HOW TO MAKE AND BUILD AUTHENTIC FRIENDSHIPS
Making friends isn’t always as easy as it used to be growing up in grade school. Once you hit college or have ventured off into adulthood, it can seem impossible!
I am here to tell you the journey of making friends in your 20’s, making friends in your 30’s, and even beyond, is not as difficult as it may seem.
Now that we are older, we might have to put a little more effort into building these long lasting friendships, but I promise it will worthwhile in the end.
MAKING FRIENDS AS AN ADULT
Build an authentic foundation
Deep and fruitful friendships all start with a good, stable, and authentic foundation. Authenticity is the start of the amazing and worthwhile friendship we all long to have. When we are authentic with others, we allow other to know our true selves: What we love, what makes us upset, our strengths, and even our weaknesses.
Being inauthentic hurts relationships for both sides. Why spend time being someone who you are not? Be your real and true self and those who are mean’t to be in your will love you for you.
Be self aware
If you want to have and maintain a healthy friendship, self awareness in necessary. If you or your friend cannot acknowledge issues within yourselves, it can lead to dishonesty, pride, and defensiveness within the relationship. You must know your issues and share your issues within your friendship.
When we have a lack of self awareness, we are unable to confront our flaws and/or mistakes, and we bring those bad habits and mindsets into our current relationships.
Don’t expect perfection
We have to walk into into new friendships with knowing everyone is imperfect, including ourselves. We will all undoubtedly mess up, fall short and fail to the right things 100% of the time. With knowing this, it can take the stress and strain off of you and your friends.
However, knowing you are imperfect does not give you or your friends an excuse to take advantage of one other. Choose friends that you genuinely enjoy being around and people that have your best interest at heart. You want to go on this ever turning journey of friendship with people who strive to be “perfect” despite the fact that we will never be perfect.
Be honest about your feelings
Handling conflict in a good ways is essential for healthy friendships. It takes a lot of courage to tell our friends when they have hurt our feelings or disappointed us in some way.
It is crucial that you take the opportunity to talk things out and make things right to avoid building resentment in our hearts. If you struggle with this, I recommend trying a 3 day rule. After 3 days, you most likely wont be coming from an angry perspective, and will be approach things in a calm and conversational manner.
Encouragement is key
Ephesians 4:29 tells us to “build others up according to their needs”. This type of encouragement comes from building an authentic foundation with our friends, knowing their values, and their strengths and weaknesses.
There is not one clear set path to encouragement, we have to what is best for the particular friendship that we are in. Offering advice doesn’t always have to be a form of encouragement. The simple act of just listening and being there for your friend can do wonders for your friendship.
Reject a competition mindset
Competition and comparison ruins friendships. Not a single one of has the same talents, strengths, and abilities as another person. But do you know what we all have? Talents, strengths, and abilities. Just because your friend is good at something doesn’t mean that you aren’t good at anything.
Encourage and support your friends when you that they are excelling at something, and in return, they will encourage and support you.
There should always some level of accountability within a friendship. While accountability may cause temporary conflict within a friendship, it is necessary for growth.
The goal of accountability is not to make someone more like you. Embrace the diversity that comes along with a healthy friendship and help keep one another grounded in your values on your separate walks of life.