Now-a-days, it’s a common phrase to hear, “no new friends”, especially since the rapper Drake made it popular in a song by the same title. I have to be honest and admit that although I’ve heard people repeat this saying dozens of times, I only recently listened to the song. The lyrics, which are somewhat too explicit to post here, basically make tell of how new friends aren’t wanted or needed, because they can’t compare to, or be as loyal as, old ones; and I get it! The friends we’ve had since childhood, middle and high school, and even into college, are some of the strongest bonds– with people outside of our family– that some of us will ever have.
These are the people who’ve seen us at our worst and we at theirs; we’ve argued and sometimes even fought with them, yet, still the friendship remains. These are the relationships that are tried and tested and have been proven to last over time. We don’t have this type of certainty with new friends—fresh bonds, when compared to our time honored ones, are the equivalent of what happens when we fall in love—everything is all fireworks and fancy at first, but with no guarantees it will last.
So I get it–why so many people have hopped onto, or were already riding the “no new friends” train! Figuratively speaking, the costs are low and it makes for a hell of a comfortable ride. I just question if the destination at the end of that journey is taking us to the most desirable place?
Here are 7 reasons why you should reconsider having “no new friends” today!
- Change: Anyone who’s had friends that they’ve known since childhood can probably relate: old friends, especially ones who grew up together, may share the same tree root, but tend to branch out into totally different directions over time. Sometimes weathering such a shift is uneventful, in other instances, however, it can cause a breakdown in the relationship, if not a complete rift.
How new friends can help: New friends are special because they accept you for the person you are today, without any of the pressures and expectations of how you “used” to be, what you “used” to do, or how you “used” to move. Essentially, new friends, because they don’t have the reference of your past, are great for cultivating the grown-up you.
- Personal Growth: Something I’ve been learning so much about lately is how relationships– whether that be a marriage, a mother/child dynamic, or a friendship– are every bit about helping us grow as people. Having to be patient with another person, keep your word, be honest, forgive, and get forgiven, are all things that develop our character and make us more self aware.
How New Friends can help? We’re human, and as such, we have a tendency to fall victim to habit and familiarity. We sometimes have a way of moving and acting around our old friends that may be totally unacceptable outside of that circle, but that is still tolerated by them because they’ve known you so long. New friends give a fresh perspective and more current gauge of where we stand on the good human scale.
- Opportunities.As long as we live, there are going to be gate-keepers—those who hold the keys to doors we need opened, have vital information that can help us, and can make inroads for us that we couldn’t pave on our own.
How New Friends can help? It’s simple math—expanding your circle increases your chances of meeting people who not only can, but, are willing to give you that recommendation, make that referral for you, and connect you with the right people because they know and like you; and because you are, after all, their friend!
- You might find a gem! All it takes is just a basal knowledge of geology to know that there are more rocks in the world than gems, nonetheless, there still countless rare finds to uncover.
How New Friends help? Just being open to meeting new people and the possibility of sparking friendships, increases your odds of finding that person who you couldn’t otherwise imagine your life, and friendship circle, without.
- Interests: In today’s culture, there are no shortage of opportunities to get out and have a good time; not to mention the things like hobbies, philanthropical passions, and personal pursuits we embark upon throughout the years. There are times when our tried and true besties and long time home-girls will share our interests, or, at the very least, accompany us on some of our ventures as a show of support. Other times, however, we’re left to either do those things solo, or, forgo–not wanting to take the journey alone.
How New Friends can help? With over six billion people on the planet, chances are there is someone (more likely a lot of “someones”) who like, if not love, the same things as you. Of those, you run a high risk of not only finding people who share your interests, but individuals that you also actually like. It becomes a win for all parties because you get to do things you really enjoy with people who are likeminded, without having to inconvenience your old friends.
- It’s a reflection of you.Just think about it, if you are saying that you can’t allow new friends into your circle because most people (except the one in your small circle) basically suck, then that would have to include you. You too would have to be among the odds of sucky people to anyone just meeting you.
How New Friends help: New friends reaffirm that there are indeed still good, honest, solid people in the world who make life better because they’re in it—hopefully you are still one of them!
- It’s not always about you. Let’s face it, we live a very materialistic, narcissistic, “it’s all about me,” society—egged on by the bombardment of social media and our rampant virtual access. What that has created is a culture where we can see violence and stand by to record it (instead of help), where people film and publicize their most private moments for fame (and we watch it), and where half of the country turns a blind eye to injustice (because it’s not happening to them).
How New friends help? While points 1-6 deal with the benefits one receives from embarking on new friendships, what can’t be overlooked, is what one can potentially give. Just think of how a younger person could benefit from your wisdom, or how a you could be a lifesaver to that girl at work who’s just moved to the city and has yet to make friends . Befriending someone who needs it takes you out of “me zone”by giving you the opportunity to pour into others some of the things that others have previously given to you. It allows you to be the goodness needed in a selfish world!
Don’t be shy– tell us why you are or aren’t open to the idea of making new friends and your experiences, good and bad! We want to hear from you……..