I have heard this phrase. “Some of my friends are not into some of the things that I am into, and I don’t know what to do?” My response is always consistent. “What do you want?” Notice I said “want” and not “need.” “Need” is too much control for ANY relationship. Friendship is one of the most valuable supports a person can have. Your friendships can be specific to what you want and your interests. For example, there is the friend you tell EVERYTHING to, they know your secrets, and your secrets are safe. Then, there is the friend that is your party buddy. You can also have a traveling friend, a shopping friend, a movie friend, or a wine-tasting friend. These friendships can operate independently of each other or synchronously. Your friends do not have to enjoy or have the same interest. You can choose to have experiences with other friends who engage in activities that your core friend group may not traditionally identify as fun. You don’t have to choose, you can have several friends with different interests, and you can choose to create an entirely new friend group if your interests align. I believe relationships are essential and a part of your overall well-being. I also think that relational exploration is healthy and helps you grow and expand your worldview.
- Natasha Thomas, LMFT