First a little introduction to our newest contributor…
We first featured Catie on The Middle Edit when she launched Brunch back in September of last year. After hosting several successful networking events, Catie decided to start a video series as an extension of Brunch. In these videos, Catie sits down with different individuals to discuss all types of topics. These are quick 2-3 minute videos and as Catie describes it, “a place to find tips and tricks for self-love and self-care. Catie will be sharing her videos filled with inspiring women and useful information to The Middle Edit along with a more in depth look at the topics covered in the video.
In the first TME x Brunch collaboration, Catie sits down with her best friend of 6 years, Heidi. They are sharing their tips/tricks on how they continue to build/maintain their friendship even though they are at different stages in life.
As we move into our late 20s and early 30s we quickly realize that our friend group may no longer be in the same stage of life as we once were. Some are getting married, some are having children, some are moving across the country, just to name a few. You may even realize that you don’t have a ton in common with each other anymore. However these life changes don’t have to mean the end of a friendship. It just means you may have to work a little harder at building and maintaining friendships.
There is something to be said for women who really work at maintaining their friendships. It’s not easy with everything that is going on in our lives. But friendships are incredibly important and when you find those people who you really connect with, it is 100% worth the effort.
Tips for Building and Maintaining Friendships
Inspire & Encourage Each Other
As we move through different stages of our lives, we need to make it a point, within our friendships to inspire, build each other up and encourage each other. Most of us have something we want to do and/or accomplish, but we also have fear holding us back. Knowing that our friends, who may be at a different point in life, is still there to support, cheer you on and inspire you to do what you are afraid of, can mean the world.
Cheering your friends on is important, but it is also important to have friends that you feel are inspiring as well. Friends who are out there accomplishing their goals and facing their fears, will help to build the morale as well.
Accept & Balance Each Other
Much like a relationship, a true friendship is all about accepting each other for who you are. It’s about feeding off of each others strengths and weaknesses and balancing each other out.
People change. The friend you met in college is not going to be the same person they are in their 30s. They could be getting married and having children or chasing their dream career with little time for anything else. As a friend, accept/appreciate where the other person is at in life and find a way to work with it. It’ll be hard, but finding that balance for each other could make a huge difference in how you continue building and maintaining friendships.
Be Honest & Authentic with Each Other
In order to build and maintain friendships, as we move through different stages of our lives, we need to surround ourselves with people who don’t tell us what we want to hear. We need people who will tell us what we need to hear.
As Heidi mentions in the video above, “we all need that person that is going to be straight up with us and tell us how it is”. That doesn’t mean you have to be negative with each other all the time or criticizing each other. Instead find a way to speak to each other that feels authentic and real, but still gets the point across.
Honesty is crucial in any relationship you have in life and a true, life long friendship is no different.
Appreciate and Acknowledge Where Each of You Are At
Depending on where you are at in life, life can be extremely busy. Between a career, side hustle (as most of us have them these days), dating, marriages, children and new friendships, it can be hard to keep up with each other.
If someone is busy, don’t hold it against them. Acknowledge where they are at in their life, realize it may not be the same as you, but still appreciate it. It’s so easy to get mad or upset when something comes up that may be more important than a coffee date. However life happens and if you want to continue to grow as friends and maintain what you currently have, you need to accept that life isn’t all that simple any more. Make it a point to not make the other person feel bad for where their life is at. It will mean a lot to your friends and will allow the friendship to progress in a positive way.
Even Though Life Is Busy, Make Time For Each Other
Relationships take a lot of work and a friendship is no different. In order to continue building and maintaining friendships you are going to have to put in that work. Even if that means scheduling it in, do it.
Just like you would with the person you are dating, schedule date nights with friends. Make it a monthly thing and put it on the calendar. Remember what brought you together and build on that. If you both enjoy a certain activity, find a way to do that together. Get together to just sit, talk and catch-up (with wine preferably).
When you do get together be sure to talk about both the little mundane things as well as the bigger things. Be vulnerable with each other and really talk about what is going on in your lives. The more you know about each other’s lives the more you will be able to understand where the other person is and you’ll be able to utilize the above tips in building and maintaining friendships.