Friendship’s a funny old thing and it’s something that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about recently.
I’ve got a little better but before I went on holiday I would work myself into such a state, worrying about my friends not liking me. I’ve had pep talks both with my boyfriend and my best friends and basically, I’ve decided to put my big girl pants on… You cannot change whether a person likes you or not, all that you can do is be yourself.
The dynamics of some of my friendship groups has changed a lot recently, and I’ve learnt so so much about who matters, who shouldn’t, and what friendship really means to me.
Some of my absolute favourite people on the planet
The whole thing got me thinking and so I thought I’d share the 10 top things that I’ve learnt so far in my 20’s about friendship.
- When it comes to friends, age really is just a number: some of my best friends are 10+ years older than me, they’ve experienced more than me and their wisdom is so invaluable. If you have things in common and get one well, what does age matter?
- You can meet friends in the most unexpected of circumstances: I met one of my best friends on Tinder over a year ago which sounds ridiculous, but barely a day has gone by since then when we haven’t spoken and I know that he would do anything for me.
- Effort really is a two way thing : Who isn’t guilty of starting a conversation with someone that you haven’t spoken to for weeks and telling them how much you’ve missed them, how you need a catch up because it’s been sooo long, only to be the one that forgets to reply 5 messages later?
- You don’t need to see or speak to someone every day, or even every week, to know that they are there for you: I have the best group of friends from uni whom I go weeks without speaking to but if I needed any of them, I know that they’d be at the other end of the phone. Those are the best kind of friends, the ones that don’t make your friendship an effort, the ones that understand that you both have separate lives but that you’ll always be a part of each others.
- So your friend didn’t like your Facebook status, they must hate you: Admittedly this is something that really gets to me and it’s incredibly petty, but, social media has turned us into a generation that needs approval for everything that we to. Slowly but surely I’m starting to give less shits and am learning that a little blue thumbs up means nothing…
- Friends grow apart and that’s more than okay: That’s life. People’s lives change and sometimes we head in different directions. We don’t fall out and we don’t part with any hard feelings, we’ll always have a love for each other and we’ll always be there, we just aren’t each others priority anymore.
- Colleagues can make the best friends: I’ve recently changed jobs but I met the best people in my previous workplace and if I don’t get 10 Whatsapp messages a day in the group chat, I get 100. You spend 8.5 hours a day at work and your co-workers will more than likely see you at your worst. Mine helped me through heartbreak, anxiety, illness and have fought my corner when I’ve been treated badly at work and they really are some of my best friends.
- Depth over distance: This is so important. Two of my friends live across the country from me, one in Essex and one in Norfolk, we talk weekly if not daily and they’re there for me no matter what. Distance means nothing if the love that you have for each other is deep routed.
- It’s quality, not quantity that counts: I think it’s true for most people that as we grow up the number of best friends that we have decreases and that’s fine. One of my closest girl friends reminded me recently that it’s quality not quantity, and she’s so right. Give me 5 true, honest, genuine friends over handfuls of people that know little to nothing about me any day.
- There’s always room for new friends: I’m very lucky to have groups of friends all over the place from uni, employment, school, hobbies, but I love meeting new people, I love learning about a person, sharing their passions and celebrating their achievements and that’s partly why I’ve started a blog.
So those are the top 10 things that I’ve learnt about friendship so far throughout my 20’s. I’m 23 years old and I know I’ve got a lot more to learn but I really feel like the last year has been incredibly important for me in terms of realising who wants to be a part of my life and who I’m forcing myself to stay in contact with.
I know that this blog post has become quite the ramble, but it’s been cathartic for me to write and thinking about the whole subject has been massively helpful in getting over the anxiety that’s plagued me recently.
If you made it this far, thank you, and I promise the next one won’t be so long!