It's Okay Be Friends With People Who Are Different Than You

If You want To Grow, You Should Be Friends With People Who Have Different Interests Than You

These friends of mine were the ones I thought about when I looked to the future and saw how I want our world to be.

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For a long time, I thought the key to great friendships was having the same interests. I was wrong. I never learned anything else. All I knew was what I liked. That was because my friends and I had the same interests and there wasn't much of a difference between us.

At one point, that all changed. Of course, I was still friends with my buds who shared the same loves, but I was also friends with people who had a life completely different than mine. Some of them believed different things. Some of them did things I would never think of doing. Some of them had different music tastes, different movie tastes, and unlike me, hated sports. These were the people who helped me grow as a person.

I was able to learn more because of them.

These friends of mine were the ones I thought about when I looked to the future and saw how I want our world to be. I want our world to be different. I don't want everyone to be the same. I want people to enjoy different things. My friends showed me that firsthand. They showed me the truth behind the difference in people. That truth is simple. Just because we have different interests or beliefs does not mean we can't get along.

I think I was afraid of being friends with people who are "different" than me because I feared what might happen.

I realize now that's complete baloney. They were the ones who popped sides of me out that I didn't know existed. That is mainly because I checked up on them to make sure everything was okay and they were still, as I say, being good. No worries, they were.

My friends became people I love dearly, who showed me how important it is to be okay with change.

It didn't take long for me to love them like they were the friends I had for years. They were the friends I saw in the hall and immediately smiled. They were the friends I could crack jokes with because they somehow understood what I was throwing down. These people were the ones who made me laugh until I almost peed myself because they are funnier than I can begin to explain.

Over the years, I have learned how being friends with someone who has a life quite different than yours actually helps you. They probably made me laugh harder simply because they didn't care what you think. They made me ponder because their views are far different than mine. They helped me in different ways because they have experienced life differently. These friends of mine have shown me how cool it is to be friends with people you never thought was possible.

I went outside my comfort zone, and it soon became comfortable. I had no problem being pals with people who lived in a way that seems to be on the other side of the world. My pals are so important to me, and I love them just like I love the friends I have had for years. It's okay to be friends with people who are different than you. Really, it is.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Henrichs

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It Is OK To Have Guy Friends That Are Literally Just Guy Friends

Some of my best friends are guys and sometimes they are better friends than girls are.

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Lately, I have come to the realization that some of my guy friends are better then some girls I call my "friends". Ever since middle school, I have always had many guy friends that have always been just guy friends, and nothing more. Some girls had a problem with it back then and they still do now, maybe because they are jealous, or maybe because they feel left out. However, I decided a long time ago to keep those guy friends for reasons like...

1. They Don't Take Things So Seriously

You can always joke around with them, and they will joke around with you right back. You can be as nice as you want or as mean as you want to them, and they will always take it as joke. I think that sometimes girls have a difficult time deciphering between when you are being serious or when you are joking. Most of my guys friends tend to not things too seriously at least 75% of the time.

2. They Are Always Honest

When I need a blatantly honest opinion I always ask my guy friends (and my mom). I do this because guys do not really care about whether or not their response will make you mad. Also, guys do not think about if their answer will benefit them personally or not before they answer.

3. They Genuinely Listen To You

Not all the time. But when I am upset, they are always the ones most concerned. Some of my guy friends take over the "big brother" role when it comes to some situations. My guy friends always listen to my problems or just the same old rants I give all the time because if something is wrong, or something has hurt me, they want to know, in order for them to try and fix it.

I am not trying to say that my girl friends are not my best friends either, and I really do have the best best friend. But sometimes, it just feels good to hangout with my guy friends. Guy friends, that I have never had a romantic relationship or feelings for and they have not had for me. These guys have always been there, and for that I am grateful.

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Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.

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Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

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