Three reasons why making new friends is tricky

decision making intuition Aug 04, 2021

Hey you beautiful soul,

Well, it turns out that none of us are alone when it comes to wanting more quality friends in our lives.

I got a huge response from folks interested in making new friendships.

So, let’s start to unpack this idea, shall we?

WHY is making new friends so damn hard, y’all?

Well. I’ve been thinking about it.

I’ve come up with a few reasons.

If you have additional ideas, please reply and tell me! I want to hear what you think.

OK. Let’s get into it.

Three reasons why making new friends is tricky

#1 We’re all freaking exhausted

And I mean, EXHAUSTED. I feel like we’re all exhausted on a normal year, but let’s be real, we haven’t had a “normal” year in YEARS.

Between political strife, weird and scary weather crises from climate change, and the ongoing covid pandemic, IT’S BEEN A LITTLE MUCH.

Making new friends takes some effort. It takes gentle and continuous steps outside of your comfort zone. It requires at least a modicum of vulnerability.

Effort + risk + vulnerability = a big old NO THANK YOU when you’re barely hanging on.

Am I right?

Yes. I’m right.

Moving on!

#2 We’re societally more anxious than we’ve ever been

We’re anxious about covid, about masks, about vaccinations.

We’re anxious about interacting with people after being socially isolated for a LONG TIME.

We were anxious when we WERE in quarantine.

And that’s just covid anxiety.

So many people are socially anxious or financially anxious or anxious and they don’t know why.

Add “Put yourself out there and meet people!” to the mix and I can hear the collective, “Um. I’m good. Thanks!”

*goes back to watching TikTok or scrolling Facebook*

#3 We can get some of our connection needs met on social media and that keeps us from making friends IRL

I am not saying that the friends you have on Instagram or Facebook are not real.

They are.

What I’m saying is that it can feel much less scary to send a direct message to someone in another state than to ask a new friend in your home town or city to go to a concert with you.

There’s less skin in the game with a DM.

There’s no eye contact. There’s less opportunity for awkwardness from you OR them.

AND — online friends (Facebook connections included) really meet some big social needs!

If they didn’t, we wouldn’t all be so obsessed with all the social media platforms out there.

I’ve had people I’ve never met in person positively lift me up, make me laugh, and make my day — all in an online space.

Some of those folks are in other time zones or other countries and their friendship is part of my friend circle.

I value that connection immensely.

But when I really just want to go get tacos with someone on a Tuesday night, I can’t call those internet friends, and that feels really hard.

It makes me feel like I’m back at square one friend-wise.

Bonus reason: Friend flux is real.

The truth is that we’re all constantly growing and changing.

Or life is growing and changing US.

And I’m not just talking about all the personal growth and therapeutic work we’re doing.

Adults move. And change jobs. And get divorced. And have babies. And deal with trauma. And deal with addiction. And move home to care for aging relatives. And end up in prison.

Some people make radical lifestyle changes that radically changes or ends the connection you once shared.

Some people make political statements that put the two of you at odds where you simply cannot agree.

SO many people are walking through life overwhelmed and the most they can do it take care of themselves and their family because life isn’t exactly easy right now.

All of these changes mean that we are constantly in a state of friend flux.

Some friends will stay, some will go.

Some friends will no longer be a fit. Some friends will fall off the face of the earth, only to re-emerge a year later with an apology.

Friend flux means that we have to be constantly building our own personal village of support.

And yes, I know that sounds like a lot.

*deep breaths darlin*

Building your friend village is doable. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or exhausting or a full time job.

If you’re interested in a free worksheet on how to build your friend village, just reply with the word “Village” and I’ll send you a free one-page guide on how to get started.

I want you to know that I consider you part of my friend village, even if we’ve never officially met. <3

More next week love,


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