Ever since the book came out, I've received feedback about how it's made women think about friendships throughout their lives, as well as who is in their lives now. The goal of this blog is to open up and create a dialogue about friendships: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Each week I will post my thoughts, experiences, as well as various articles, topics or quotes that I feel are important when examining female friendships. Please feel free to leave comments; I look forward to hearing from you!
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Experience Life Article
Making Friends as an Adult by Jessie Sholl
An excerpt from the article:
"Lifelong bonds with friends are wonderful, but not always possible. Adult friendships frequently take a back seat to jobs and spouses and children. Or partnerships end, and we’re no longer comfortable in the same networks as our exes. And then there’s geography. After relocating once — or multiple times — frequent phone conversations with dear friends often dwindle into occasional Facebook posts."
It's no surprise that making friends as an adult is challenging, and can bring up many fears. Thus, below is what I contributed to the article:
"'As we get older, there can be a lot of fear around making friends,” says Nicole Zangara, a licensed clinical social worker, blogger, and author of Surviving Female Friendships. Asking a new acquaintance to coffee or lunch can make the most outgoing person feel vulnerable. Some vulnerability is required for friendship — trust and intimacy are built when we reveal ourselves, at least a little — but knowing when to open up can be tricky."
The key is to put yourself out there and not to let past painful friendship experiences and/or fear stop you from making future connections. When we let go of fear, it can allow for more opportunities.
The article also discusses expectations (which I address in my book as well):
"It’s also helpful to adjust the expectations we have of our adult friends. Not only confidantes count, says Marla Paul, author of The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You’re Not a Kid Anymore. She believes that light-hearted friendships are not only not superficial, they’re necessary.
“Your friendship menu needs a range of both intimates and acquaintances,” she writes. “Think of them as concentric circles. You should have an inner ring of close friends with whom you can share and who will rally around you in an emergency. And you need an outer band of casual friends and social groups that offer companionship and a sense of belonging.'"
I agree with Marla Paul's idea of the inner and outer ring of friends. That way, you feel you have connections in all forms, and feel those connections on different levels.
All in all, it's not easy making new friends the older we get. However, it doesn't have to feel like torture. Grab one of your friends and go to a local social event or see if there's an activities group and join. There are opportunities out there; it's about being brave, putting on your big girl panties, and taking that leap. What do you have to lose?!