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“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”Walter Winchell
Friendship is perhaps the most beautiful relationship. A mother-daughter relationship can be a friendship too, a teacher and student can form a deep friendship, our pets are our best friends too. In a sense, friendship is universal surpassing age, seniority, relationships, color, race, etc. However, friendships are volatile and must be handled with care. Over time we lose touch with friends, and we grow apart because we grow into different people.
Some friends go, some stay, some we are in touch with regularly, some on an occasional basis. If you are really lucky, you must be in touch with most of your old friends. We say lucky because staying in touch with friends in this day and age requires time, effort, and commitment.
There are many hurdles that can come up between friends and could be the reason to drive you apart from them. For example, misunderstandings, miscommunication, arguments, moving away to another city or town, even country, going to different schools, hanging out with different sets of friends, change of priorities, marriage, kids, etc. However, there are some people whose friendship remains steadfast despite all these factors. That is a real friendship.
Friendship is like wine, it gets better with age. The older our friends, the more fond memories we have with them, the more we know them and vice versa, the more we can confide in them and they in us. The main reasons for staying in touch with old friends and never losing the connection is that old friends know the real you, they have spent a lot of time with you and you have grown together through life’s new phases. For example, our friends from pre-school or middle school, next-door neighbours, etc. will always hold a special place in our lives and vice versa. We all need friends to have a good laugh, watch a movie, go shopping, etc. However, the true test of friendship is when the chips are down and things are not looking great.
We list out 6 solid reasons when and why you must connect with old friends:
1. You feel low
Life’s like that full of highs and lows, ups and downs from time to time. An old friend can pull you straight out of your low by reminding you about the good times spent together e.g. mischief that you both created as kids or playing soccer in the alleys on rainy days. These wonderful memories can uplift your mood instantly; feeling low will be a thing of the past. Connecting with old friends may be more necessary now than ever given the dreary and stressful times we find ourselves in. Old friends carry a sense of belonging and familiarity which is very comforting in times of insecurity and stress.
2. You are going through a crisis
There will be times when we are hit by personal crises such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, failing health, etc. Old friends are the perfect support system to help you sail through these tough times. Old friends know your history; they may know things about you that your more recent friends wouldn’t. Old friends can encourage you by reminding you of crises you have gotten through in the past, for example, a financial crisis you faced because your parent lost their job and how you overcame it.
3. When you are confused
You could be confused about your job, people you date, or confused about something big like choosing ‘the one’. This is when you need to connect with an old friend. Old friends know us longer and better and can put things in perspective for us. They know us inside out, they are familiar with our personalities; they’ve seen us at our worst and at our best. Old friends make for great advisors when it comes to making some of life’s hard choices.
4. On your big days
Make old friends part of significant life events such as a wedding, the birth of a child; they will appreciate the gesture wholeheartedly. For all, you know they may just embarrass you before all your guests by telling tales that you had long forgotten! Old friends bring that bit of fun and excitement into our lives. They are people with whom we have shared so much in the past then why not make them part of our big days? You owe them!
5. You feel lost
We all know that feeling of emptiness where it seems like we have everything but yet deep down inside we feel like we don’t have anything. When this happens, it may be helpful to reconnect with old friends and confide in them. Old friends are true friends who have stood the test of time; they want what is best for us and we can trust them to point us in the right direction. The best part is that they won’t judge you for not feeling like yourself. Be open with them and pour your heart out.
6. When you realize their value
At the end of the day, we are all human; we make mistakes, we misjudge, we believe the wrong people and side with them while hurting others who are well-wishers. We also learn lessons the hard way. There comes a time in everybody’s life when they took someone at face value and considered them their friend. Instead, they were wolves in sheep’s clothing. Sometimes, bad experiences are necessary; they give us learnings for life and make us wiser.
So, if you are feeling alienated by people you thought were your friends but they turned on you, then it’s time to connect with an old friend. Connecting with old friends when you’re lonely will help you realize what you are missing. It’ll help you appreciate the friends who stayed and never left. This will help you be a better judge of people and forge friendships with people who are more like your old friends.
Friendship is a universal theme that underlies all relationships. It’s a blessing to have friends. Even one good friend is valuable against 10 fake friends. However, friends and friendships must not be taken for granted; they must be valued and respected. Over time, we may lose touch with friends for various reasons but being there for one another when the times are tough must be a priority for us. So what are you waiting for? Pick up that phone and call your old friend(s) or ping them on Facebook! It’ll be a conversation you’ve been missing for a long time.