New friendships: to be the person I have become

Most of the people I know are closest to friends they have known for years – usually from as young as age 5 to early 20s. At my age (and what age is that?), I’ve started to meet many folks who are simply not “interviewing” for new friends. That’s fair enough.

But I have discovered that making new friends, regardless of my age, can help me be the person I want to be and establish the person I have become. I’ll explain:

You might agree that sometimes, people change. They change because of their experiences or they make a personal discovery that motivates them to change. But their friends don’t acknowledge it or respect it. Changing becomes difficult or they change but nobody reinforces it or allows them “display” this change. Even to them, the change is doubtful. “Have I really changed if my friends keep treating me like I haven’t?” It’s easy to continue being that good ol’ pal who is all those things that you don’t want to be anymore.

I recently moved house, about 25 miles away from where I used to live. The little village is lovely and the people are friendly. I have found myself meeting people who I could make a new impression on because there is no prior evidence or past knowledge of me in their minds. It is an opportunity to be the person I have become at 32. I have started to feel excited about this opportunity. With my knowledge of the past and my hopes for the future, I have opened up and let people in. Yes, I have begun “interviewing”. Some of my concerns that I haven’t learned from the past or that I’m not the person I want to be has evaporated. I anticipate that this will be even more established in 2012.

Indeed, some long-time friendships may be holding us back, making us believe that we are still that “little person” who will never change. But think about it. What if you have become stronger, faster, better? What if you HAVE changed? Make a new friend today and find out for yourself.

Thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. This is the main reason I never went to any of my high school reunions …I felt like a real “nobody” in high school, and even though I’ve accomplished major things and I am strong and confident, I’m not sure it would come across.
    And then I remember…who cares what those people think? I know who I am and the friends that I have now know that too.
    Great thoughts Kemi!

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  2. We all definitely become stronger, faster, and much better people as we grow older. People who are somehow stuck.. want to stay stuck. I am a firm believer in being the person you are supposed to be and that means you will change.. but always make sure it’s for the better. Loved this article.. and good luck in your new community. I know you will do well 🙂

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    • Some people are not as strong or as persistent. These long-time friendships are worse for them…I’m hoping this post kicks someone out of a “sticky” situation :-). Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Good post, Kemi. Just log in to your Facebook account to see a long list of old friends who are really not friends at all. 😉

    It’s been said that it is much more difficult to make friends the older you get. We definitely are busier and have more responsibilities, which may reduce the amount of time we have for friendships. However, I have found the opposite to be true. The internet has allowed me to meet people who share many of my interests, and in some cases, these online relationships have turned into offline ones. (I’ve written some blog posts about my online buddies who became traveling companions, etc.)

    I think what changed for me was how I defined friend. At this age, being “attached at the hip” with someone is not a desire. And I no longer expect that one person will be all things to me. So there are numerous people in my life who are important to me for very different reasons but loved just the same.

    I’m glad you have the opportunity to start fresh without the baggage of yesteryear.

    Oh, and can I just say how much I hate the idea of “interviewing for friends.” Ugh, that phrase is horrible. ROFL. I’ve got this image of a really anal person with a clipboard in their hands, checking off boxes. Likes cats, check, talks to self in shower, check, hates the incorrect use of the word leverage in the corporate world, check. 🙂

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    • I use “interviewing” in a figurative sense of course :-). But some folks are like that you know? With the clipboard and tick boxes. Anyway, I’m looking for people different from me if at all it matters. Though we are not really “interviewing”, we do mentally decide on people one way or another, whether we admit it or not. Thanks for great insight as usual!

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  4. I like this. Good point. A different environment and different people allows us to “try” being our new selves. It allows us to try opening up, having our own opinions, removing the veil. And when that is done the new friends made will be closer in appreciation to the real person. Nice.

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