By Joan Mbabazi
KIDS are free souls, anyone can instantly be a friend. Even when they are upset, it’s for a short time and they forget about it. One can make as many friends as possible all the way to high school, for fun, academics, and so forth. These friends make school interesting and memorable.
I must say I enjoyed high school more than university, regardless of the freedom it came with. I guess because in university everyone would mind their business, which is a good thing but also a bit boring—just meeting fellow students for a certain course unit and once it’s done, everyone leaves. There was never an opportunity to connect with many people as friends.
As an adult it is even more challenging to make genuine friends. I have come to terms with the fact that I know many people, but I have very few friends. Do not take knowing many people as having many friends.
Adult friendships are tricky, you may have ‘seasonal friendships’ due to different situations. Some people are your friends because you work together, are neighbours, pursue the same course, go to the same church, or your kids go to the same school. Once that changes, you may lose touch.
I have seen some of my friends grow distant after they get married, and I wonder why. Then when kids come into the picture, that’s a whole different story. We seem not to have much to talk about anymore because I haven’t experienced the life they’re in. When we do talk, it’s a simple conversation—basically inquiring how they are, and the family—and before you know it, we are out of words.
When it comes to hanging out, it’s not the same, some married people need to first get permission from their spouses. Sometimes they cancel at the last minute due to an emergency, random visitors, and so on.
And as you grow, you actually don’t want any drama from people. You want your circle to be small but meaningful—people who understand and support each other.
It may be hard finding friends if you don’t put yourself out there. Phones have spoiled the traditional way of interacting. I believe in finding friends anywhere, at work, the gym, or during a drink-up. Sometimes we make friends through our friends and they end up worth keeping.
If you’re to make solid friendships, it’s important to throw judgment out the window. We shouldn’t judge people, give them the benefit of the doubt or a chance to know them better. Some friendships have taken the wrong path due to high expectations. No one should expect much from the other as it may lead to disappointment.
Instead of waiting for people to approach you, initiate a friendship. There is no harm in greeting people or introducing yourself. Sometimes it’s the little conversations that result in great friendships, put pride aside and allow yourself to get to know people. Life can be lonely without true friendship.