Nourishing friendships in your twenties & why they’re important.
Nourishing friendships in your twenties.
Nourishing friendships in your twenties are vital. It’s the time when we’re all trying to figure out how to get our shit together whilst dodging house, career, engagement and baby announcements from your Facebook friends every fifteen minutes.
I recently turned 25, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a better bunch of people in my life that I call my friends. I count myself lucky that I’ve met my friends in lots of different places and because of this, they all have lots of different backgrounds and experiences to share and learn from. Some of my friends are older than me and some are younger. Some I’ve known since school, and others I’ve known for less than a year. Some of them I text every day, and others are those ‘low maintenance’ friends who you know will always be there for you, even if you don’t speak for months.
Like a lot of people, I’ve had lots of friendships come and go, and I’d like to think that I’m learning exactly what I need from a friendship, so that I can focus my time and energy into the ones that are worth it.
They say that the people who you surround yourself with, are the ones that shape who you are and who you become as a person, which is why I really started to take note of who I was spending most of my time with, how they made me feel and if they were influencing my life in a positive way or not.
We curate our homes, careers and Instagram feeds, and wouldn’t ever settle for anything less than is good for us in any of those fields. So, why do we sometimes settle for friendships that aren’t always up to scratch and leave us feeling a little shitty?
I’ve come to realise that I need friends who make me feel good. Who make me laugh, fill me with confidence and support me in whatever I choose to do, whilst also not being afraid to tell me that I’m being a tit if I am indeed, being a tit. I need friends who have full faith in me, and tell me that I can achieve whatever I want to achieve. I need friends who are positive and ambitious and empowering and who inspire me with both their work ethic and their self-care. I need friends who I can swap tragic dating stories with over a large pizza with a side of ice-cream, but also swap goals and big life-plans with over coffee and laptops too.
There’s lots about each and every one of my friends that I love and admire. It’s their sense of ambition, or their happy and infectious outlook on life with their beautifully kind heart. It’s the fact that they’re not afraid to be silly and how they bring out the silly side of me when we spend time together. It’s how we have the same values and we appreciate similar things. Or, it’s their daily pep talks over WhatsApp when they know I’m having a bit of a shit time.
Our twenties are supposedly one of the most exciting times of our lives. We’re learning lots and it feels like everything is changing at lightning speed, but they’re also meant to be one of the toughest, most confusing and exhausting times too. So, you need friends who are going to make time for you, and be that all-important support network whilst also being the friends who you would do exactly the same for, and drop everything to go and help them out if they needed it.
Which brings me onto this - it’s ok to cut toxic people out of your life if you need to. I’m not saying that you ghost a person after a simple argument or that one-time they cancelled on you, but if someone is constantly making you feel like you’re not good enough, if they constantly bail on you or make it clear that they don’t have the time for you, or if they’re making comments or doing anything that is having a negative impact on your mental wellbeing, it’s ok to cut them loose. Don’t ever feel like you ‘owe’ a friendship to someone. You owe it to yourself to look after your mental health and do what is best for you.
In a ‘same but different’ kind of way, don’t hold on to old friendships just for the sake of it. There could be someone with whom you used to cherish a lovely friendship with, but sometimes people drift apart through no fault of either party. As we get older and experience different things, we’re bound to change who we are as people. I don’t know many people who would say they are the same person as they were when they were 14, and because of this we can meet people at 25 who we’ve only known for five minutes and ‘click’ with them more than someone you’ve known since you were 12.
For me, any kind of relationship - whether that’s a friendship or a romantic one - should be nourishing for you and your life in the most positive way, and you should feel good after spending time with the ones closest to you.
Your time is valuable, and you don’t have enough of it to waste it on the wrong people.