How to save friends when you are at different stages of life
Man among people
Adulthood is full of change: moving, studying, career, marriage, having children. We have less and less time for friends, other relationships are drawing attention to ourselves. And it seems that little is unified with childhood friends.
It is not easy to stay in the same relationship when you have different situations, but this does not mean that the old friendship has come to an end. If you and your friends are “on different planets”, pay attention to the following tips.
1. Remember why you became close
Remembering how friendship was born is the best way to extend it. Talk about your experienced adventures, remember only jokes you understand. If now you are far away and cannot see as often as before, it will bring you closer. Take time to indulge and laugh at old stories.
2. Create new memories
It’s nice to remember the past, but friendship will wither away without new events and impressions. Try to do together what you didn’t do before. Have a great time and at the same time find out what happened in the life of a friend. Now spontaneity is not given as easily as in youth, so plan meetings so that other matters and obligations are not imposed on them.
Joint activities help strengthen friendships, but this is not enough. It is important to arrange conversations “heart to heart” – they bring together. Social networks help keep in touch, but we communicate less often live. And no online correspondence can replace a real intimate conversation.
It doesn’t matter if you meet in person or call up on the phone, talk about what is happening in your life, what excites you. Be open and sincere. Tell about your problems, share successes and hopes for the future. Be real – this will help you and your girlfriend better understand each other.
3. Recognize limitations
Lack of time for communication is not the only problem. Friendship has many obstacles when you do not coincide in life stages. One girlfriend is busy with children, another goes on business trips. The material condition may also be different, this imposes restrictions on joint leisure.
Be realistic and do not expect the impossible from friends and meetings. Then it will be easier to find compromises – for example, choose a less costly type of leisure. Awareness of the restrictions will help to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts: you reject the invitation to dinner, because it is tight with finances, and your friend thinks that you do not want to see her. Your initiative will also be useful – suggest ideas for meetings, but try to take into account the circumstances of your friends. They will appreciate your attention and care.
4. Get ready for surprises
We tend to think of others. We supposedly know how a friend will react to a particular situation. But our assumptions often turn out to be wrong. Speculation interferes with solving problems and puts them off.
Suppose a friend constantly talks about children, but you are not interested in talking about diapers and queues at a kindergarten. Are you worried – your friend will be upset if you transfer the conversation to another topic. May be. But the opposite is also possible – she will be glad to discuss your recent vacation and forget about household chores for a moment. So do not try to decide for friends, check your assumptions.
5. Avoid competitions
From time to time we compare ourselves with friends. But when we have different lives, it is difficult to understand who has gone forward. If you have different life priorities, there is a sphere in which you find yourself lagging behind. Envy is an unpleasant feeling, but it is a normal reaction.
However, constant “competition” does not benefit friendship and devalue your achievements. Do not get hung up on what is behind your friends, and do not get carried away with self-criticism. Remember, each one has ups and downs and you do not know what the other person is going through.
6. Change your view of the situation.
Now you are at different stages of your life – try to benefit from this position. Use the experience of friends to make decisions in your life. Maybe you want to start living with a man, get married, accept a promotion at work or have a baby. Look at a friend who already has it. This will help you evaluate future prospects and understand how prepared you are for such a change.
7. Make new friends
It is logical that friends change as our lives change. You are trying to weave old friends into new life circumstances and maintain friendship – that’s fine. But why not expand your social circle?
Communicate with people who are closer to you in interests and circumstances: work colleagues, young mothers, unmarried women. With them you can discuss issues relevant only to your situation. This will relieve pressure from old friends who are experiencing other life situations.
It’s not easy to keep friendships when your lives are different. But that is precisely why friendship, which, thanks to patience and mutual understanding, lasts for many years, is especially valuable.
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