Has your concept of true friends changed recently?
We’ve all been there.
We’ve all told those two or three people that “you are my best friend forever”.
And what happens next?
It’s been four years and you realize that you have nothing in common with that person anymore. This can be confusing because at the time we truly meant that statement. But as we learn and grow, we see that people come and go. Perhaps we realize family is what’s most important.
This is normal and I want to explore different ideas about who our true friends really are in life really. I truly believe that our friends have the biggest impact on our own lives. The saying is that you are the sum of the five people most closely with you. Your health, wealth, relationships and wellbeing are predicated on the influence surrounding you.
Your friends matter and directly influence your life.
So it would make sense to have the best possible friends.
In order to do define our true friends it’s important that we look at each type of friend we encounter over our lifetime. Truthfully we all serve a different purpose for everyone at different stages of our lives. Some friends are there to guide you and others are there to betray you.
Let’s break it down into three phases of life:
Phase one: 0-18 which is where you looking to fit in and get accepted.
Phase two: 19-29 is the time where you explore, experiment and figure out who you are.
Phase three: 30+ is when you get very clear about each area of your life.
Do you remember much of your childhood?
For many of us in phase one; we are looking to fit in and get accepted. Depending on where you grew up, most of us went to school. In school you are put into a system to learn specific knowledge, skills and experiences to get you ready for real life. I think that most of us were more concerned about making friend and fitting in.
If you were lucky enough, you made a friend earlier in your childhood. You found that one person that you get along with and soon after you bonded and hung out together. It’s during this time that both you and your friend are learning about yourself.
So why do some people remain lifelong friends and others don’t?
It comes down to our goals, interests and how much we align over time.
During phase one of looking for acceptance most of us are looking for exactly that. Perhaps we shared the same interests in sports, games or books. If the friends from childhood have similar goals and interests later in life than they are likely to remain friends.
We remain friends with people who share common values and interests.
In the next phase of 19-29 is when people start to differentiate and find out their own individuality. And truthfully this is where I am right now in my life. I realized that I didn’t want the normal life that was set out for me. I’ve learned that it’s totally okay to be myself and not try so hard to fit in like everybody else.
During this time I’ve had friends leave and new friends arrive. I started to see that everybody looks at the world differently and even how they view me. For some people I am their greatest inspiration and for others I am someone that can be manipulated for their personal gain. This leads me to question what exactly is a true friend.
In order to figure out who our true friends are in this time of our life, I think it’s necessary to summarize the different levels of people we will come across in our lifetime.
- There will be people who you mentor that look up to you.
- There will be people who are on your level walking the same journey.
- There will be people on a higher level that challenge you to grow.
At this point I see that we will have true friends at each level and stage of life. We will have people that we mentor, teach and guide to a better future. We will find people that are on the same level as us trying to better our lives. If we’re lucky we will meet people that are ahead of us willing to mentor us and challenge us to grow and become better people.
Your true friends are relevant to each stage and level of life.
By the time we are in our 30’s or more we begin to get very clear about our values in life. From there our peers, acquaintances and friends either align with our values or they don’t.
Age doesn’t always determine wisdom but I think it’s good to have a rough time frame of what we can expect.
By now your friends may have settled into a job, gotten married or are exploring the world. The most important thing is to make sure you are living life on your terms. You don’t have to do the same things as everyone else.
We can choose our values, we can set our own goals and ultimately we can do what makes us happy as an individual. The key thing to remember is that we are all on our own personal journeys in life. This is an incredible opportunity for us all to grasp.
We don’t always have to get it right either. It’s not a yes or no, right or wrong answer to who our true friends are. As much as we crave control and want everything to happen our way, life has a way of working itself out.
You will come across people that will hurt you.
But you will also meet people that will change your life with a single conversation.
I’m still searching for who my true friends are myself, but I give myself permission to let it happen.
In the end your truest friend starts with you.
Be the person you want meet and life will reward you with the quality of true friends you deserve.
Much love <3 <3