Adult friendships come with many laughs and lessons (both positive and negative). We incorporate friendship as we navigate through the different chapters in our life. We support each other as we go through struggles and celebrate achievements together. There is always a balance involved. I love seeing my friends level up in their careers, education, passion, relationships, and all of the good things in life. The goal is to see others progress so you don’t settle for less yourself.
what do we want out of a friendship?
We all have different needs and wants. Some prefer conversations, while others prefer experiences. It’s about finding the common ground and potentially positive compromises. People can pull you out of your comfort zone. I’ve had fully functional relations where we message each other when we’re available without being 24/7 about it. There are some I talk to almost on a daily basis (#dankmemegang).
I look for mutual respect; where we listen to each other and celebrate each other’s achievements. If my friend has an important exam coming up, I’ll wish them the best of luck. I’m not going to go instill fear via doubts. That’s how people’s self-esteem becomes crushed.
respect values and differences
We often click with people because of similar interests. The most meaningful ones are the ones who bring valuable insights. Don’t expect everyone to have the same perspective as you. There are times when you have differing views, and that’s totally fine as long as respect is in practice. It’s not convincing to be on the same side, but understanding why they’re on that side. Sometimes, friendship ends because the values are so different and inconceivable. It happens.
I enjoy friends who can share their philosophies behind their thoughts. This doesn’t mean I’ll give up preferring pho over ramen. I understand why my friends prefer ramen more and leave it at that.
taking vs. giving
Something I learned in recent years is that friendship involves taking and giving. You exchange energy when you interact with others. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel overwhelmed, you might be giving too much energy and are not reciprocating. At the same time, you might be a natural giver, which others are not as capable of returning. I’m not saying do a 1 to 1 transfer, but be reasonable with yourself, for your own mental health’s sake.
I’ve had friendships where I felt overwhelmed because I was “giving” too much of my energy out, which came to an end. I’m not the type who enjoys where I’m sharing a story and someone was nasty about it. It’s about the mutual respect. Are they respecting you similarly to how you respect them? The same goes likewise. Are you taking too much from someone’s friendship? Check-in on them too!
dealing with betrayal
Unfortunately, even as an adult, you can still deal with betrayals. I’ve been in situations where instead of having a clean exit, I’ve experienced major betrayal, or a betrayal caused an end to the friendship. There are ways to deal with betrayals in a safe manner. One thing I’ve been trying to learn and practice is to not enact my own revenge. It doesn’t necessarily mean you let people walk over you. Some things are not worth the energy to extend. Easily said than done, eh?
Betrayal goes both ways. Don’t think we’re innocent – we definitely betrayed others in the past (even if it is unintentional). The important part is to be aware of the situation and improve your actions going forward.
Forgiveness is difficult. When I learn more about this topic, I’ll share it in a future blog post.
comparison and competition
What do people say, comparison is a thief of joy? I’m not a fan of comparison – no one is perfect, and we all have our own strengths. Comparison can make people miserable, where they try to drag the other person down to their level. That’s not a real friend.
Friendly competitions to hype each other to try their best? That’s totally fine! I am a fan of friendly competitions with good sportsmanship. I don’t expect myself to win every time. As long as I was better than myself an hour, day, week, month, or year ago, it’s a win for me.
navigating through adult schedules
The thing about adulting is that even though we’re done with school (for the most part), we have jobs, families, and other responsibilities to navigate through now. I found myself being a morning/day person when it comes to hanging out. Sometimes, we’re so busy that we can only hang out once a month, or even once a year if distance is involved. Not everyone has the same work schedule or free time as you.
When it comes to scheduling, be mindful of others. Some do not have as much bandwidth.
One of the best things you can do is find an activity everyone enjoys. I recently learned about horseback riding from a friend and play Call of Duty: Warzone with others.
giving people a chance
A year ago, I was doing some self-reflection when it comes to friendship. Who are the real ones with genuine intent? Who is not malicious? Who actually has malicious intent? Who has the best wishes for me?
After evaluating everyone I knew, I realized that I didn’t give a chance to a person who didn’t seem to have malicious intent. I got to know this person, and she was very genuine and down to earth. I’m thankful for the reflection because even though I lost some acquaintances (no longer a friend) through the reflection, I gained a great one.
This reminds me that I always have lessons to learn and ways to improve myself.
I’m thankful for everyone who has given me the opportunity for a continued friendship. Big kudos to those who helped me become a better person and who have been there to hype me through my journey.