Making friends should be easy but sometimes it’s not! I remember when I was little I just used to walk up to random people and go ‘hello would you like to be my friend?’ and for some reason, I don’t do that anymore. Maybe because it is less socially acceptable for adults to do it; maybe because I’m more scared of rejection than when I was little. Now, as a grown-up, making friends can be hard.
So we’re going to talk about how it is that you can be at peace with the fact that maybe you find it quite challenging to make friends. What I’m not going to do is tell you to just go out there and make friends because my belief is that you are better off with quality than quantity, and sometimes that may mean that you have like dark patches where it just feels like there’s nobody in particular in your life and that you are a lone ranger going forward!
Here’s why that can be quite useful to you. For one thing, when you learn to be with yourself you can learn to like yourself and enjoy your own company and that’s actually a very attractive feature – such that when you have the potential to meet new friends in the future they begin to like you because they see how even comfortable you are with yourself. This is a good thing!
The second thing is that it’s really important that you find YOUR people. In order for your friendship to be authentic and to really enjoy the company of others and for them to enjoy the company of you, they’ve got to be your kind of people. You can’t just have friends for the sake of having friends; you want to be with people who get you. People who get your quirks and who understand who you are, what you like and why you like those particular things.
And that can take some time because if you’re a very quirky person then you might be really refining the numbers of potential friends that are out there in order to find the ones that are really the right fit for you. Even so, if you know that you have these quirks start thinking about where would other people who have the same kind of quirks as you hang out? Are they online? Do they go somewhere in particular? They’re out there – you just need to be able to reach out to them and connect with them. Now, that is going to take a little bit of effort on your part but it is the effort that is well worth making because when you find your people the sense of connection that you will get from belonging to that group and really being with those people is incredibly special. It’s not something that you want to give up on.
Sometimes you don’t fit with the people that you’re with because they may not be as evolved and advanced in who they are as you are. I use this example because when we’re in school we are typically in brackets with people who are of the same age as you. There’s a big difference between your age of development and your stage of development. Stage of development means where you’re at kind of mentally and emotionally, whereas your age is just the number of years that you have been alive.
You might currently be in amongst groups of people who are the same age as you but who don’t think in the same way as you – intellectually or emotionally – and that might be where your conflict is coming from. Perhaps you’re having difficulties in making friends with those people because you’re trying to make friends with people who are at the same AGE as you rather than the people who are at the same STAGE as you?
My recommendation is if you have a sense of that maybe start thinking about ‘who thinks a bit more like me?’ Are they people that are older than you? Are they people that are in a specific group that you would maybe like to be a part of? Don’t just limit yourself to the pockets of people who are the same age as you because that might not be where YOUR people are.
Seek your people out.