The Importance of Friendship

Original caption: Ne ties a friendship bracele...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve struggled my whole life to maintain friendships. It is something that is very hard for me to talk about and acknowledge, but I have been dealing with it since I was 12. I have had 5 best friends leave my life and three friend groups that I have just fallen away from.

After enough friends left, I stopped trying to maintain friendships that began to wane. What’s the point if they don’t care anymore? I struggled with poor self esteem. Add in my introversion and the fact that I am aware I am unable to read social cues, and I was certain the problem was that just no one wanted to be friends with me.

When I went to college, I made friends first semester, as it is easy for freshman to do. I wasn’t afraid to ask people what they were doing Friday night or if they wanted to go to dinner. But second semester, I put too much of my time into my relationship with my now-fiance, and those friendships lost traction.

Sophomore year, I started out trying to build new friendships within my roommate’s friend group and within a Christian organization. I ended up connecting with a girl I had gone to junior high and high school with, but other than that, the relationships were all very surface level. When, in junior year, my roommate and 4 other pairs of roommates, who I thought were friends, all decided live in a 10-person “pod” without me, instead making the 10th person someone most of them hadn’t met, that was it. After crying for about two days, I decided I had no desire to try to be friends with these people any more. The few friends I did have graduated, and I was left starting senior year, alone, living in a single on the quiet floor of a dorm.

Feeling lonely and hopeless, I still longed for a friend. My relationship with my fiancé – 4 1/2 years – is the longest friendship I have maintained and while I love him, it wasn’t enough. I didn’t want to graduate with no friends; I didn’t want to be lonely and sad my whole final year. But how does one just make new friends senior year of college?

This time I joined a different Christian org. It is a smaller community and most people are the same denomination as I, so I quickly felt welcomed. There was still the problem of them all being friends already, and almost all of the women in the group living in a house together, but they have graciously taken me under their wing. There is more casual socializing and small groups, so people have a chance to get to know me. And they seem genuinely interested in becoming my friend.

Am I going to build any lifelong relationships? I don’t know, but for the first time in a long time, I feel compelled to try. I am scared at times to be myself or that I will say something wrong, being acutely aware of my lack of a filter and inability to read social cues. I usually compensate for these by just not speaking ever. But this amazing group of people has put more effort into including me in just two months than that previous group of “friends” did in 2 years.

Why am I telling you all this? I don’t know. I could have gotten my point across without the novel. But I felt compelled to share my struggles. You know how they say those who can’t do, teach? Or those who know the most about something are those who don’t have it? I guess I’m just sharing my credentials. 🙂

All of this was a long way of saying, cherish your friendships. Don’t let them slip away if they are important to you. If you have a friend who hasn’t called you, call them. While you are sitting there wondering if they don’t like you, maybe they are doing the same.

About How We Flourish

Welcome! I'm Chloe. I have a passion for creating a healthy life and a healthy environment. Join me as I explore homemade and reusable products, essential oils, and real food. Look around a bit. I look forward to getting to know you.
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4 Responses to The Importance of Friendship

  1. Ok now, Chloe…this post right here proves we’re meant to be friends…even if only blog friends. Not that we haven’t already had a dozen other “Did we just become best friends?” moments. I COMPLETELY understand where you’re coming from. When my husband and I first began talking about marriage (at around 18 years old) I was picking out bridesmaids and having a hard time limiting the number because I felt so close to so many friends. Ok not THAT many but my bridesmaid list was around 6-7 I think. By the time we got married (a year and a half ago at 23) I had 3 bridesmaids. One was my sister, one was his sister and one was a close friend. I had originally planned on only having the sisters, but long story short, I added in my friend too. I feel like ever since I became a Christian I lost my closest friends and then steadily as I grew older I easily drifted from my other friends. Then we moved 2 hours away and it continued. I try so hard to make friends but as an adult it’s SO much more difficult than as a child/teen. I feel like I’m always the one to pursue the friendship or hang out more but with no reciprocation. It sucks being an adult sometimes. But hey, we’re not alone!! I did join a book club out here and it’s a lovely group of ladies but no one I’ve really gotten close to. Ironically the first book we read when I joined was called MWF – Seeking BFF, My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend. You should check it out…it’s really good. She definitely voices what we’re feeling here.

    Next time you decide to travel down to Virginia, let me know…we’ll get together 🙂

    • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your story! It does help to know there are other people out there like me.

      I didn’t know you met your husband as a teenager and got married at 23! I’ll be 3 months short of 23. And I understand your struggle for bridesmaids. I want to choose my step-sisters, but because of changing circumstances, I haven’t even seen them in a year.

      I’ll definitely have to check out that book. Thanks for the recommendation. I don’t head out to the east coast much, but if I do, I’ll let you know. But you have to hit me up if you’re ever in Minnesota!

  2. Pingback: Sunday Reflections: How I Experience God | Healthy People, Healthy Planet

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