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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.

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Nicole Leigh West

Travel and Lifestyle Writer, Choreographer, Reiki Practitioner

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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