Making friends is hard as a grown up

Making friends is hard as a grown up
🎵Make new friends, but keep the old..🎵 anyone know this one?

This culture is not great at affirming the value of friendship. Whenever even the smallest thing goes wrong in a connection between two friends, there is very little messaging other than that person is toxic and if they aren't for you or serving you then you need to get new friends. For anyone else who feels like these pieces of advice rub the wrong way, you're not wrong. These platitudes are bizarre and frustrating.

Bizarre because: if something isn't serving you, it's toxic? If someone isn't serving you, they're toxic? What? Do we even know what toxic means anymore? Do we even know what being human means anymore? It is not healthy or empowered to view your friendships (or romantic partner for that matter) merely as extensions of yourself for your enjoyment and actualization. No one is going to serve you all the time and that's not even them making a "mistake." That's them being normal. Do you serve anyone else even 50% of the time? Be honest now. Maybe your kids, if they're young, and even then, once they get to a certain age, which they reach pretty quick, 100% service is not good for them. In fact, someone serving you 100% of the time is the thing that's toxic to both you and them, not the other way around.

Frustrating because: are other people doing it better than I am? Is making friends as adults actually really easy such that "just get new friends" is actually viable when one of your friends doesn't respond to your text in the timeframe you assigned in your head for them or doesn't agree with your opinion about something or posts something you disagree with on FB and then defends themselves when you leave a self-righteous and mean comment about it? That last one was weirdly specific, right? Anyway, if y'all out there are making gobs of new friends with ease and flow after age 30, please hit reply and tell me your secrets 'cause I must be doing it wrong. I'm not saying we need to hold onto every single relationship we've ever had, but "this doesn't serve me" is not the metric by which we should be measuring any of our relationships (especially if we're believers--I studied the Bible for what it said about friendship and my findings came out in a self-guided journal, which is taking me a year and a half to figure out how to self publish, but stay tuned for that, because it's coming this year).

It's no wonder mental health issues are skyrocketing: our increased intolerance to things being about something besides ourselves as well as any form of disagreement is plummeting and that is making our friendships brittle. When a friend does something that hurts you, the first response of a healthy person is curiosity rather than criticism or defensiveness. Ask questions, get the other side of the story (this is a person you allegedly care about, remember?), maybe get to know that person's intention - of course, it's been rammed into our heads that "impact matters more than intention," but I don't see that making anyone safer, happier, or more connected in their relationships. After all, you wouldn't want to be thrown out upon your first honest mistake, would you?