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Keeping And Making Friends

Friendships are an important part of life, but it's natural for them to evolve and change over time. Here we delve into how to make new friends, keep them and when to let go!

New School – New Friends

Starting a new school can sometimes mean that you and your friends will be split up, they may go to a different school, or you may find that they are put in a different form to you. Finding yourself in a classroom full of strangers can indeed be a daunting experience, but there are strategies you can use to help you connect with your classmates.

Such as sitting in the middle of the class, this allows you to watch and listen to conversations happening around you and can help you get a sense of your classmates' interests and personalities.

By being in the middle of the class, you have the opportunity to join in conversations that you feel comfortable with. You can contribute your thoughts, opinions, and insights on topics that interest you, helping you to connect with your peers. It will also help you avoid feeling isolated or left out. Being central you’re more likely to be included in group discussions and interactions, which can help you feel more integrated into the classroom environment.

What’s more by speaking up and sharing your thoughts, you'll become more comfortable expressing yourself in front of others and this can be a huge boost to your confidence.

Finally, don’t get too hung upon on having just one ‘special’ friend, It’s far healthier to have a wide group of friends to rely on in school.

Fitting In

Friendship groups flourish with a mixture of lots of different personalities, and each member will bring their own unique personality and talents to the group. Whether it's being a shoulder to cry on, offering practical help, offering words of encouragement, or simply being the one that listens, everyone has a part to play.

Interacting with people from different backgrounds also provides fabulous opportunities for learning more about the world around you, other's experiences and views will help you become more open-minded to different cultures and lifestyles. And whilst each member may have their own unique interests and passions, there are likely common interests that bring you all together. Sharing these interests allows for bonding and shared experiences that can only strengthen your friendships.

Did you know that more than 70% of girls are unhappy with their appearance and how they fit in with friends? And whilst they are quick to see the beauty in others, they rarely recognise it in themselves!

 Rather than seeking approval from others or trying to fit in with the crowd, focus on being authentic and true to yourself. Remember, confidence is not about being perfect or meeting unrealistic standards of beauty; it's about being comfortable and confident in your own skin!

Two Girls In Beanies


Being True To Yourself

Friendship isn't easy and during puberty the relationship you have enjoyed for many years with close friends can change. You may be noticing a change to the way you and your friends look and act, they may be dressing differently or developing earlier than you. You may even notice that some of your friends have started to talk about dating when this is something you are not ready for. You could even feel a little jealous or left out if they do start dating or making new friends with other people.

Here's some tips for a more confident you!

.Find Your Own Style: Instead of conforming to the latest trends, take the time to explore what you truly like and worry less about what others may think!  Create a mood board of things you love and display it where you can see it every day.

Form your own opinion – take time to consider how you feel about the world around you, it’s important to have your own sense of what you believe in…and stick to it.

Start questioning – stop to consider all sides of what you hear and see before making your mind up. You may just find others start to trust your judgement and choices.

Make the Most of What Nature Gave You: All too often we don’t like to celebrate our own unique features and qualities. Instead of hiding your light, shine…embrace and highlight them. Take pride in your appearance and appreciate the beauty within yourself.

Love yourself :  We’re not saying you should go and shout out to the world how fabulous you are, but rather celebrate your achievements, whether it's acing an exam or handling a difficult situation with grace. Give yourself credit for your efforts and successes.

Open Up To New Friendships

Instead of feeling excluded or threatened by your friends' other friendship groups, welcome the opportunity to interact with new people and build new relationships. Smile, join in conversations, and be open to getting to know them. Remember, they're not your enemies or rivals; they're potential new friends!.

Growing your circle of friends not only helps you feel more connected and supported, interacting with new people can help alleviate feelings of shyness or self-consciousness and boost your confidence in social settings.

So, next time you're invited to a social event or introduced to new people, seize the opportunity to build new friendships. You never know what wonderful experiences and friendships may be around the corner!

Learning To Let Go Of A Friendship

Although many friendships remain strong and continue into adulthood it is important to understand that some will start to fade, and this is perfectly normal. So, try not to worry if you seem to spend less time with a friend, it may be that they have recently found people they have more in common with and it doesn’t have to mean the end of your friendship, you can still keep in contact with a weekly update on the phone or by dropping them a text.

Here are some signs that you and your friends may be growing apart during this time:

  • You and your friends may find yourselves increasingly interested in different activities, hobbies, or topics of conversation. While you used to have a lot in common, you now struggle to connect at all.
  • You and your friends may begin to spend less time together than before. This could be due to changes in timetables or simply a lack of effort to maintain the friendship.
  • You may notice a decrease in communication with your friends, whether it's fewer text messages, less frequent social media interactions, or fewer face-to-face conversations. This lack of communication can indicate a growing distance in the friendship.
  • If you find yourselves arguing more frequently or experiencing tension in the group, it could be a sign that you and your friends are growing apart.
  • You may start to feel left out or excluded from the group’s activities or conversations. Your friends may form new friendship groups, or develop closer bonds with others, leaving you feeling left out.

Instead of taking it personally or making a big deal out of it, try to accept that friendships can come and go over time. Maintain a positive attitude and keep a limited level of contact with your friend, such as smiling and saying "Hi" when you see them. ,Remember that everyone goes through periods of change, and it's okay for friendships to evolve over time. If your friend does eventually return to your group, welcome them back with open arms and without judgment.


The Lil-Lets Friendship Guide

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