Change can be beautiful. Strange, right? I often think of change as a negative thing. I like staying within the safety of my comfort zone and squirm at the thought of making new friends. Starting over proves exhausting, and creating new friendships can be awkward. You both feel a little out of place and apprehensive as you piece together a one-dimensional first impression. But beauty lies in all of it.
The past few weeks, I’ve met new acquaintances, reunited with old ones, made a new friend, and learned some things as I’ve navigated the rocky road of adult friendships. Today, I want to share some of those with you.
- Don’t rely on first impressions.
I have fallen into this trap on more than one occasion. I find the girl that strikes me as confident, personable … and dare I say it, popular! This girl makes a stellar first impression, and I want to get to know her. However, I have found that I rarely become good friends with that girl.
Popular, confident girls that give a great impression are worth knowing and many of them are genuine. I am simply saying that first impressions are flimsy and you may find that the quiet, awkward girl becomes your real friend faster than the confident girl. You can never accurately guess which way it will go! So be kind to everyone, and rule out first impressions.
- Awkward first chats are so worth it!
AGH! Do you ever find yourself having that first conversation and feeling out of place? It’s strange to grow a real friendship in awkward, disjointed patches of conversation. Don’t shy away from the hard work and the discomfort of getting to know someone. You can’t completely avoid awkwardness. Embrace it, push through it, and get to know that person! Awkward chats don’t last forever.
- Ask but also share.
In our effort to ask questions and get to know someone, we often forget to share about ourselves. A friendship is a two-way street. You have to let the other person in your door. I’m not saying share your deepest secrets, but share about your life! You’ll never have real friends if you don’t.
- Real friendships take time … and effort.
DUH! Everyone knows this! But knowing is much easier than doing. Real friendships are hard, hard, hard. They don’t come when you snap your fingers or wish upon a star. You have to do the work and consistently choose to invest in another person. Pursue friendships no matter how long it takes. It is worth the time and energy, even if you only make one new friend.
- Learn to trust.
If you trust no one, you’ll be miserable. As an adult, you’ve probably been betrayed by more than one person in your life. You have the scars to prove it. Five years later, you might still feel the pain, but you can’t let that stop you. Choose your friends wisely, and then choose to trust them.
The truest friendships go beneath the thick layers of the heart and say “I’m staying anyway.” You will never know the beauty of this until you let go, embrace risk, and learn to trust. Be someone who can be trusted, and in turn, learn how to trust.
As you navigate the daunting world of change, don’t forget to “put yourself out there” and make friends. People are the beautiful things in life. Developing solid, enjoyable friendships turn new places into home.
Have other tips? Share them with me in the comment section below!