Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friendships: Why They Are Harder To Form As We Age

This is a topic I have been contemplating for some time now, and I wanted to cover this topic since I like to write about women's issues. 


When we were young, it was so easy to walk up to someone and strike up a friendship. As we got older and more self-aware, it became increasingly difficult to form these types of relationships. Some of that might have to do with us as individuals, and other times it is about busy schedules. Lately, I've been stuck in a rut in terms of forming new friendships. I have the same friends since college, and even some from my childhood. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful to them and appreciate those individuals very much. Still, it is nice to have the ability to form new and lasting friendships.




During my Masters program, I've met a lot of incredibly nice and intelligent people. However, for some reason, I have failed to strike up any meaningful friendships from these interactions. I had to really step back and wonder why it has been harder for me to open up and truly allow these interactions to form into a great friendship. The reason why we tend to close ourselves off are varied and are not the same for every individual. For me, I think I lost a bit of trust in others when I had a bad experience in the past with a friend I shouldn't have trusted. I forgive this person, but I can never fully trust other women as easily.



Another issue stems from cattiness. We all have experienced the infamous "stink eye" from other women from time to time. It never fails to take me by surprise when women don't like each other upon first meeting. Simply walking into a room and having someone dislike you is just ridiculous. I am not sure where this stems from, and I won't even try to guess. However, if you are one of these women...give it a rest. Get to know others before you form an opinion about them simply based on first impressions. Whoever you are, and whatever your job title, never judge a book by its cover. If someone walks in looking closed off, that doesn't mean he/she is a horrible person. That person may be having a bad day or is just shy. Give people the benefit of the doubt. We have all done this at one point or another, but judging others is simply wrong. 

Nathan Vaughn

Additionally, women tend to drop everything for a significant other. It seems that as soon as men enter our lives, we are with them 24 hours a day. This isn't healthy since we need relationships outside our romantic ones. I have been guilty of this before and have vowed to never let that happen again. I know that my friendships are equally important as any relationship. We all need companionship and camaraderie in all forms, and it is wise to invest equally in both romantic relationships and a great friendship. Truth is, we need both in our lives.

With age, it is harder to be open. This is an unfortunate but natural phenomenon. We have certain experiences that form an armor around us that we use to insulate ourselves from the outside world. This armor is difficult to remove and makes our social interactions a bit more formal. I remember the good old days as a child, when I could simply walk up to someone in a playground and ask, "do you want to be best friends?" And an infamous friendship would result. It's not that simple as an adult. First off, if I asked that question now, I would scare people (which in itself should show us how closed off we are). Secondly, we are typically in more formal environments when we interact with others. Quite a bit of our days are spent at work.




What I would like to see happen is an openness re-emerging.  This takes a great deal of vulnerability, but can lead to remarkable events and relationships. We have to almost revert back to our childhood mentality in terms of how we make friends. I would like to urge all of you to learn to be vulnerable again. Yes, there is the possibility of being hurt or rejected, but it is a worthwhile risk to take.

21 comments:

  1. A brilliant post. I agree with the points you have raised, loosing confidence as you grow, afraid to show who you really are, bitchy and catty comments from women that don't really help. Having friends is important and being able to share moments. Loved reading this Lucy x

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    1. Absolutely right Lucy. I'm glad you can relate to my post. It is something I've been thinking about for awhile but have been too afraid to write it.

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  2. this is such a very lovely and interesting post dear!


    ** Latest post: 10 DIY Facial Masks and Scrubs to Try at Home
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    xoxo;
    Beauty EditerBeauty Blog

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    1. I"m glad you think so! Thanks so much for reading.

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  3. Great post !!
    Bisous

    http://lironsdelle.com

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  4. Love your blog! I just followed you on GFC, would you please follow me back? :)
    Michaella from http://quitealooker.blogspot.com/

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  5. people are more into networking and not into forming solid friendships."what can i get out of this?what's in itforme ?" boo. i live in atlanta, and everyone i meet has just moved there or is moving away, and it's almost not worth trying if it's going to be a temporary thing.

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    1. It is so frustrating when relationships are like that. I wish things were easier, and I totally understand you when you say it isn't worth it if it is a temporary thing. I guess I like writing because I feel like I express myself more to others than I normally would. It's easier in some ways to just have pen pals sometimes. Thanks for reading Elle.

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  6. Truly said dear. I also think that making friends is simpler these days. But maintaining them is tougher. Lack of spare time and enthusiasm for maintainence :-)
    http://naturelbellefemme.blogspot.com

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    1. Exactly! Life gets in the way a lot. Thanks for reading!

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  7. It's true! In adult life is very hard to meet true friends. But it's possible. I have such girl-friend.

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    1. Glad to hear it is possible. I think so too. I"m glad you have a great girl-friend.

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  8. Lovely post! Kisses!
    http://elsecretodemistercloset.com

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  9. This is a really interesting post :) I think your point about not judging a book by it's cover is really important, some of my closest friends are people who I didn't think I had much in common with to begin with, but now I wouldn't know what to do without them!

    x ♥ Sophie | So Bright & Beautiful

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    1. Most of my best friends don't have too much in common with me in terms of interest. Personality on the other hand...we get along so well together.

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  10. Incredible style and blog! :)

    I would like to invite you to my blog! I would be so happy if we support each other on GFC, Facebook and maybe Instagram! Just let me know when you do so!

    Blog | Facebook Page | Bloglovin | Instagram

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  11. Great post, I was just reading a article on this topic in the psychologist magazine. It's so weird to think that you become less confident in making friends as you become older. I find having the time to make new friends and maintain these friendship hard because I rarely have enough to do everything I have to do. It's so sad because I love meeting new people and making new friends such a rewarding process.
    Zeynab xx
    The Beautifully Disastrous

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    1. I would think you would be a bit more confident, but that is not the case. Maybe years of rejection and other emotions make one less willing to be vulnerable. I'm glad this topic was brought up in a psychology magazine.

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