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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 January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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