New friends may be easy to come by, but how do you know they’ll stick? What if your existing friends have been taking your for granted? Is it time to give them a shake up? If you’re feeling like Nelly no-mates of late, there are simple solutions, says Casey Beros, author of The ‘Bad’ Girl’s Guide to Better (Murdoch Books). Casey shares her friendship advice here, with The Carousel.
How To Make New Friends
You don’t wear the same pair of undies every day. In the same way, feel free to diversify when it comes to your friendships. Sure, you might have a core group of pals, but be open to new friends and connections. There could be cool colleagues at work or uni, or people you meet via an exercise class or hobby. Be open-minded; some of my dearest friends are decades older than me and have been the best mentors and friends I could have ever asked for. They consistently show me that getting older isn’t something to be feared, but in fact, if I work at it, life only gets better and better.
I have many different types of friends. Naughty new friends I bonded with over late (late) nights, healthy new friends I connected with because of our shared love of wellbeing, mum friends as a result of similarly aged tiny people and new friends I’ve found when I’ve been thrown into new situations through work, school and hobbies.
Here are a few types of friends you might like to have in your pocket (and some to keep careful eye on).
THE SMART ONE
While like attracts like, I also believe you can level-up when it comes to your mates. Surrounding yourself with people who are smarter and better at life than you are, will always serve you well.
THE INSTANT BESTIE
You told each other your life story over margaritas—on the day you met. You can’t believe how comfortable things feel, and how quickly. Before you know it, you start to ‘miss’ them—cue endless emoji-laden chats like you’re passing notes in high school. It’s the friendship version of falling in love and it feels good. Swoon. This type of new friend is awesome – you simply fall into step with each other straight away. Just be aware that it may not last. While you get along famously for now, sometimes rushing into anything – a relationship, a friendship, a new job – may not have the ending you expected.
You spend Saturday nights licking the walls and Sunday mornings laying in bed laughing until you cried about your adventures the night before. They know your deepest, darkest secrets—most of which took place after 2 a.m. If you’re dancing on tables they’re there, if there’s champagne, a fancy party or a weekend away they’re all over it, but bring on the harder bits in life (the ones you really need your friends for) and poof—they’re gone. You’ll notice this type of new friend quite easily, as they are never there during the tough times. Manage your expectations of this kind of friendship and you’ll be fine.
You grew up together but then your lives moved in different directions. You still adore each other but truth be told, while once upon a time money or status never mattered, all of a sudden it does. You start second-guessing what you’re wearing when you catch up and aren’t invited when there’s a fancy dinner, reasoning that you couldn’t have afforded it anyway. But there’s no getting around the fact that they’ve upgraded to newer, shinier friends—and it hurts those feelings of yours. You can help easy the hurt by concentrating on the friends who a truly the friends in your life – stop collecting coal when there are diamonds all around to pick up.
THE INCONSISTENTLY CONSISTENT FRIEND
Theses are the friends that you don’t see or speak to for months (years even) but when you do things are exactly the same? You simply pick up where you left off and it’s wonderful. There’s something invaluable about these people, and a catch-up every so often is just enough to fill your cup and remind you why you love them. It’s maximum bang for your friendship buck. Hold on tight to these people – they’re priceless.
They’re not your coolest or most fun friend, but they’re always, always there for you. They’re the one you call when things aren’t going your way, and they are always ready with a willing ear and a pep talk. They’re a good friend, a good listener and a good person, and it would be a good idea to hold on to them and take care of them too.
The Carousel would like to thank Casey Beros for this article. Edited text from The ‘Bad’ Girl’s Guide to Better by Casey Beros. Murdoch Books, $32.99. Available now in all good book stores and online.