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How to Make Friends
Many of us find ourselves in midlife wondering how to make friends. Or, more accurately, with some loneliness and confusion as to why we don’t feel more connected in the relationships we have and why we don’t have more or different friends. This is normal. Keep reading as healthy platonic relationships are a necessary part of our overall well being and why I include relationship as one of the five pillars of wellness.
Unfortunately, there are some big myths about friendship that are holding us back from finding and creating these wellness-nurturing relationships. Most of us were not taught how to form friendships or the basic building blocks of relationships and so, these myths prevail. Listen in to today’s episode as I bust 4 myths that we have about friendship in order to help you make more friends.
Myth Number One: No one else feels like me.
Interestingly, our human brains like to think we are unique special unicorns and no one else’s experience is like ours. With regards to friendship, our brains tend to think other people have more or closer friends than us. Further, our brain likes to believe that no one else feels the way we do about friends and friendship.
If you get nothing else from this podcast today, please know that that is not the case. You are not alone. Facebook and Instagram pictures are not accurate representations of reality. Loneliness is real and people are feeling it. Even in those pictures! I know this was the case for me – I’d be in a picture, surrounded by people and still feel alone. Listen to the episode for specific examples of how this myth harms us and the tool I suggest to bust it.
Myth Number Two: Making friends should feel easy.
Do you believe this thought? That making friends should feel or be easy? I was surprised to realize that I did! Since I hadn’t spent much time thinking of how friendships formed, I very much thought friendships should just happen. What this meant is then I would feel a bit annoyed that friends weren’t just dropping into my sphere. Laugh out loud, no?
Listen in to the episode to learn how thinking of dating and making friends can help you bust this myth. Further, learn the actions you can take to make friends once you no longer believe this myth.
Myth Number Three: Friends need to agree on things.
Here’s a truth that will help you: different friends meet different needs. When forming new friends, it’s helpful if we don’t get hung up looking for that one middle school BFF who agrees with you on everything and shares all the same interests. I am hopeful that when we start dating we (hopefully) don’t immediately start looking for a perfect future spouse. Interestingly, we can be a bit more rigid when looking to make new friends.
How can you tell if you believe this myth? Pay attention to your focus. After the interaction with the potential new friends, are you focusing more on what you don’t have in common or what you disliked in the person? The friendship-growing action here would be to flip that! Choose to bring your focus to what you and this new friend have in common. Ask your brain questions like:
- What’s cool about the person?
- Which interests do you share?
- What did I like about our interactions?
- How are we alike?
Myth Number Four: You need to be everyone’s friend.
You don’t need to get along with everyone nor does everyone need to like you. Uh oh. This is a hard one for us perfectionist people pleasers. Yet it is 100% true. If we are showing our true selves, not everyone is going to like us and we’re not going to like everyone.
Sometimes it helps to think of metaphors. Remember my analogy from past episodes about bananas and peaches? I love peaches. My son loves bananas. I used to buy both and have them sitting on the counter. The most perfectly ripe bananas and peaches would be on the counter. The thing is, I don’t like bananas. He doesn’t like peaches. So, while that banana was sitting there looking all magnificent, I don’t like it.
Does it mean something’s wrong with the banana? Nope! My son would gobble is up and be so happy. Meanwhile, that peach could be sitting there perfect in it’s peachiness and he wouldn’t want it. Does it mean something’s wrong w the peach? Nope! In the same way – there will be people who like you and people who don’t like you. It has nothing to do with you. There a lot of people in this world. Your warrior move lies in not taking it personally.
So dear warriors, hopefully learning and busting these four myths of friendship helped a lot. I’d love it if you could let me know that it helped by sending me a message on instagram . I’d also super duper love it if you shared this episode with one other woman. The more of us out there busting these myths, the better for us all and the better for future generations. Thank you warriors. I am so grateful you are the type of person you are. Big love to you.
Resources About How to Make Friends
Last Week’s Episode Teaching the BRIDGE and TARGET tools
The Book Platonic: How the Science of Attachment can help you Make and Keep Friends
Why some health experts say platonic love trumps romantic love – The Washington Post
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Listen to How to Make Friends Episode here