Everything I’ve Learnt About Friendships

FRIENDSHIP IS LIKE MONEY, EASY TO MAKE, HARD TO KEEP

I’ve always struggled to make friends

I’m a 21 year old female…I have an amazing boyfriend and an amazing family. I also have some good friends, but I don’t have a best friend (other than Sam) that I can always go to for advice, to rant to just to hang out with. I’ve always struggled to form and maintain friendship since I was a child and I’m the best at self-sabotage, I get paranoid that I’m irritating people and they’re just being nice for the sake of it. My anxiety gets in the way of plans from time to time, and it feels like people get fed up of me flaking out and just give up. Recently I stopped texting people first and my phone has basically been dead other than the odd message here and there. I feel very alone and it’s honestly terrifying. I know I’m not really alone but the lack of friendships in my life makes me feel it, especially with social media and seeing people spend time with their best friends.

I make jokes that my phone is drier than the Sahara desert…or that there are tumbleweeds going through my messages but they’re not just jokes. They’re my reality.

I used to have a good strong group of friends but I drifted away from them when I decided to go to a different college, and while I tried to maintain contact it became harder as I started dancing more in an attempt to get into university. I didn’t really make any proper friends at college, I tried to just keep my head down and get good grades. When I came to university I had two amazing best friends during first year, but due to my ex-boyfriend being mildly controlling I found myself growing apart from them both and I was left with nobody…until I went on tour and bonded with the rowers. Many of these friendships have also now fizzled out and I’m left with only a couple of people I talk to from time to time and make the odd plan with. It’d be nice though to be able to make last minute plans of just watching a film and cooking dinner or even just a library session together. I hate working in the library alone so I’ve spent the whole year working in my room.

I get a massive case of the green-eyed monster when I see people I consider my friends hanging out in a big group and I hadn’t been invited and I know it’s stupid but it’s true. I’ve always been the friend that’s been missed out on the invites or such.


INVEST IN PEOPLE WHO INVEST IN YOU








While I do let my anxiety get in the way, and I am introverted I can also be a social butterfly. I love talking to people, I love getting to know them and creating a bond. It’s maintaining this bond I have the trouble with. I get jealous of Sam from time to time, he’s got some amazing friends and while a couple of them have also become my friends I can’t help but sometimes feel like I’m clinging onto him and his friends.

In the past, I’ve tried to make friends with bloggers, a couple I’m still friends with, but a majority of them stopped replying to my messages once they found better friends and it was horrible. I’ve also had bloggers that have only befriended me in order to gain access to my PR contacts and get an easy invite to an event, which left me feeling used and I didn’t know what to do. After all, I work my butt off to make my blog the best that I can and yet someone else isn’t prepared to do the same and instead wants to easy ride…I mean I’m all for sharing contacts with my friends and bringing them along to events but not if I feel like that’s the only thing they want from me and they don’t bother with me unless it involves that.

I’ve had a fair few friendships that were amazing, but have ended because they’ve gotten a partner and suddenly don’t have time to hang out…or they don’t understand that I live at uni and therefore am not at their every beckon as I once was. I’ve stayed up plenty of nights cheering friends up from breakups, talking to them when they’ve had terrible thoughts and yet when I was going through my first breakup last year and was absolutely heartbroken nobody said anything. I let my 20th birthday celebration balling my eyes out and everyone I went with was more interested in partying than checking to see if I was okay. I didn’t expect them to come home with me or anything, it would have just been nice for a ‘Is everything okay?’.

SHOP THE POST


As I’m writing this post it’s nearly 2 am on Friday the 9th of March, and these thoughts came to me while watching everyone support each other for #InternationalWomensDay and it made me sad that I didn’t have that kind of connection with any other bloggers, it doesn’t feel like I have a cheerleader supporting me. I also think the lack of sleep and stress from my dissertation is magnetising all the thoughts and feeling I’m having. This blog post has turned into a journal entry, and in all honesty, it’s helped me calm down and realise that while I might not have extremely close friends, I have a handful of people that support me fiercely until the end. So what if I don’t have someone I can sit and cry at cheesy movies with while drinking wine and eating ice cream (although I’m sure Sam would be happy to do it with some persuasion). It also made me realise I need to stop being such a mug, if someone only contacts me when they want something or because they’re bored then I don’t need them in my life, I need to put myself first. I also need to stop clinging to friendships that have fizzled out, there’s a couple I’ve tried to bring back a couple of times only to be ignored again. People like that just aren’t worth my time or effort.

I understand why people write in diaries and journals now, but I don’t need to do that. I have my own space on the internet where I’m free to write about whatever I want. It’s a space that I’m proud of and has brought me so many opportunities I’d never have thought possible, from amazing events to the opportunity of working with brands I’ve grown up loving even down to being able to spot a friendly face at an event I attend on my own. Recently I feel like my posts are a lot more personal and lifestyle based, I’ve moved away from beauty related content for the timing being (it doesn’t mean I love makeup any less) I’m just loving writing about my life and sharing my thoughts with everyone. It’s almost like therapy in a way.






Since writing the bulk of this post back in March, I’ve cut off several people that have proven time and time again that they’re not worth my energy and yet I still try to keep them close. With the prospect of heading home for good in June I’ve made the effort to reconnect with old friends and a couple of them I now talk to daily and it’s almost as if we never stopped talking. I think anxiety is one of the main reasons I struggle to make and maintain friendships, I get absolutely terrified that I’m annoying someone and that they’re only pretending to be my friend. Which all roots back to a couple of toxic friendships I had in school which always left me feeling exhausted and useless.

Now I’m making more of a conscious effort to build strong friendships and while I may not have the ultimate girl gang or a group chat which is always going off. I feel like I’m developing and building friendships which will stand the test of time, as well as friends that will be there when I need them and won’t make me feel excluded out of a group…even when I’m sat there with them. While this post has been difficult to write as I’m sure there are people that will read it and think I’m being overdramatic or just trying to be relatable. Honestly, I’m not. I suppose this post is a little insight into my mind and how I’m not always super chirpy and happy like I appear to be on social media.

There are times when life sucks.

I’ve had people tell me that I’ve poured too much of my time into my relationship with Sam, due to the fact that I spend almost every weekend with him. At the end of the day though he’s been there when nobody else was, had my back when I’ve had arguments with friends. He’s put my first when nobody else would give me the time of day, so why wouldn’t I priorities him? He’s proven time and time again that I’m not investing my energy into something that’s only going to be short term. That’s something I don’t think they realise before commenting, Sam isn’t just my boyfriend…he’s also my best friend.

Friendships can be stressful and can even cause anxiety issues if you’re not surrounded by the right people. The issue is it can be difficult to actually see who is toxic and who is true. It’s only when someone shows their true colours that you really know but this can sometimes take years of friendship to happen. Always look for the people that continue to support you and cheer for you even when you’ve not spoken in a couple of months, or if they make the effort to reach out and make plans with you. Those are the kinds of people you want in your life, the ones that love and care for you unconditionally. Not the ones that only talk to you when it’s convenient or when they need something from you…cut those people off. Surrounding yourself with the right people can make tough points in life seem easier to fight, and make it easier to put an actual smile on your face rather than just faking one. Surround yourself with those that care about it.

Have you recently had some realisations about people you once considered good friends?

Love you lots like jelly tots x


Photography


All photos within this post were taken by Sarah on a Canon 70D with 35 Sigma Art Les in natural lighting. They were then edited in Lightroom.
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