Photo by Katarzyna Grabowska from Unsplash
Friendships are one of the most magical beginnings in the world, but not everyone has the luxury of experiencing such. They can happen when one of your mutual friends introduces you or when you’re standing in line and she offered you a tissue after somebody spilled hot tea on your shirt. There are even times when you first look at a person and think you’re never going to be friends with him/her because you two are so different on the surface, but with hindsight, you would’ve had the best time of your life.
Some friendships are also born when your long-time enemy turns out to be your ride-or-die bitch. There are also instances when you know somebody for so long and wonder why the two of you were never friends, but maybe it’s because nobody ever made the first move. If you’re someone who has a knack for making friends, then it probably means you’re a good conversationalist too because it mostly starts with a simple conversation. But regardless of how these friendships start, you rarely see them peak when you reach your twenties (especially when you didn’t have that strong of a bond when you were young).
6 HARD PIECES OF TRUTH ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS IN YOUR TWENTIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
NOT EVERYONE GOOD TO YOU IS YOUR FRIEND
Just because someone comes up to you cheerfully and offers you to sit with her group of friends at lunch, doesn’t mean she’s already your friend and vice versa. You don’t notice someone’s ulterior motives until you’ve gotten to know them, and by then the damage has already been done, and there’s nothing you could do. Not everyone who shows kindness in your face is your friend, not until that someone continues to show kindness behind your back.
Beware of people who act too nice to you the first time you met to the point where she seems to agree with everything you say. She’s much like trying to get your trust by putting her best foot forward but with untoward intentions. Given the extremely competitive nature in your twenties, many people would want to keep you closer if you’re considered a threat to them. They would even go too far as making some sort of connection with you so they can earn your trust and exploit your weaknesses.
THEY’RE NOT GOING TO BE THERE FOR YOU 24/7
Understand that your friends can’t always be there for you every time you need them. In your twenties, you can’t call them every time you’re having a dilemma about what to a party or when you’re stuck in an awkward situation and you need help to get out of it. People, including your friends, have lives of their own. They have families to prioritize first or a career they need to persistently tend to, and most times, they need to put their interests first before yours. That’s life.
Remember that when you get to the point when you feel like you’re alone and lonely, accept that your friends also have problems of their own that they may not be telling you. Even though you can be miles apart from your closest friends, their physical absence doesn’t necessarily make them any less of a friend. You can always make plans with your friends and meet up when their schedule gets less hectic. They can also show you emotional support through a video call, but be patient with giving them time to fix their issues first.
HARD TIMES REVEAL TRUE FRIENDS
Your “friends” aren’t truly your friends if they abandon you in your dark seasons. If your so-called friends are only there for you in joyous moments and gone the moment you open up about a family problem, they don’t have your best interests at heart. This would imply that they couldn’t care less about what might happen to you, and this is not a quality you should be looking for in a friend. It’s a shame how the people who tell you they always have your back are the same people who would make excuses just not to listen to your story.
Don’t be friends with people who couldn’t bother to spare even a few minutes to help you through. This is a proof of cheap words spoken by selfish people. Besides, they don’t necessarily have to sit right next to you and let you lean on their shoulder (especially if circumstances don’t permit) but letting you feel their presence is enough. They can offer you advice, recommend you a song playlist, or do anything that reminds you of your friendship.
NOT ALL FRIENDSHIPS LAST
You have to admit that not all friendships are going to work. Not all friendships are going to stick with you through thick and thin. As you go on with your lives, you will meet different people, go far places, explore new opportunities; and this will inevitably cause your friendship to drift apart. You won’t always make the same choices are see life exactly the same way, and that’s when, at one point, you would outgrow the people you used to be friends with.
Some friendships that are true and strong enough to withstand distance may still continue but the bond will no longer be as it used to. Accept the fact that at one point, you won’t be seeing each other as often as before and this would change a lot of things. Some friendships will make it but some will end, and that’s okay. You will have a life time to make friends and create memories with other people.
FRIENDSHIPS TAKE TIME AND EFFORT
You may not be able to completely digest this thought when you were in high school, but your friends can’t be your friends unless you become their friends. Back when everything was so simple, you went to the same school, hung out most of the time, and talked about the same things and people. You were together almost every day and built a bond that no one else would understand.
But most friendships that start in your youth are fickle and unreliable because you were only caring about the fun of it, like having someone to be with when going to parties. As you get older, you’ll experience disagreements with your friends and it takes more than a Thank You card to redeem it. You need to put your guard down and apologize when you’ve done wrong. In the same way, you need to forgive the lapses of your friends too.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY ALWAYS
When we were young, one of the main reasons we had so many friends is because we thought, the bigger the group, the happier we are. The more friends, the more attention and validation you gain. We thought that if ever our group would be in a fight, many would support you, fight for you, and believe in you when your reputation is stained. Sadly, you can’t speak for everyone in the group.
As you grow older, you realize how important privacy and peace of mind are. The moment you accept that not everyone in your group likes you for who you are and not what you can do for them, you will be more mindful of who you allow being in your circle. You would be more cautious about who you open up to, who you tell your secrets to, and you expose your worst self to — because vulnerability matters and it comes with a cost.
Like a romantic relationship, friendships need trust and mindfulness. But as you reach your twenties when your life inevitably changes, you will realize you’re seeing life from a completely different perspective than before. The expectations you have about friendships that you see in movies don’t necessarily happen in real life, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have any friends left in your twenties. The truth is: as you get older, a lot of things will turn out differently as they used to, and friendships are no exemption.
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”Anais Nin