Good morning, everybody! Today on episode five of the podcast, we are gonna talk about something I’ve never talked about before which is making adult friendships.
So, story time. Last year on my birthday, I got really in my head about the number of adult friendships that I had. I was sitting there thinking about how I know all these people and they have these large groups of friends and they have birthday dinners and birthday parties and they go on trips with their friends, and they have this girl group in their life that they’ve had since college, and I don’t really have that. I jumped all over the place for college and then grad school. I ended up in DC which is not where I’m from. And so, last year on my birthday, I got in, not a bad mental place, but a temporarily rough mental place about the amount of adult friendships that I had. I was feeling lonely. I was feeling like I didn’t have the kind of community that I wanted.
I want to pause here for a minute to just say and speak to the fact that adult friendships are difficult, and if you’re a person who’s like I don’t have a girl group or a group from high school, I don’t have a group from college, and I struggle to make friends, you’re not alone in that. I know that because the other day in Change Academy, someone posted about how to make adult friendships. It was this incredibly vulnerable but amazing post. There were, like, 30 or 40 people from Change Academy who commented on it and were like, “Yeah, I struggle with the exact same thing.” People were like, “Here’s what I’ve tried.” Other people were like, “We can be friends! Here’s my information.” So it was a great community-building moment, but I think it really brought my attention to the number of people out there, particularly, I think, in our 20s, 30s, 40s who are really struggling with making new adult friends.
So, what I want to remind you of today is that it’s not you. The lesson I really want to teach you here today is that we will never solve a problem in our lives by thinking, “Something is wrong with me.” And so, on my birthday last year, that was the thought that was going through my head. That was the thought error that my brain was presenting me with is that, oh, clearly because I know people who have these friend groups, that means that since I don’t have these friend groups something is wrong with me. “But something is wrong with me,” that sentence will never lead to a solution. It is a fixed mindset which means it will always lead to a stop point. It will always lead to us giving up because if there’s something wrong with me and I don’t believe that I can fix that, of course, I’m not gonna take any action. I’m not gonna get curious about it. I’m not gonna make any moves.
So, luckily, after a good chat with my therapist and a couple of days of brooding, I came back to myself, and I was like, “No, Karin, if you want to make some friends, if you want more community in your life, guess what you need to do? You need to behave and take action in order to make that happen,” right? All problems in our lives and my philosophy come back to behavior change.
So, what I did was a couple of things. I committed to reaching out to some of the friends that I did still have in my area and meeting up with them, but I also went out on a limb and I signed up for a retreat with this organization called Back of the Pack. Back of the Pack is amazing. You should follow them on Instagram. You should really follow them on Instagram if you’re like me and you like being outside because there may or may not be something coming soon that you might want to know about.
Regardless, I signed up for this retreat. I fly to Washington State (into Seattle), and I meet this group of girls that I have never met before, and we go on hikes and we hangout in this Airbnb as part of the Back of the Pack retreat, and within two days, my community cup was filled, right? I was laughing with these girls. I was acting like a night troll. I was being my fullest, truest, most honest self, and I’m still in contact with a lot of those girls. I made genuine friendships with these people, and all it took was a little intentionality and two days.
And so, that’s what I want to remind you of today. Anytime you’re having a problem in your life, when your brain wants to say, “What’s wrong with me,” do your best to release yourself from that sentence, tell your brain it is lying to you, and, instead, get curious about what actions you might take to explore solutions to that problem. If it is adult friendships, know that there are ways out there (like Back of the Pack) for you to make adult friendships. There’s nothing wrong with you. It is a very common problem, and if there are so many of us out there without adult friendships, that means, guess what, that we can be friends.
I woke up on my birthday to tons and tons of messages from people, and I’m gonna get emotional for a second, but I truly felt so connected to a massive community of people who cared about me on my birthday this year, and all it took was a year of a little bit of behavior change, a little bit of intentionality, and for me to give up the idea that there was something wrong with me and instead start taking action. So, it is possible!
As a side note, I do want to let you know that in September in Change Academy, we are gonna do a friendship speed dating situation. So, if you’re a person who wants to make friends with other people who are into personal development, there are tons of people like that inside of Change Academy, and we’re gonna do our best in the future to give you all opportunities to meet each other and make those friendships that we all so desperately crave.
That is what I’ve got for you today! I will see you in the next episode!