Jodii walks us through the different kinds of friendships that we have throughout our life. She wants to debunk the myth that all friendships have to look the same or all friendships follow the same particular course.
We can have different friendships for different periods.
Early in our life we generally see kids have lots of friends, moving from group to group. Most of those friends come from school or clubs. We see higher numbers and less deep friendships and “BFFs” changing from week to week.
It gets a little messier in our teenage years when we become more aware of our own needs, other needs, what friendships are helpful and not-so-helpful to us. The numbers shrink and we learn to the concept of friends versus being friendly. It’s a transition from being friends with everyone to the understanding we can be friendly and polite to people and engage and be social but moving into groups of friends that we build strong connection and trust with.
After we leave school and begin life in a broader community, with employment and volunteering and studying, we might see these circles get smaller again. Close friends, trusted advisors, those who we can rely on to be there through the fun and challenging times.
We kind of whittle our friendships down as we get older. As we move into our families, the frequency of which we see these friends start to dimish too. Which is a challenge for some as it’s not uncommon to measure connections by how often you see these friends.
The strongest, most enduring friendships last a lifetime, despite infrequent catch-ups.
It’s important to remember that some friends are also seasonal. Some may not last your whole teenage life or whole adult life. As our values change and interests shift, sometimes that doesn’t align with what our friends are doing. So we tend to do, whether conscious or unconscious, a friend audit. We look at our friends and evaluate who is really supportive of our goals, and who we can support and nurture their goals and where we want to spend our energy.
Next time we chat to Jodii, she’ll be helping us deal with these friendships as they change.