Navigating Friendships in Your Twenties

Having friends is a lovely thing. The Bible even says that we are not meant to be alone, but that we should have friends to edify and encourage us. This means that we have to be selective with the people that we have in our lives. I’ve had my fair share of friends. Some who are to this day, my slimes (as the kids say). But some people who I thought would be in my life forever, I don’t speak to now. And that’s ok.

Friendship for a lot of children was easy. You hold hands in break time, braid each other’s hair and get on with your day. Or you play a game of footie, and if you fight, by the next hour, it’s forgotten. The stresses of life haven’t got to you yet. Children are more open, innocent, and are able to be friends with anybody easier. It was also easier from my experience to be friends with the opposite gender. This is simply because no one cared. A boy was a boy, and a girl was a girl. Apart from kiss chase and cooties, it was calm.

However, friendship in your 20’s? Gosh. Friendship in your 20’s. Is. Not. EASY! I’ve found that the older I’ve gotten, the more complicated friendship and its rules have become. There are so many unwritten boundaries, especially with the opposite sex. Someone could end up liking someone, and it wrecks the friendship. You can have platonic friendships of course, but for some, there is always this feeling of having to be careful. And don’t even get me started on female competition. Women are always competing to one up each other. Where’s the girl power ladies? 

My experience with friendships has been so up and down, that at one point I thought I was the problem. However, I realised that no matter how good of a person you are to people, if they want to leave you, they’ll leave you. The first thing I can say is that it’s not your fault. Sometimes it’s natural. Sometimes you have to leave. Sometimes people leave you. It happens. However, it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you. If you spend your time trying to figure out why friendships, and even relationships, haven’t worked out, honey, you’ll be in the same space forever. 

“It is important that a friendship is built on a foundation of love, mutual respect and a deep sense of trust”

Having this experience (and a long hard think) gave me the insight into friendships currently. At some point, we have to discern who to have in our lives. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says: “do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character”. We should stop looking at why this person is good to be our friend in the sense of how fun they are to be around, or even their connections. We should instead ask ourselves: will they tell me the truth about how I’m currently acting? Would they rebuke and encourage me? Do they show love in the bad times as well as the good? And lastly, how are they affecting my character? Like it or not, who we’re around rubs off on us, and visa versa. So, we really should be mindful of who we spend our time with, and who we’re around. 

This generation most certainly has it worse when it comes to making friends. Thanks to “social” media, we have ironically become less social than ever. We scroll through our phones, looking through tweets and looking at stories of friends going out. It’s easy to feel like we don’t have to go out because our friends are two minutes away on the phone. I wholeheartedly believe that having three friends that are truly for you is better than having thousands of online friends, or even loads of friendships that aren’t that deep. It isn’t the number of friends we have, rather the value or each individual friendship we have. Quality over quantity for sure. 

My conclusion is this: operate in grace. What I mean by this is that if some friendships don’t work out, don’t force it to. Also, don’t hold on to unnecessary anger or hurt that the friendship didn’t work out. These things happen in life, but we have to keep it stepping. Remember to cherish those who are in your life, rather than focusing and wondering about the ones who are not.

Written by Aleida Hammond

Aleida is a member of The Real Talk Blogging Team. 
She is a freelance artist. Being a freelance artist entails many things, from being in charge of photoshoots to making portraits and digital commissions for clients. As well as this, Aleida is a first – year student studying at Loughborough University. 
She currently has commissions open on her business page. 
You can get in touch with Aleida directly via her platforms below


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