3 Ways to Be a More Authentic Friend
Words by Madisen Quick
For many people, the time between ages 18-22 comes with a lot of excitement and even more changes. Moving away, maturing, and "Mom, what do you mean I have to call the dentist to make an appointment now??"
Now that I'm in my twenties, I don't think I'm alone in saying that the kinds of friendship I'm looking for have changed, too. So, I'd love to share a few lessons I've learned about friendship so far.
Invest in Friends Who Invest In You
Now, you're already in the Holl & Lane community, so I'm going to make a gamble that you value good conversations and deep connections. So ask yourself: are your close friends investing in you as much as you are into them? Did they follow-up after you disclosed your struggle with depression? Or remember that you have a big performance review coming up? Because let me tell you - you ain't got time for people who don't care about that sweet soul of yours.
People Need You Even When You Don't Need Them
These days, my friends are much more of a support system than they ever were in high school. If I just wrecked a math test and got in a fight with my significant other, it's my friends that I go to for consolation. Still, there have been days that I just was plain grumpy, and decided to be alone selfishly. Then I'd hear later that my friend also had a tough day, and could've really used my support or just my presence. If you feel yourself blocking those close to you out, remember that they might need you, too.
Keep Asking Questions
It feels like the beginning of my friendships are all "Tell me more about ____!" and "What was ____ like?" But somewhere along the way, conversations can settle into story-swapping. A friend might tell me about how insecure they're feeling about their body after an unkind comment was made. And in hopes of consoling them, I'm so quick to share a similar experience in my own life. But what if instead I dug deeper, asked how they felt about what was said, asked how I could support them through this? When I stop long enough to question and learn from my friends, we continue to build trust, connection, and understanding.
Comment below: I'd love to chat about a friendship lesson that you've learned in the past 5 years.
Madisen Quick is the Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief at Holl & Lane Magazine. She is currently a senior at Wellesley College where she studies English and mathematics.