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Why I Am Okay With Not Forcing Friendships Anymore

For a substantial part of my life, I have been concerned as to whether or not people like me. I just didn’t like the thought of someone being out there and not liking me. When I switched schools in elementary school, I remember wanting the easiest transition possible, which to me, included making as many friends as I could. I found that this caused me to morph or hide parts of myself for years in order to pursue friendships that at the end of the day, weren’t that fulfilling. 

Women Sitting Close Together
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Over the past year, this has been an eye opening time to reevaluate my friendships. By not being forced to see people who were in the same social groups, classes, workplace, etc., I was able to take stock in the individuals that made me feel like… well, me. I found people who let me express my humor, judgement free, and others who always knew how to build me up regardless if I was having a good day or not. These characteristics are found in those I know that I can always count on. 

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter how big your social circle is. It’s awesome if you do have a lot of friends but what is more important is finding those gems of people that provide you with an even relationship. One that you both equally reach out and want to spend time together or where you both can not only vent to one another but also celebrate your achievements. 

Group of friends laughing
Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran from Unsplash

Having those types of friendships are hard to find. But boy when you do, it’s like stumbling upon extended family. Being fulfilled by your friends is more important than anything. But it has to go both ways. One sided relationships are emotionally and physically draining.

At the end of the day, I am not okay with forcing relationships. By stepping back and reevaluating my circle, I have found so much more fulfillment from my friends. I not only love these people but I am motivated and inspired by all of them which is something I couldn’t have said earlier in my life.

Ava Burford is a junior at UCLA. She is passionate about uplifting others through her writing, philanthropic work and blog. She is apart of the sorority Pi Beta Phi and enjoys running and being with her family in her free time.
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