You might recall the golden days of your childhood where making friends was much easier. You were more open to new individuals and personal factors did not determine how long your friendships will last as they do currently.
You presumably were not encapsulated inside thick walls and therefore, you seldom had any boundaries. You and your friend pretty much got over a fight by happening to wear the same shoes by chance. So, long story short, friendships back then were much easier to create and maintain than they are now.
However, when you pass these ‘golden gates’ of childhood, you, more often than not, come out of this cocoon and are deemed to face the harsh reality of the world. Under external circumstances and your conditioning process, often determine your choice of friends. We should understand that friendship is a beautiful expansion opportunity as it opens our minds to newer thoughts and perspectives.
Mind you, the stress on word choice will always be there when you are an adult. Unlike your childhood when friendship out of pure circumstances, adulthood is only known for friendships that result out of choice.
But, be it childhood or adulthood, friendship is a beautiful expansion opportunity that you should always grasp whenever you get the opportunity.
Does the definition of friendship change when you’re an adult?
Undoubtedly! When you become an adult, your priorities change. Consider it fortunate or unfortunate, but things like career, retirement, marriage, take the front and you realise that you don’t have enough time to juggle with everything.
You might shift to another place for higher education or job opportunities and eventually, you find your social circle is decreasing. Now, this expansion-contraction is completely natural and more often than not, through some tears and heartbreaks, you will gradually overcome it. But at the same time, you will also make new friends who possibly will be there for you for the longest period that you can imagine in your life.
Be that as it may, while making friends as an adult, you will certainly have to leave the pre-conceived or the idealised notions of friendship at bay. When you were a child, you and your friend did almost everything together because circumstances were different. But as an adult, this is next to impossible.
Not only that, but you cannot expect your friend to do everything that you are doing. They are different people altogether, with their set of opinions, ideas and perceptions. You cannot expect them to sacrifice their individuality for your company.
In addition, you will realise that maintaining friendships is assiduous when you are an adult. It takes grit and constant efforts to prevent this boat of friendship from capsizing. At one point, you might feel that why is it so difficult? But you need to understand that subconsciously your frame of reference is your childhood when you were just a child and your friendship was a result of a naïve, gullible circumstance.
But just like every relationship, friendship is work. And that is why, you will realise that there will only be a handful of people whom you can call, what you say, your homies! So, long story short, the definition of friendship in adulthood will certainly take a turn towards quality, subjugating quantity.
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Things to keep in mind while expanding your social circle
All healthy friendships are golden opportunities to expand your friendship. Not every person will be the same. There will certainly be a unique set of opinions and ideologies that will demand understanding and respect. The people you meet are your potential friends, so learn to look at the world through their set of eyes.
Here are some of the important things that you need to consider while making new friends:
1. Give the friendships some time to bloom
Imagine the first day in your college. You might be nervous as hell, wondering whether you will ever make friends. But you did and maybe thankful today to them and yourself. Taking that example in mind, you will realise that any new friendship will take some time.
Give your potential friends some space and follow your intuition. If the friendship is not working, then don’t push it. Respect the boundaries and meet new people.
2. Have an open mind
Whenever you are meeting your potential friends, develop an open mind. You cannot be extremely judgemental and make friends at the same time. It does not even make sense.
In addition, don’t be desperate in finding friends. Instead, allow friendship to be the hunter here. The importance of communication cannot be stressed here more. It helps in building trust and confidence in each other. So, be verbal about your intentions, your likes, dislikes and yourself.
3. Carefully move ahead
As mentioned earlier, developing a solid friendship takes time. It is a result of deliberate yet small attempts that make it work in the end.
For this, your focus should be on the commonalities rather than the differences between you and your friend. If they want to take it slow, then respect their opinion.
4. Stop categorizing
This is one of the most common mistakes that people make in their lives. They categorise their friends into homies, acquaintances, work buddies, drinking buddies, etc. This categorization thwarts the development of a deep friendship.
Therefore the first thing that you need to do is stop categorising and limiting yourself. Be open to possibilities and don’t be afraid to make people closer in your life.
It is quite comprehensible that not every friend will be the 3-AM friend as you say it. But if a friend has the potential in your life, to become one then don’t stop it from blooming.
These are some of the things that you need to keep in mind if you believe that friendship is a beautiful expansion opportunity. Don’t run away from this like other people. Choose to do the work and you will thank yourself later.
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