Facebook group for it. Are you a biker? A swimmer? A decoupager? Find groups that enjoy doing the same things you do, and you will already have things to talk about.
Real life story: three of my very best friends in the world are bloggers I met on the internet. Since then, we’ve all met each other, planned vacations and talk every single day. Blogging has been one of my biggest blessings because of these girls. We all share a common love of blogging, so it was an awesome conversation starter and now we are best friends!!
Do a good deed AND make friends. Win-win. This one is also good because much like the first option above, you can meet people who like the same things you do! It’s an instant start to a relationship and gives you a great place to jump off of when it comes to learning about each other.
Use your kids (human or fur covered, either one).
Go to parks with your kiddos and meet other moms! Go to dog parks with your four legged kiddos and meet other dog moms. Take fido to dog training classes, or agility training. You’ll get a better behaved dog out of it, and quite possibly your new bff. Join a play group or do mommy and me classes, if you’ve got tiny humans. THEN IF YOU ARE LUCKY YOUR KIDS CAN BE BFFS TOO. Aka the dream.
Social media the heck out of the system.
You have a zillion fb friends. Odds are, you have a couple of people in your friends list that you could foster friendships with. Quit lurking and start engaging. It may lead to an awesome friendship!!
Actually leave your house.
I know this is going to be a hard one for my introverted peeps. Don’t panic. It’s ok. But to make friends, you may actually need to leave your home. *GASP* While that isn’t ALWAYS the case – you should probably be leaving your house at least once a day anyways. 😉 Fresh air, new faces…you might even meet your next door neighbor.
Remember that it takes two to tango.
This one is important. Friendship is a two-way street. If you expect someone to take your 3am hysterical phone call, you should be ready to do the same. I am loyal to a fault, so in my opinion, friendship should be based on keeping score, but rather helping each other when needed. Be ready to put time and effort into this friendship, without expecting anything in return. That is when friendship flourishes.
Learn to recognize toxic friendships – and jump ship.
Selfish friendships never work and quickly turn toxic – no Bueno. Learn to recognize the signs of a toxic friendship, and don’t be afraid to excuse yourself from those relationships so you can spent time fostering two-sided relationships. Here are 5 signs your friendship is toxic:
Plan activities together.
Friendships need to grow with activities together! A lunch date, a mani-pedi, a movie….or plan a vacation together if you don’t live near each other!! Do things you love to do so you can build memories together!
Learn each others love language.
I know – now it’s sounding like a romantic relationship but the basic backbones are the same. My love language is gift giving, and my friends are amazing at expressing that. I feel so lucky that I have people that took the time to figure out how I feel love. It’s important to me to learn my dear friends love language as well so that I can make them feel loved as well.
Friendships have their ups and downs – that is totally normal. Be patient with friends when they go through hard times. Here will be times when some people cannot give 100% for one reason or another. Help how you can during their struggles and trust they will do the same when you go through tough times as well.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
I hope that this helps you find your new best friends and keep them for forever. Friendships (much like any relationship) are hard work – but they can be the most rewarding and satisfying relationships you have! I have been beyond blessed by the friendships in my life and can confidently say that I am a better person because of it.
How do you make friends as an adult? What do you do to keep those friendships strong? Let me know in the comments below!