True friendships are one of the sweetest things that one can enjoy in a lifetime. They are the glue that holds our social lives together and provide an immense amount of meaning for us in both the short and long term.
One of the major obstacles that many people have is the fact that they don’t have that many deep and meaningful friendships. There is even a minority of people who don’t have any of these true friendships at all and that is a lonely place to find oneself in.
Let’s go through a few key things that are involved when it comes to the topic of true friendship.
Quality vs Quantity
Look around you and take a look at the social circle of your friends. You will find that the majority of them focus on the quantity of friends that they have as opposed to the quality of the friends that they have.
Quantity of friendships is nice, but it’s not sustainable and lacks the real meaning that quality of friendships provide. Quality will always win over quantity from the perspective of living a high quality life.
Quality and depth is the most important thing when it comes to friendships, especially if you only have a few friendships.
Friendship As An Investment
Friendships, as with anything else, is an investment.
The majority of people fail to connect friendship with being an investment and this hurts them in their ability to cultivate high quality friendships.
What does an investment require? An investment requires the following:
This means that a friendship is something that is to be cultivated over a longer time horizon as opposed to a shorter time horizon. You are simply cultivating an acquaintance if your perspective is focused on the short term and not the long term.
Friendship As Growth
Friendship can also be viewed as an immense source of growth assuming that one develops a high quality friendship.
Developing a friendship improves the following:
The ability to become intimate
The ability to check your ego
Enhancing levels of empathy and perspective
There are also a number of other improvements that come about when a deep friendship is developed and they all bleed out to every other part of your life.
Below, we’ll discuss the 4 major reasons why people struggle to make genuine friendships as well as how we can remedy these obstacles.
The 4 Obstacles Keeping You From Genuine Friendships
The following four obstacles are responsible for much of the suffering that most people feel when pursuing high quality relationships.
Shyness & Lack Of Authenticity
Many people struggle with being shy as well as lacking authenticity and sharing that authenticity with other people. This comes about as a result of not exposing yourself to social environments and new people.
Shyness is an over obsession with oneself to the point where it becomes debilitating. People don’t really care as much as you think and this understanding can get you closer to breaking out of the trap of shyness.
A lack of authenticity comes from always wanting to fit in with the group as opposed to standing out and within your own authentic character. It also comes from a lack of understanding as to who you are and what you value.
The Solution: For shyness, the solution is to simply expose yourself to and talk to a lot of new people. This will absolutely destroy any shyness that you have and allow you to explore novel places and people.
As for a lack of authenticity, start to follow your interests and become deeply immersed within them. Once you have developed your own interests and character, share it with the people around you. When you become enthusiastic about what you love then other people will want to be around that enthusiasm and friendships will begin to manifest.
Lack Of Socializing
Many people simply don’t go out and socialize with other people. They would rather stay within their comfort zone and not expose themselves to novel environments, situations, people, so on and so forth.
How can you find high quality relationships if you don’t even put yourself in a position to get around new people? This cannot be achieved.
The Solution: Simply get out of the house. I used to struggle with staying at home a lot, but a funny thing happened when I simply went out more: I started meeting new people at the most random times.
The more you expose yourself to the world, the more likely you are to attract different people into your life. This isn’t magic, it is simply the result of being in the right place at the right time and becoming open to whatever happens in the moment.
Being closed minded and judgmental limits the scope of opportunities that you have available to you within your immediate environment.
If you look at the glass half empty then you will never find high quality people to develop high quality friendships with. It’s amazing how a negative or limiting view of the world will keep one from experiencing the true power of friendships and deep connection.
The Solution: Keep and open mind and view the glass as full! When you have an opportunity to go out, don’t start thinking negatively. Instead, start a positive train of thought and become open and receptive. This will allow your mind to find the things in the environment that you want to find. Whatever you look for will always be there.
Lacking Time & Energy
The majority of people are tired, busy, and just aren’t motivated to go out and meet new people.
This is why their is an immense importance to taking care of yourself through exercise, healthy eating, sun exposure, great sleep, so on and so forth. In my experience, when I am on point with my self-discipline in terms of health, I view the world totally differently than when I am lacking self-discipline in context to my health.
When you are full of energy, you are more likely to introduce yourself to that cute girl or guy. You place yourself in a position to win as opposed to a position to lose.
The Solution: Do the things that you already know that you need to do — eat well, train hard, sleep really well, take cold showers, move a lot, so on and so forth.
Don’t underestimate the power of the fundamentals.
Allow yourself to experience the power of genuine friendships. This just requires that you get out of your own way and practice self-discipline in the process.
Drink deep from the cup of meaningful friendships.