How to Navigate & Strengthen Friendships As You Age

Take a moment to think of some of your best friends. I’ll wait!

Ready? Now think about all of the other relationships in your life—your parents, your siblings, your spouse, your children. If you were to prioritize each of these people on a list, where would your friends fall?

In the hierarchy of relationships, friendships almost always fall to the bottom.

Unlike family, we actually get to choose our friends. How cool is that? But unlike your spouse, your friendships usually don’t require a formal structure.

In other words, you can go months and months without talking to them.

And, if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you remember a time when you felt practically inseparable from a friend when you were younger. So, what the heck happened?!

Well, it usually happens when you get married and have children. Marriages take a lot of work—and don’t even get me started on raising children! Tie in in-laws, caring for parents, balancing work and you’ve got yourself one busy life with barely enough room for a drink with friends.

Despite all of this, your friendships probably mean a lot to you. I mean, can you really imagine a world without your BFFs?

If you’ve let your friendships slide recently, I want to reassure you that you’re not alone. Life is a balancing act, and as our responsibilities shift, friendships often take a hit!

It’s common to reconnect with old friends after time has passed. But is it possible to never lose touch with them in the first place?

Whether you grow apart only to reunite later, or hold on for dear life, great friendships depend on dedication and communication. The more you invest, the more likely it will continue.

Oh, and those inside jokes? Keep ‘em coming! This type of communication might seem shallow or annoying to others, but it actually helps sustain the friendship. Just make sure it’s not solely through Facebook…

Yep, sorry to break it to you: Social media should most definitely not be the only way you communicate with your friends. But don’t write it off completely! There are many different platforms we can reach out to your besties—a quick “just thinking of you” text or a hilarious meme on Instagram can keep the bond strong, as long as you still make time for each other in person.

If this sounds overwhelming, don’t despair! Although it seems your best friends could slip away from you at any moment, that’s definitely not always the case. Friendships can be extremely flexible, and your besties are more likely to forgive long lapses of time without much communication because they’re busy, too! Consider this a bonding moment—a mutual understanding.

Honestly, friends, if there’s anything you can take away from this post, remember that a true friend will always encompass these three things: someone to talk to, someone to depend on, and someone to enjoy—and the best kind of friends will stand the test of time.

Ready to transform your friendship?

Your friends are the ones who stand by your side through thick and thin. But sometimes even the strongest bonds can create inevitable tension. My coaching sessions are based around creating and maintaining healthy relationships so they stick!

Some of the topics we might discuss in our sessions are harnessing the power of effective communication, differences in opinions, personalities, beliefs and values, dealing with power struggles, learning to set boundaries, what to do about controlling behaviors, navigating resentment and letting go of judgement.

Interested? Contact me today to schedule a low-key, no-pressure, no-commitment phone call to see if I’m a good fit for you and to answer any questions you might have.

Lisa Panos

Lisa Panos is a Certified Life Coach and Author who helps people stop struggling and start thriving in their personal and professional relationships. Trained by Dr. Martha Beck (aka, Oprah’s Life Coach), Lisa helps her clients create new, healthy relationships, mend those that are broken, or say goodbye to ones that no longer serve them. She combines highly effective coaching tactics with an explosive arsenal of personal experience that swiftly moves people out of dysfunction and into a place of deep inner strength.

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