The Benefits of Having Older Friends

It’s very easy to only make friends in our own age groups when we're growing up. We go to school with each other, have grown up playing sports with each other, and we have been made to believe that age gaps should divide us. I have many friends that fall into my own age group, but some of the closest friends I have are those who’ve come from different generations.

One of my very best friends is a woman who is 22 years older than me. It may sound surprising, but to me, it is totally normal because it is so effortless. As I get older myself, I have learned that when it comes to friendship, quality is much more important than quantity.

One of the greatest things about having an older friend is their advice! More likely than not, they have already been through most of the things you may be struggling with. My friend is wise beyond my years, so I value everything she has to say. I know everything she tells me is sincere and I have learned a lot from her different point of view.

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Another great aspect of our friendship is that it goes both ways. Not only do I learn from her experiences, but she can also learn from mine. I have grown up in the same generation as her daughter, so it has been beneficial to her parenting to see my perspective on what is important. By watching her be a parent I have also learned a lot about my own mom. It is cool when you are able to step outside of your own situation and see it from a new lens. Since having an older friend who is a parent, I have formed a much better understanding of what my mom has gone through for me and how deep a love she has for me.

An older friend is someone you can go to with your dirty laundry and receive no judgment in return. Life isn’t always good times and exciting news. Being a young adult in this modern age puts a lot of pressure on appearing happy all the time. With social media only portraying the more perfect moments in life, it is becoming increasingly harder to share the ugly parts with other young adults. This is why an older friend is great. They have the maturity, time, and emotional stability to handle the intensity of life’s more difficult issues.

Being constantly surrounded by people your own age forces you to be friends in a way. Sometimes, it isn’t shared interests and similar world views that bind us with friends of our own age, but often it is just pure convenience. This where older friends sometimes differ. My favorite thing about my older friends is that they are people I can talk to about my interests and values. They understand them and are always excited to hear about them and vice versa. It is so refreshing to find someone you can have meaningful conversations with, and I find that most in them.

My friend says that having younger friends keeps her mind fresh and keeps her focused on growth. The opportunity to learn from all of the new friends can be beneficial. She also says it helps her form a deeper understanding of what will be will be important to our generation in the future, which she is able to help us stride towards with experience.

Younger and older people sometimes live very different lives, so we always have new things to talk about. As members of the same generation probably have days that look fairly similar, our days are usually quite different from each other’s so the conversations are ever changing.

Overall, friends of any age are important. Friends make life fun, bearable, and meaningful. Don’t let any preconceived ideas get in the way of forming a lifelong connection with someone. Co-Author of What Happy Women do, Anna Kudak said, “Friendships with older and younger people help broaden your perspective, which in turn allows you to have compassion and empathy in your day-to-day life.” I couldn’t agree more, and I am so happy that I have been blessed with such amazing people to guide me through my Three Stooges Marathon of a life.

 

I hope you find your own people too, from all age groups, races, cultures, and customs.

 

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