When I was in High School, it is safe to say, I didn’t have the best time with girl friends (friends being a loose term). The whole experience of girly gossip, burn books, who was who’s best friend etc. quite frankly was pretty awful and school seemed like the Mean Girls movie on repeat.
Exceeeeeept no one had convertibles, no one danced round in santa’s outfits and no one wear cute tartan skirts… Dreams. Crushed.
When I left high school, I breathed a sigh of relief, no more “clicks”, no more bitchiness. Now I was a grown up, that would all stop right? Simple answer…
Moving to the city and starting my life from scratch has meant a few things; I had to start a new job, find a new home, new hobbies and as well as all that start to make new friends, which when you get into your late twenties, isn’t easy.
Personally, I have found that making new friends, was actually a lot like dating (minus one small difference) and over the last three years have been on a bit of a journey understanding what friendship means to me and finding “my people”.
Feeling friendless or struggling to make friends can be a pretty challenging and upsetting experience, as can defining your worth when it comes to what value people add to your life, so, as always, I wanted to share my experiences on building my circle of people, how I define what a friendship should be and how to value your self as an individual when it comes to making and maintaining friends.
As always, enjoy!
Remember, you already have a home team
When I first relocated, the the first couple of months were a bit of a struggle, I found myself either sat home alone or awkwardly tagging on to a works night out. It is easy to start to feel isolated and like you have NO FRIENDS (dramatic much). However, you always need to remind yourself that you have a “home team”. Everyone does.
These are likely your family, uni/school friends or sisters and even though they may not be physically close, they will always be there. So if you’re feeling super lonely, pick up the phone to your nearest and dearest – they’ve always got your back and remind you what true friendship is.
Don’t be afraid to ask!
Now this personally has never really been a struggle for me, although I am aware perhaps would be for more introverted characters. I’m also not sure whether it’s a British thing, but since when did it become weird to want to hang out with new people and ask to do so?
Whether it’s work colleagues, a friend of a friend, a gym buddy – get to know the people around you and ask to hang out. What is the worst they can say? No. If that’s the case you probably wouldn’t hang out with them anyway.
I appreciate not everyone has the confidence to be so forward usually, but if you have relocated, remember you’ve already been brave and done the hard bit, you might as well keep going.
Understand Party People
When I first moved to London, I made a lot of friends who were there for a good time, not a long time. These people are usually the life and soul of the party and love nothing more than to hit a club or bar, which on a Friday and Saturday night is grand. What isn’t so grand is when you have a killer hangover the next day and Party Person isn’t really the type to chill with a face mask and a pizza or hit the gym. They are probably already off to hit up another club and you have the hangover blues, which never ends well …
See… told ya…
The Good Times and the Bad Times
Once you have differentiated the party people from the real people, you quickly start to understand and notice friends who have your genuine interests at heart. These people are the one’s who are truly present, support you through not just the good times but the bad and above tell you the truth (even if it isn’t what you want to hear sometimes ….. trust them no -he isn’t any good for you!)
If you are in a friendship where the person is super present for your highs and not so present in the times when you need to cry like a baby for a day (or a few weeks…who’s counting?), that to me, isn’t the definition of a true friendship.
In addition to that, if you find yourself in a friendship where you find you can’t be honest and transparent, it probably isn’t a great friendship to pursue.
Some Women will always be about their Men
Don’t take it personally, some girls can’t function without a boy. Me personally? I don’t understand it, never have, never will. Some of you ladies out there (and hats off to you) can maintain friendships with people who prioritise men (sometimes blindly) above friendships, while I appreciate that a relationship with your significant other is special (mine certainly is), I don’t value that relationship over the ones with my girls. Bottom line he is never going to know some of the things they do and vice versa the things he and I share.
Friend zone! (Sometimes boys don’t make the best of friends)
And while we are on the topic of boys (and this isn’t a generalisation by any means); sometimes the whole boy/girl friendship thing hasn’t really worked out for me. Turns out the lines of a friendship can be blurred and no matter how much a guy insists they are happy being “friend zoned”, they aren’t and it comes back to bite you.
Turns out not kissing, not having sex or ever eluding to the fact you would be interested in a man is, in fact, leading them on….
Remind me to not breathe in front of my guy friends moving forward.
High School Girls – no excuses!
One thing that I really wanted to share off the back of my own experiences is how other people can behave towards you. I have to admit I found this part particularly tough but, it’s true, some girls still believe it is okay to act like they are in high school.
I have had friends gossip, make bitchy comments, isolate others and honestly it’s just totally not cool. Is it just me? But I personally think women have enough to contend with in the world without dragging one another down.
As much as I am now lucky to have a close knit circle of friends around me, I have certainly been guilty of having people in my life who didn’t really deserve to be there.
Anywhoo, don’t give yourself too much of a hard time if you have previously or are currently tolerating people who you shouldn’t but do try and distance yourself. Remember you don’t owe anyone your happiness and if something or someone isn’t bringing you joy or the energy that reflects yours, remove it from your life. (If you struggle to learn how to remove negative influences in your life, check out my Self love post).
One of my “Home Teamers” once told me a quote that I will never forget…
“People are in your life for a reason, a season or forever”
Once I learned to understand that people won’t always treat you as you will treat them, that only the right people stay and learned to let go of the negative influences, life became easier, more positive and the “long termers” kind of gravitated and well, they stayed 🙂
I hope for anyone experiencing friendship turbulence or is having to build a new circle, my experience and advice helps… Trust me, it works.
Again, thanks for reading