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Why We Always Make Our Lifelong Friends When We Were Young

Why We Always Make Our Lifelong Friends When We Were Young

Remember when you used to come home from school and call your best friend, even though you’d seen each other all day? How about those family holidays you were dragged on, kicking and screaming about not being able to see your buddies for a whole week?

Our first friendships are forays into lives other than our family members. This makes them a very, very big deal at the time – and for the rest of our lives.

Here’s why.

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The Old You Outshines the New You

Our oldest friends have seen us fall off the jungle gym into dog poo, struggle through the awkwardness of a first kiss, get grounded for wagging school, and fall in love with blue eye-shadow. This means, no matter what you look like, how you act, or what you do now, they already love you for exactly who you are.

While adult friendships are also wonderfully supportive and honest, nothing beats the feeling of complete acceptance. Acceptance of all the mistakes, the chaos, and the daggy moments of growing up together, means that the capable ‘adult’ you can breathe out and let the muffin-top hang out over your jeans.

The Boundaries Were Never Erected

Because adult friendships are formed when we’re more polished, more respectable, and ‘pre-conditioned’, they often come with society-induced boundaries. This means we’re not likely to ring them at 2 am… just because we can’t sleep and we want to have a random chat.

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Boundaries are often necessary for healthy relationships. That said, there’s something beautifully raw and honest about not abiding by them, with our oldest friends. If you feel like sprouting word vomit, you can. If you did something ridiculous, they loved it. If you just need a hug, they’ll come from miles away to give it in the middle of the night.

The Explanations Are Not Necessary

If a new friend saw you bawling your eyes out and hugging your teddy, Mr. Fluffy, they might be shocked, concerned, and confused. Meanwhile, old friends will ring you and say, “I hope Mr. Fluffy is there with you?” All of our unique habits, personality traits, and ways of dealing with the world have grown and evolved with our oldest friends.

They know when we’re sad (even if we’re smiling), they know what makes us feel better, and they know what triggers us. We can start a conversation mid-sentence, without telling the back-story. If an ex shows up on social media, one glance is enough to relive an entire phase together.

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The Bluntness Outweighs the Niceness

When we branch out into the adult world, we find that ‘all is not as it seems’. People are afraid to be confrontational, which often means we don’t receive honest opinions or constructive criticism. It’s either that, or we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so we’ll refrain from telling someone the blunt truth.

Not so, with friends we made when we were young. We’ve already compared school grades, boob sizes, and we weren’t scared to say, “Whoa, check out that zit on your nose!”

This carries over into adult life, where honest opinions can mean the difference between good and bad decisions. Old friends will tell you that your girlfriend treats you badly, and they’ll pick another pair of jeans for you, when they really do make your bum look fat.

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Conclusion

Adult friendships speak to us of the way we’ve developed, and reflect the type of people we’ve become. They bring excitement, freshness, growth, and love; however, they haven’t been born from the messy, intense, reckless, and fragile children we were. This brings an irreplaceable intimacy. It’s why we always make lifelong friendships when we’re young.

More by this author

Nicole Leigh West

Travel and Lifestyle Writer, Choreographer, Reiki Practitioner

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Last Updated on February 13, 2019

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things happy people do differently.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have. Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

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2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle. They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on. Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

“There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

happiness surrounding

    One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments. If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

    6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others.

    People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return. Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

    7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

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    smile

      This one may sound obvious but it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people. Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy. On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

      8. Happy people are passionate.

      Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

      9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

      Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations. They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

      10. Happy people live in the present.

      While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

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      There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

      So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

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