We’ve all had a thousand friends back in high school. And then in college, it felt more like a whole million. However, the older we grow, the more selective we become in terms of committed friendships.
If you find yourself thinking – the older I get the pickier I become, you are not alone! These 5 signs of a healthy adult friendship will help you sort out the true gems among your many connections and learn that being selective is not always a bad thing.
1. Unconditional Acceptance
As we mature, we learn to evaluate the challenges of other people from the perspective of our own experience. That is why it is easier to accept the friend’s imperfections and treat them with care no matter what.
This won’t mean that adult friends agree on every small detail. It is more about seeing the value in different opinions and fully allowing them to exist alongside yours.
2. Quality Over Quantity
Juggling a full-time job, a family, and dozens of house chores is already a handful. This means that we find less time for communicating with anyone outside of every day’s circle.
But the thing is – your friend is most likely dealing with an equal amount of duties on a regular basis. The important indicator of a healthy adult friendship is that the amount of time you spend together does not reflect your relationship’s worth.
Good friends are going to feel heard and understood, even if all they got in a month was a half an hour coffee shop catch-up. But this also doesn’t mean that you should always keep it to the minimum. Feel like a chat with your homegirl? Just reach out and see when she’s free.
3. Understanding Boundaries
When we were younger, it was easy to be quick to judge. For example, remember calling your BFF’s new boyfriend stupid and unworthy just because of your jealousy? Exactly.
Conscious adults are most likely aware of all the ups and downs in their relationships and surroundings. True friends won’t feel like they have the right to comment on personal stuff unless specifically asked.
The same goes for feeling the room and knowing the right time and place for sharing your own concerns. Of course, the friends are there to hear you out, but some things are better to remain within your therapist’s office walls.
4. Absolute Honesty
Hopefully, we evolve into our true selves with age. And one of the unquestionable conditions of being authentic to who you are is always being honest with the loved ones.
Expressing your actual thoughts and feelings is just as important as hearing your friend’s or partner’s ones. Honesty is a rewarding path and walking it side by side with significant people can be extra special.
5. Proper Communication
Whether you are into texting or can only open up during a face-to-face – stay on the same page with your friends. It is important to have an outlet for whatever you have to say, but the channel you use to communicate has to fit both of you.
Whatever it is – a silly meme or a genuine concern, having an opportunity to share it with someone meaningful at any time is crucial. Not sure where to start? Just ask your friend and find the optimal solution for proper communication together.
Just tell yourself, “The older I get, the more picky I become and that’s OK” because we cannot keep up with hundreds of insignificant friendships like we used to back in the day. What we can do, however, is make sure we are paying proper attention to the relationships that are proving to be the most authentic and valuable.