I keep on seeing tweets and posts about making new friends in your twenties and toxic friends and all sorts of friendship related conversations. I never really felt inclined to join in until I read ‘The F Word’ by Lily Pebbles (which I would recommend if you want a nice, lighthearted, very relatable book about female friendships). First of all, I Iove the fact that she focuses on female friendships because this is the category into which most of my (few) friendships fall.
So many people are trying to make new friends (myself included), that nobody seems to be talking about keeping the old ones that you do have (if you have any). I think this is a very important part of friendship and one that I particularly struggle with if I’m honest. I think this is something that is perhaps more prevalent as we get deeper into our twenties. We are starting new careers, so many people working insane hours, some people working 9-5 and then doing a business on the side and so on. There’s also the fact that people are also taking romantic relationships a bit more seriously than they did in their younger years and this also takes up time. So, where is the time to nurture these friendships from school? Or from uni and so on?
I think that this is a trap of excuses which is very easily fallen into and we need to avoid it at all costs. Everything in life needs some sort of work and friendships are not any different. Even though it might seem easier to just be friends with the people who are in your immediate area eg work colleagues and people who are interested in your new hobbies which your old friends might not relate to, this doesn’t mean you should throw those old friendships away.
I would say you should begin by evaluating these old friendships and checking how important they actually are to you. If you feel like they were only friendships of convenience and based on close proximity, then perhaps it is time to just let the friendship fade away. However, if that group of people are the first ones you want to share your good news with, the ones you can cry on when you’re utterly broke and work is driving you crazy,the ones you want to see succeed more than anything, then you need to make an effort to hang on to them. New friends are all well and good but sometimes they can only be there for the fun stuff you know? Good for making hilarious instagram stories and prosecco boomerangs but can you really call them when the sh*t hits the fan?
As I said earlier, it can be a bit of work to keep in touch, especially when you no longer live in the same city (or even country) as these friends but you can make it work. I have ways in which I try to stay in contact with my friends . With one friend, we try to facetime each other at the weekend whilst getting ready to go out. That way, you’re killing two birds with one plus you get the added bonus of having second approval for whatever outfit you choose to wear. With another friend who doesn’t really like calls ( and texting continuously stresses me out), we have random conversations on both whatsapp and instagram dm but if it’s a very serious topic, she’ll have to manage with a call from me because I need to be able to rant over the phone or facetime tbh. There’s another friend who is the workaholic and literally carries her work with her everywhere so I give her space and then I badger her with phone calls and messages until she makes time for me (haha, I can be a pest but it’s necessary sometimes. See, the thing is you have to understand that people are different and friendship unfortunately cannot be a one size fits all approach. The way life goes, if you don’t try to keep contact somehow, six months will go by and you’ll realise that you don’t know the person anymore. Basically, what I’ve been saying in perhaps too many words is figure out whose voice is important and will bring stillness amongst the chaos that is life in your twenties and then try to keep the conversation going.
I hope you have been inspired, now I’m going to get ready and venture out to hang out with an old friend I just reconnected with. See… I take my own advice (sometimes).
Until next time,