A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.

Worth the Effort: Awkward Friendship Beginnings

One lesson of adulthood I’ve been learning is to have patience with awkward beginnings of new friendships. Making new acquaintances and casual friends is easy, but growing close, deep friendships (or any close relationship) takes time and effort. The beginning stage of the process often has a clunky, awkward, and even stilted feel, as my new friend and I get attuned to each other’s personalities and communication styles. But I accept that imperfection, rather than try to force our interactions to fit some prescription in my mind, because if the friend and I are truly kindred spirits, time will cause that stiltedness to fall away. The path to effortless intimacy opens up only through patient effort.

Some relationships may require more effort than others, and some may turn out to be less fruitful than I’d hoped. But I have seen my efforts rewarded wonderfully with once-new friends who are now very close, essential friends in my life, with whom I can fully be my uninhibited self. So now, when I’m in the early stages of getting to know other new friends who seem like kindred spirits, I am encouraged to persist past the awkwardness, to forgive it and let it be, because I know it’s necessary for growing a potentially great friendship.

By No machine-readable author provided. Visviva assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By No machine-readable author provided. Visviva assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


4 comments on “Worth the Effort: Awkward Friendship Beginnings

  1. emilievardaman
    September 8, 2016

    It’s a process, for sure, like any relationship. Same with a partnership/spouse/whatever.


    • Sarrah J. Woods
      September 8, 2016

      Absolutely! Marriage (or an equivalent relationship) is the ultimate example of the need for patient effort in building a strong relationship.


  2. Sarah Brentyn
    September 8, 2016

    Interesting, isn’t it? How complicated friendships become as we age. I wonder…was it always this way? I think it was easier when I was younger.


    • Sarrah J. Woods
      September 9, 2016

      I agree. Yet I think it’s maybe not so much that our friendships our more complicated, but that they just have a different nature. When we’re school-age, we see most of our friends quite regularly and in settings where having friends to sit with and hang out with is of supreme importance. But as adults–at least in my experience–we may see our friends less regularly, and when we do see them our focus is more on catching up and getting to know each other than on “hanging out.” Many of my new friendships begin in social contexts and develop through means such as email, text, and/or letters, as well as semi-regular in-person contact. The focus of our conversation is thus more purely on our common interests and life experiences than on being in a common setting, like school. So a new friendship is something to purposefully develop rather than just fall into. Does that ring true for you too? Just thinking out loud here.


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This entry was posted on September 8, 2016 by in Discoveries from Living and tagged , , , , , , , .
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