We spoke with Malvika Gupta, Ansh Manuja, and Aanchal Mehra about how they navigate through friendships with a busy life, and they gave us some wise tips about the same!
I have memories of waking up early on Friendship Day as a child, running around the society with my friends, and tying friendship bands. Those who had friendship rings were elite, and we ran away from those who used markers to write their name. Regardless, it used to be an occasion that we celebrated with gusto. Now, as an adult, Friendship Day is more about texting my friends, asking if they’re free, and making plans that almost never work out. As work, health, family, and chores, i.e., adulthood become our priority, it’s difficult to maintain friendships as purely as we did during childhood. Adulting is hard, life is chaotic, and friends are away. How do you maintain and nurture friendships in the face of life? We know we’re not the only ones.
What does friendship mean to you as an adult? Are you still friends with your childhood friends? Or did you find new friends during adulthood?
Malvika feels that friendship is a very secure zone where you can be yourself, you can be crazy, happy, and free. Her oldest best friend, Meenakshi, has been her friend since nursery! She met another best friend, Himanshi, in adulthood. "My bond with both of them is strong. Friendship is more about the bonding than age." For Ansh, it’s like the best relationship any young struggling human being can have: a relationship with no complaints and no demands. He believes that without any expectations, friends support each other at the point we need that the most. He’s very close to his school friends. "Friendship is like a stress-buster when I’m trying to build a life of my own. I have had a group of five since my childhood, but they are more than enough. We are still together no matter what.” He has made a lot of friends in adulthood too. However, not every friend stayed for a long time in his life. Aanchal believes that no matter how old you are, friendship should be based on trust and reliability. "A good friend is your biggest supporter, cheerleader, and biggest critic! I prefer honesty over flattery. Most of my friends are from childhood. I believe you connect on a different level with them.”
Is it challenging to make new friends as an adult?
It hasn’t been challenging for Malvika. “In fact, it's easier as you have more clarity about life. Finding genuine friends is the hard part.” Ansh, on the other hand, believes that it’s difficult to make genuine friends as an adult because you put more mind than heart into friendships, unlike when we were children. “However, I have been very lucky as I found a few good friends in adulthood too.” Aanchal doesn’t think it’s difficult, but she believes that one becomes more selective as an adult. “With years of both good and bad experiences with people, you choose your friends more cautiously and wisely. Someone you can trust and rely on!”
Does life get in the way of friendship? How do you stay updated with your friends' lives?
For Malvika, sometimes that does happen. “But I feel that real friends understand. I stay updated by talking to my friends and catching up with them on social media. This helps me stay in touch no matter the distance.” Ansh, too, believes that life gets in the way of friendship because, as adults, we have more responsibilities regarding careers. “It’s easier to be updated with your friends through social media. I talk to my childhood friends once a month, but when we meet, it's just like before.” “It does!” exclaims Aanchal. “Everyone has their own personal and professional life. It would be wrong to blame someone, it’s just different circumstances and lifestyles. Even if I can’t meet them, I make sure to call them and talk about what’s happening in their lives.”
How do you give time to your friends dueing your busy schedule? How often do you meet?
Malvika always tries to balance it out. “I meet my friends once every ten days. If I ever cancel plans, I make up for it!” Ansh regularly meets his friends who live in the same city. “I also have a social media group with my friends where we share memes. I call other friends when I get the time. It’s tough, but it’s okay.” For Aanchal, it mostly depends upon the workload. She meets a few of them biweekly, and the rest once every six months.“Everyone is ALWAYS busy! It depends on how much effort we make in meeting each other. The important thing is whenever I meet them; I have a gala time. One doesn’t have to meet every week or month. Just pick up the phone and talk.”
Do you have any friendship rituals or activities that your friend circle do in order to stay in touch? What would you say to those who find it difficult to make time for their friends?
Malvika indulges in shopping with her friends and going to workout classes together. “Just stay in touch even if it means commenting on their Facebook or Instagram posts. That way, you will always be in touch. Life gets busy but don't leave friends behind.” Ansh’s friends share memes and make fun of each other on social media. “We also watch movies sometimes together on Netflix party. Just meet your friends, no matter how busy you are. Friendship is the most beautiful relationship. Being around a bunch of people who are as crazy as you make you forget all the stress. So, just take out time for these idiots.” Aanchal and her friends have a ‘no phones while we are together’ rule. “We definitely click pictures either at the start or at the end of our plan. Work is important, but if you’re always ignoring friends, you’re missing out on a golden time. Stop complaining that the other person is not making an effort, you make an effort!”
This article was first published in the Social Ketchup Magazine's August 2022 edition.
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