Last week, we talk about making friends as an adult by first going through our contacts list and reconnecting with those people first. This week, we're going to learn the Friends Recipe in order to reconnect or make new friends. Many will still argue why they even need to expand their circle of friends and network. I'll give you hint, we need friends to help us through the ebb and flow of life. I'll explain more a little later.
There's a simple yet challenging recipe to follow when we're reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Here are the 7 ingredients to start building (or rebuilding) friendships.
Be Authentic. If you know yourself and feel secure about who you are, then you're living authentically. Start your journey into who you are as a friend to start testing the waters in this area.
Be Vulnerable. Yes, I went there! Before I dived into my research about this topic, I did a brainstorm session with myself and I discovered that all of my friends didn't start out as friends but as people I had just met, then acquaintances then with time, they became my friends. The common thread here: I chose to be vulnerable each time with them. I allowed people to get close enough (hey, I now my limits and boundaries) for me to show vulnerability. Trust me, this can show up differently with everyone and you may need to do a buddy check (asking your friend to keep it real) and see if you need to be more or less vulnerable with people you meet or with those you already know. This probably the most difficult part of relationships. Brené Brown says it best, "Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.”
Be Brave. Meaning you show up! Even if you show up 1/3 of what you would normally do, it's ok, at least you did and I only hope you continue. Remember, being brave means that you possess courage. Then there's the entire "keeping it authentic" to make sure that you know who you are and so being brave makes it ok.
Courage. It literally means fearless both mind and spirit in difficulty, danger, pain, etc. according to it's definition. For us to be fearless this means that we are sure in ourselves which means that it goes back being self-aware and authentic.
Empathy. You don't have to know exactly what they're going through but you can try to step into what others are feeling or at least do the right thing. Remember, the right thing goes back to our...
Limits and boundaries. Knowing yourself and these important keys are crucial in forming life long relationships. Go and do the self- eval if you haven't.
Give without expectation. I know what you're thinking here, "Lisette, but if I give without expectations then what are my limits and boundaries for?" Yes, I know but remember, knowing your limits and boundaries will alert your body and mind that you might be getting played and you're going to need to pay attention. So many times we get screwed over because we're too busy to assess what's going on.
This friends recipe is supposed to be used to reconnect or make new connections. For some of you, the feeling might be that you've got more than enough friends just in your contacts list. That's great! Now see if you're really showing up and engaging with your friends like you've described in your self-eval.
You must remember that life is forever changing and flowing , maybe you'll get a new job, have a new baby and they'll start school soon so there'll be a new group of parents to connect with, or your baby is now in high school and you don't have contact with parents anymore so you might need to look at your contacts list. Maybe you're like me, you travel, move often and have a business, whatever your case, you're always going to test your vulnerability, bravery and courage while you get to know yourself in each stage of your life.
Last week, I was interviewed by Animated GIF (link here to have a listen) and the question of positive outlook came up when we talked about friendships and making connections. I usually work on positive outlook when it comes to confidence (stay tuned for confidence topic next month) and not usually friendships. I have to say, it's a key component to everything you do in your life. From habits, to friendships, and how you view yourself. If you've got a negative outlook on life then you've probably got a negative outlook on friendships and relationships. If you do, that's ok, we'll take care of you next month but for now reconnecting with your contacts list might be enough.
This recipe is your special recipe. You will determine which ingredients are allowed and how much of each. Remember to stay flexible with yourself and with your current lifestyle and situation while keeping in mind your friend's current lifestyle and situation. You'll have to adjust accordingly. Good luck!
Friendships add spice to our lives. They add a new perspective and you never know, some may even surprise you with their insight and love
Behavior Analyst and Personal Life Coach. Changing behavior one step at a time. Keeping things simple because it's easier that way.