New life seasons, new friends.
There are too many wonderful people out there to hang out with people who don't value you as a friend.
Pictures this: You’ve got a studio filled with a splendid array of high-quality paintbrushes, each one a masterpiece in its own right. The variety and beauty are so overwhelming that you've lost track of how many brushes you possess.
Yet, every day, you make the unexpected decision to ignore those exquisite brushes and instead reach for an old, worn-out one to create your masterpiece.
The issue? The bristles of the old brush are frayed, and it's prone to shedding, risking the integrity of your artwork and potentially causing a mess that could compromise the beauty of your creation.
As absurd and random as this story may sound, it serves as an interesting reflection of how many folks approach friendships and relationships in life.
They continue to hang out with their long-standing group of friends, despite having little or nothing in common, differing values, and a noticeable lack of mutual respect let alone a deep connection. This scenario is especially common with old high-school friend groups and the like.
People often compromise their standards and settle for toxic or unfulfilling relationships simply to avoid appearing lonely at holiday gatherings or dinner parties.
The prevalent belief that there are no better-matched individuals out there leads them to stick with those they already know, even though it drags them down every time.
And this is precisely why I’m writing this, to remind you and myself that just as that art studio is filled with fantastic brushes, the world happens to be filled with so many amazing people you could never meet or get to know them all even if you made it your full-time job for a whole lifetime. But you just need to get to know a few deeply to paint a fulfilling life.
With such an infinite abundance of wonderful open-minded people, there's no room for excuses. The only thing that's holding you back from fulfilling the social life you deep down desire is the fear that comes with letting go of unfulfilling relationships and putting yourself out there in search of new ones.
Embrace this reality, and watch your social skills flourish. Before you know it, you'll make one new, amazing friend – and that’s a great start!
What some of us believe our situation is:
Our actual situation:
If you persist, you'll eventually build a circle of friends who genuinely appreciate you, and you'll be thrilled about it, but also slightly regretful that you didn't start earlier.
Unfortunately, as you transition into adulthood, forging new friendships can prove to be quite a challenge. The structured environments of school, college, and university facilitated social interactions effortlessly, providing plenty of time and opportunities to connect with others. However, once that season of your life ends, establishing connections demands a consistent and intentional effort on your part.
So here’s a list of different approaches you can take to make new connections:
Attend Meetup events you feel genuinely interested in. Let go of any expectations to make new friends and just focus on enjoying yourself. That will make people want to join you.
Join online communities around your interests. A few years ago I joined a now-defunct discord community for internet creators and that led me to connect with many amazing people with whom I later met IRL!
The more interesting hobbies you have, the more likely you’ll be to run into other people with the same hobbies. If you like hiking join a hiking group, if you like volleyball join a weekend casual team, if you like painting or cooking try some group lessons and see how it goes.
After all, it’s just a numbers game you have to play without having any expectations.
Also keep in mind that most probably none of your old friends had any bad intentions to begin with, they just weren't a good fit for you anymore.
This happens often. Life is about change, and just as pretty much everything around us changes and evolves, friendships shouldn't be any different.
If you’re lucky and persistent, some of them may last a lifetime. But if you ever feel like your old friend group is starting to fade don’t panic, it was meant to happen. This is a sign for you to move on and explore new relationships.
If this situation applies to you, best of luck on your journey – I'm on it too!
If it doesn't, congratulations! You likely already have a supportive, loving, and genuine group of friends, keep doing everything you can to maintain and deepen the relationships. They're your biggest treasure.
If you feel unsure, here’s a list of questions that can help you find out the truth. You can also apply it to yourself to become the friend you wish you had! I check it every quarter to make sure I’m doing my best.
Do they make an effort to stay in touch with you, or is it always you initiating contact?
Are they genuinely interested in your well-being, asking about your life, feelings, and experiences?
Do they offer support and encouragement during your difficult times, or do they only appear when things are going well for you?
Are they reliable when you need them, or do they frequently cancel plans or let you down?
Can you trust them with your secrets and vulnerabilities, knowing that they won't betray your confidence?
Do they celebrate your successes and accomplishments, or do they seem envious or indifferent?
Are they willing to make compromises and put effort into resolving conflicts within the friendship, or do they easily give up and distance themselves when problems arise?
Do they respect your boundaries and values, or do they consistently push you to do things that make you uncomfortable?
Have they shown consistency in their behavior and treatment of you over time, or do they exhibit erratic or unpredictable behavior?
If you need help or support in a serious crisis, could you count on them to be there for you without hesitation?
When you talk to them do they ask you questions back or would they just keep talking about themselves unless you intervene?
Never allow someone to be your priority while you're just their option! When someone treats you like an option, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation. It's that simple. — Robert Tew
Last month I had the pleasure of finally meeting one of my best internet friends, Hannah Willson from quotedvisually.com
We had a real blast together. I showed her around my city as we talked about life and business.
And it all started with an Instagram message!
Great love and respect,