After graduating college, I found myself in the real adult world without most of the structures that facilitated friendships of circumstance. I suddenly had to look within myself as to how I want my friendships to look like and who I would want to be friends with. I tried very hard to hold on to past friendships and didn’t recognize that I was doing all the labor for the relationship and wasn’t getting anything back. It’s okay to be selfless, but we must learn to give to ourselves before we give to others.
Who do you want to be? Introspection is a very important step in getting to know what you want. Who are you currently vs who do you want to be? What are things you need to change to become your best self? Are you insecure, unhealthy, slothful, unkempt, unfiltered, etc.? Work on yourself first before you bring others on your journey. They might derail you or you might derail them. As with romantic relationships, we don’t get into friendships when we are not our best selves.
Who is your dream friend? I spent about two years thinking about my ideal friend. I would talk to my partner about her and her hobbies and attitudes in life. We brought her up ALL the time. I would say, “I need a girl friend to golf with,” or “I need to find someone who’s as spontaneous as I am,” or “Insecure friends are getting really old.” I drew the archetype of my dream friend: has a positive outlook, lived within 15 minutes of me, plays golf, lives a healthy lifestyle, non-judgmental, secure, supportive, real, and fun to be with. Know what you want in a friend and the next steps will get easier.
Do the work. We can imagine all we want, but if we don’t act in real life, then our imaginations will remain unreal. I used to go to this fancy “health club,” aka gym, that costs as much as a car payment a month. The facility itself was nice and they had really good classes, cold eucalyptus towels, Kiehl’s soap products, luxury locker rooms, a restaurant and bar, and basically everything you’ll need to “network” and be friends with other supposedly wealthy people. Here’s the problem: most people had a stick up their ass. No one was social at all and I actually had a few interactions where I felt singled out and left out. I learned that this gym was not the place for me. I needed to find my people and they are not here. I cancelled my membership and looked for a non-corporate-owned pilates/yoga studio and booked a class for a 10 am pilates class. Why a small pilates studio? Well, I assumed it would be down to earth and people who do yoga are usually amazing people who are at peace with themselves. Also, the absence of the corporate vibe will remove my negative associations with the other health club. There was no price difference between the two places, but the returns of joining this studio was much greater.
Be open. On my first day at pilates, I see this girl on the reformer and she just owned the space. She was comfortable and was making conversation with everyone and was just genuinely engaging. Here’s the thing: she just joined the studio 2-3 weeks before I did. We talked during class and my session actually went well, considering I have never done pilates before in my life. After our class, she invites me out to brunch and the rest is history. We are now very good friends and connect on so many levels in terms of shared experiences and ethos. She checks all of my criteria and more. We share very similar lifestyles in terms of our romantic relationships, hobbies (golf + pilates + photography), and physical + mental health. A few weeks after we started hanging out, she tells me, “I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but I manifested you.” Well, girl, SAME.
As with all things manifesting, we need to know what we want before we can get it. Things, opportunities, money, and people don’t just fall into our laps. We need to know what/who they are and go heat-seeking missile mode on them. We need to know ourself before seeking our people. Friendships are not one-size-fits-all. You are not everyone’s cup of tea and vice versa. We need to look inward before we can move outward. Your people are waiting. Go find them.