If you’ve made it to adulthood chances are you’ve had to take a Myer’s Brigg Personality Test. My personality type is INFJ meaning I’m an introvert, intuitive, feeling and judging. With that being said as an introvert and with a touch of social anxiety it can be hard to really push myself to get out there and engage with others. If it isn’t that then a busy schedule inhibits any type of socializing I would like to do. So how do I keep my friends while trying to #adult?
This past Sunday I headed up to upstate New York with a few friends to pick some apples, drink some wine and cider and enjoy the outdoors. While autumn may have arrived, so did a heat wave and it was BEYOND scorching hot outside. That didn’t stop us from enjoying the Orchard though.
So what does this have to do with keeping friends?
Schedule Out Dates
As you get older responsibilities tend to pile up and one day leads into the next. It’s easy for months to go by without seeing anyone aside from your coworkers, partner and family members. I know that once I graduated from school I kind of fell off of the wagon and didn’t hang out with anyone. I was getting invited to things, I just wasn’t managing my time well enough to really make it out to events. By scheduling it the way I schedule my other obligations and appointments it felt like more of an official comittment than something I can brush to the side. Put it in your Google calendar. Whatever it is that keeps you accountable, use it.
Keep Up to (Skype) Date
So let’s say you can’t see each other weekly, that doesn’t mean that you can’t “see” each other. Skyping totally counts as hanging out with each other in my humble opinion. Let’s be real we have to multi-task sometimes and do the laundry, meal prep for the week and get our girltalk in. I wouldn’t rely heavily on this but Skype, FaceTime and Snapchat have helped me feel close to those I haven’t seen in awhile.
Quality over Quantity
Let’s face it, it isn’t high school or college where you’re a dorm or short bike ride away. Chances are you and your friend group have moved on to different cities, states or even countries. So instead of trying to squeeze in many short lunches or dinners. Try to make it a block of time that really allows you to take a breath and reconnect. Mark off a whole day or afternoon. There’s only so much you can say over brunch, but a couch session? Man, that is priceless.
What about making friends?
So let’s say you’re in the boat of people (myself included) who’d love to make friends and don’t really know how out of the school setting. I know, it seems totally highschool to wait on the sidelines of an event hoping someone comes over to talk to you. Honestly, this is the time that people are trying to make connections. I’ve found that as humans all we want is to make connections with others, to find someone who relates to our experience. Starting out with a “Hey, do you know (insert someone you might know at the party)” They’ll either give you a yes or no but you can move from there and either talk about the person you have in common of who they might know at the party. There are plenty of opening lines you can make while in any setting, you can start with the weather if you really can’t think of anything. But most people are just looking for that first smile and hello.
Small talk is TOTALLY tedious and the bane of my existence, as many other introverts can agree with, but for alot of people its the doorway to those meaningful conversations that we crave.
So yes Bumble is a dating app, but it also has a BFF section because the founder Whitney Wolffe know how hard #adulting can be. I’ve used it a couple of times and while I haven’t personally made any great friends I know plenty of people who have. It works just the same as Bumble, swipe match, but they can message you first too. So there’s totally equal playing ground.
Let’s say you made the bold first move or someone else started a conversation, but it all clicked. You exchange numbers, maybe text here and there….now what?
So many potential friendships have been lost through the lack of follow through after the first encounter. This follow up is crucial to starting and continuing any friendship. Whether it’s a quick lunch (remember you’re just starting out so those couch sessions aren’t necessary yet) or coffee break in between office hours find a time that works to meet up again and see if it’s true friendship or a fleeting flirtation until the next BFF rolls around.
This honestly sounds a lot like dating.
Yeah. I know. Because it is. You’re dating until you find a friendship that really fulfills you and raises your vibe. Friendships and relationships share so many dynamics between each other I find it odd that we don’t treat them the same in a lot of ways. We leave friendships to the wayside and focus on our romantic endeavors or career goals, when friendships are just as important to our personal growth and wellness as any of those two.
They carry weight, they carry influence and you shouldn’t take them lightly. You are the culmination of your innercircle so keep your standards high, as you would with any relationship.
Keeping friendships, making new friends it’s all a totally overwhelming and very real worry that we carry as we learn how to #adult. I hope this post gave you a few tips on how to take initiative in this area of life. If you have any tips and tricks leave them as a comment down below I’d love to hear how you maintain or grow your garden of friends!
Until next time