I have found myself having conversations about adult friendships of late and the question is always why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? I mean really good friends. I want my girl tribe as much as anyone else. I think I’m pretty friendly with a good attitude. But I think as an adult it goes a little deeper than that. Basically, because I just don’t want to hang out with anybody, I want purpose mates: friends who are down for the long haul of my journey, friends that will hold me accountable and friends who will make me better. And from the conversations I have had I’m not the only one with this dilemma.
I think a part of the problem is thinking that adult friendships are going to be as easy as they were when we were kids. I’ve thought a lot about this and a lot of our childhood friendships were born out of proximity. We’re in the same neighborhood, we were in the same class, and after all of that contact we are bound to become friends with someone and have something in common with them. But as adults, we are free to move about the country, literally, and adulting is a beast. We don’t have the luxury of childhood innocence and free time. If you work for Corporate America like your girl, there are no summers off. So life keeps moving. Therefore, making friends is a true investment of time and energy. And if you are like me my time and energy is precious to me. I have no more time to waste on toxic people or relationships. But yet, I’m still willing to stick my neck out because no matter how brave or strong we are this life was not set up to be done alone.
And as I’m sticking my neck out I’m thinking inwardly as well. I’m observing my own energy and making sure that I am putting out what I want in return. We are often quick to talk about what type of person we want our friends to be without reflecting on whether we are the person we want them to be. I not only want a good friend but I want to be a good friend. Friendship is about reciprocity on all fronts. It reminds me of the saying do unto others as you want them to do to you. You can’t attract good friends without being a good friend.
I’ve also learned that there are levels to friendships and it is good to qualify what type of friend that particular person is. I had a hard time before I really learned how to qualify my friendships. For me it used to be all or nothing, but yea that just doesn’t work. I understand now that not everyone is going to be your bff or inner circle friend. But that does not mean they don’t have purpose. Some friends are good hang out buddies, or work buddies or catch up everyone once in a while like you just saw each other yesterday buddies. And they all have a unique part to play in our lives, but it is important that we understand that so we adjust our expectations accordingly. Don’t be trying to make a hang out buddie a bff, if that’s not their place. Cause you could definitely end up with your feelings hurt, trust me.
Lastly, I’ve also realized that those good inner circle friendships just take time and patience. The secret formula is mostly just time. Meaning time invested and time moving forward. Most good friendships aren’t built overnight. It takes time to figure someone else out and create relationships that benefit everyone. Yes making friends as an adult is much harder but I think it is so well worth it.
Leave a Comment below with any advice you can give about cultivating good friendships.
Photos & Editing: Lucretia Scruggs