Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Not Alone Series: Making Friends

Linking up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe!

We LOVE the NAS community, but creating a real-life community is essential to our lives! What have been your struggles in making friends as a young adult? Do you have any advice for those struggling to build community post-college?

This is such a great prompt! I love it because this feels very practical. A few months ago, my friend Yvonne and I did a blog swap about making friends as adults. You can read my post here on Yvonne's blog, and her post is here on my blog. In case you don't want to read the whole post, let me summarize it in a picture:

When I first started considering how this whole "make new friends" thing worked, I realized something. Making friends is hard work. Being a good friend is hard work. Hard does not equal bad or painful; it means that friendship requires effort.

For a metaphor, let's pretend that I like gardening. For my garden, I'm going to dig holes and plant seeds and water the pile of dirt where I think I left the seeds, if I remember correctly the seeds are, and I'm going to pull weeds. Because I {hypothetically} like gardening, this is not a painful chore but a pleasant activity. And you know what? Seeds grow and they bear fruit {or flowers, depending on what kind of garden you've got going on, but whatevs}. And then you can enjoy the yummy fruit {giving you the benefit of the doubt that you planted something yummy} while continuing to maintain the plant. It still needs water and weeds still have to be removed, but it's all good. Friendship is the same way, except don't eat your friends.

So because I can be OCD, let's make a list of good advice for making friends. If lists aren't your thing, then consider reading the above links on friendship, because Yvonne and I are both full of good ideas. 
  1. Make friends with your friends' friends. Use the "hey, I'm a friend of Susie Q, and she told me you're {a really cool person, working at a puppy shelter, going to Scotland, etc.}" line and see what happens.
  2. Let go of preconceived ideas. I mention this in my post on Yvonne's blog and I mention it again: there were some people I didn't want to be friends with because I thought they were rude/stuck-up/awful/judging me {wow, revealing my own insecurities, are we?!}. And I was wrong. And I'm glad I was wrong, because now I've got some awesome friends.
  3. Forget your fears and try something new. I went alone to Notions for my very first time, knowing that I would recognize one person for sure; everyone else would be strangers. But you know what? All it took was two introductions, and the next thing I knew, the group had welcomed me into their fold like a creepy man offers to give you a ride home... juuuuuust kidding, although that kind of is an accurate description of the group. But now I'm a part of it, so what does that say about me? I don't know; let's move on.
  4. Make the first move. If you want to be friends with someone, initiate a conversation. Invite someone over, or ask for a coffee date or something. Samara and I wanted to get to know some new people from church, so we invited them to our New Year's Eve party where there were lots of other people and everyone would be meeting everyone else, so it was less awkward.
There you have it! Ways to make friends and build a community {outside of our fantastic NAS group going on}. Oh, another way to make friends is to vote for them to win a trip to Rwanda! *hint hint wink wink* If you want to learn more about the trip, check out this post and pretty please vote here. Thanks, friends {see what I did there?}!


  1. "...except don't eat your friends." haha, you had me cracking up in some parts. :)

    Yes... effort. That's what it comes down to. And putting yourself out there. Good stuff, Bek!

  2. Bwahahaha, I like the octopus part! It's SO TRUE how people come and go and become bigger or smaller parts of your life. Lots of good stuff to think about here :-)

  3. I like the way you think. Making and keeping friends is hard and does take effort but it shouldn't be hard or painful because it should be something you like doing,

    Also I voted