I am sure you have felt like me and thought it would be so much easier if we just could go on the playground as little kids and ask someone, “Hey, will you be my friend?”
But as adults, it can be tricky and cringy and sometimes awkward when we can’t find the right fit of friends or they don’t reciprocate the friendship.
In this video, we will break down everything you need to do in order to have a friendship as a grown adult woman.
I am Laura Cragun and I am a coach, a speaker, a YouTube, and podcaster. I help faith-based women find a strong sense of self overcome stress and break free from the overwhelm so they can find lasting connections with others. And by the end of this video, you’ll have more courage and understanding in how to go out there and get those friends. Because friendships and relationships are everything that we live for! And make sure to stick around to the end so you can figure out the three things on how to make the relationships happen.
So let’s go back to the good old days of “W” questions in order to solve a problem. And this problem is the complex thing called friendships – Why, what, when, where, how, and who.
(Okay, that was six. But it is going to be combined with win and where)
Friendship is vital for our physical and mental health.
Studies have shown that those that have deep connections with others live longer and have much more resilience to mental and chronic illnesses. Meaningful connection is what gives life fun, flavor and fulfillment. So how will this apply to you?
So let’s point out the elephant in the room and talk about social media for a little bit. Social media can help us, and of course it was made that way, but it can hurt us, like we all know.
On one hand, it might build close connections when we’re not in proximity with each other.
And then on the other hand, we might have FOMO when we see others hanging out and having fun and we’re not invited and part of it. We sometimes wish that we had that “girl gang” that we can rely on.
When you have those feelings, do two things.
- Number one, allow the feeling to come and allow yourself to be sad and lonely. It does suck to fill those.
- Number two, get curious about yourself. Why do you want it? And when you figure that out, will that why drive you enough to action?
Okay, now that we have covered the why, let’s go to number two.
So what kind of friends do you wanna have? We need to understand what makes a good friend. Do they have your back and lift you up? Or do they make you feel icky and gossip about others and you know, it’s just a matter of time before they do it behind your back.
So how does this apply to you? Let’s talk about two things:
1) Vulnerability – What are your current friendships like right now? Are they surface level? And if they are, how can you change that? But honestly, there is no silver bullet with vulnerability. The only way that it gets better is with practice, practice, practice.
2) And number two, for what kind of relationships you want is you want to find quality over quantity. And this may mean that you only have two to three people that you may share your whole heart with. And that is enough. Social media and media have tainted our views that we should have big groups of friends, but sometimes that is not sustainable or necessary.
- WHEN & WHERE..
I’m gonna combine those two. So friendships come in all shapes and forms. Though it may be easy to make friends with those that are similar to you, where else can you find them? People that share your interests, community or church service groups, people that are younger and older. All of these kinds of people can be your friends, and life is full and rich when you have a friendship circle that has a diverse group of people.
And how will this apply to you? I want you to think about who is in your life that you have not considered to be. And that maybe actually would make a good friend! So take that initiative and take those steps forward to be their friend. Take two seconds right now and just think about what that name is in your head right now.
But remember, you don’t need others to validate you and to help you feel loved. Reaching out to people in a healthy way and not a desperate way will make the best type of friendships. It brings a level of maturity to the situation because we are grownups, after all. It is a win-win situation – where you both nourish each other in the small or long time that you have together. It is so wonderful!
So think about that person that you are considering to be your “who”. You may shared history, you may live close by to each other or even be family.
One of my closest friends is my aunt who is actually seven years older than me. We get together frequently and our kids play together cuz my cousins are actually my kids. We talk about similar things, and I feel so much more uplifted after I talk with her. She’s just that kind of person!
So who does that for you?
Or as disciples of Jesus Christ, we can also do that for others. You’ll find that those that you uplift will become some of your greatest friends as well.
The lifeblood of relationships falls within these three E’s:
Effort, Experiences, and Expectations.
The only way friendships survive is if The two people put time and effort into it. It is like a living thing. We have all heard that analogy before, at the same time, we need to have meaningful connections and experiences during that time.
And lastly, it must fulfill some sort of level of expectations that have been either said or unsaid.
So how will this apply to you? This will be where you start with one of those three things.
Wanna start with effort?
Think about how much time you’re putting towards friendships and how can you improve. Or you want to do better with experiences and actually have better friendship experiences together. So think about some ways that you can do that and incorporate that into your life right now.
Or third, maybe you need to work on expectations, and this will be up to you. This one is tricky…. Your intuition will tell you how far you can go with vulnerability, because expectations and vulnerability are pretty close. But if you risk that vulnerability, you can also have that great risk and benefit of having them come forward in their vulnerability as well.
***But as a note, be patient with yourself and others. We all have busy lives of course, and sometimes friendship may be that you get together once a year with that particular person
and it may not need to go so deep. You can have that touchpoint with each other
and celebrate that you are reunited and that you are grateful for that time you had with each other.
My Story with Friendships
So let me take a minute and tell you about my friendship experience.
For my experience, my high expectations have been my own detriment in making friendships.
I would put too much in and not get as much reciprocation back. I struggled with this for many, many years and many, many people, partly because I didn’t know myself and frankly many of my other friends didn’t either. And maybe I was a little bit too intense sometimes, or maybe I just didn’t share much at all.
I got married young, and so my friendship group wasn’t very deep and it was hard to navigate how to make friends as a married person. And of course that could be video in and of itself! But as a brief summary of it, like I was saying before, I was very loyal in the past, but then I also became pretty disloyal in the sense that I was so wrapped into my marriage and in family. That I felt completely enmeshed with them and I didn’t make as great of a time to be out there with friends and try better with that.
So slowly over the years of seeing that negative pattern with my marriage and with my family. And even with myself, I started working on that relationship with myself, with my family, with my husband, and in the end I was able to make better friendships that were beautiful and more mature and more fulfilling than ever before.
It was then that I had a much healthier and better foundation to bring others into my life, and I have been so blessed by those many friends that have helped me.
So if this was a lot of information for you, I will go over those five W questions that we went over.
(Editing Laura here. I failed to mention that you can grab this as a free guide and it is called my adult friendship guide. So hope that helps and clears things up.)
Plus I will be going over what it’s like to navigate a friendship when it’s not going well or you’re just not reconnecting and it feels forced and how to deal with that.
I will also be coming out with a video next week, so stay tuned. It’s gonna be just about that same subject of how to deal with those kinds of friendships.
Thank you for joining me today, and be sure to go grab that free guide down below at lauracragun.com/freeguide and I’ll see you next week!