Making friends is hard.
I’d like to say that it’s just my season of life or the fact that I just moved to a new city, but really -- no matter what season of life you’re in and what city you move to, friendship doesn’t always start out easily.
Because I’ve worked with students for awhile now, it’s become increasingly clear to me that the core goal of most students from sixth through twelfth grade is simply making friends. But for many people, that core life goal never really changes. If we are honest with ourselves, making friends and maintaining healthy friendships continues to be one of the most valuable things in life for all of us, and yet we struggle with it. We struggle to put ourselves out there, hoping people will “get” us when we choose to be vulnerable with them. We struggle to find people we can call to come over and sit with us when life is falling apart or just to go get Mexican food together on a Tuesday. We don’t just want to know people, we want to connect with people. See, making friends isn’t hard because meeting people is hard; making friends is hard because connecting with people is hard.
It’s true, God made us to connect with people -- but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Connecting with another person and building a true friendship takes a lot of time, energy, and vulnerability. But it also takes a lot of practice. Having moved and started over several times, I’ve learned my fair share of things not to do when trying to cultivate new friendships. So learn from my mistakes, friends! Here are five things not to do when building new friendships.
Don't look for people just like you.
I used to think that in order to be my best friend, a girl should be in the same lie stage as me or have a similar life to my own. But, in my own experience, some of my very best friends are women who are in a completely different season of life than I am. Their lives look totally different than mine, but that's what makes it such a valuable friendship. When you look for friendship in women whose lives look just like yours, you miss out.