Updated: Jan 27
Maintaining friendships as an adult is challenging, but it's even more complicated when you add in the complexities of social media, social anxiety, and the ever-increasing need for social support.
But how exactly do you create (and maintain!) friendships when there are so many other opportunities competing for your time and attention? And how do you find the motivation to work through it when it seems like everyone else has figured out something you just don't *get*?
The good news is that the same way you can recruit someone to help you in your romantic relationship, your business, or your money management, you can hire someone to give you tangible (research-based) insights to help you create better friendships.
But when do you know that it's time?
Here are five signs that you might legitimately need to hire a friendship coach.
1. You feel lonely even around friends.
If you find yourself feeling lonely even when you’re surrounded by people you like, this could be a sign that something is off. A therapist can help you work through ongoing feelings of disconnection, and a coach can give tangible strategies and scripts to help you deepen relationships with those who are already in your life.
2. You struggle with conflict resolution in friendship.
Here's the thing: healthy conflict in any close relationship is inevitable. But when a friend says or does something that makes you look at her differently and you begin ruminating about it so much that it's beginning to impact the way you show up in the friendship, it might be time to hire a coach.
A friendship coach will literally listen to you download all the details of your sitaution, outline the different ways you can approach the situation (and analyze each possible outcome), and then script an actual "tough love" conversation.
The result? Less internal anxiety, more clarity around your relationship with your friend. If it seems like every conversation quickly devolves into an argument or feelings of resentment remain unresolved after an altercation, it's time to take a step back and assess what's really going on. A friendship coach can help you develop constructive communication skills and provide tools for resolving conflicts before they become too overwhelming.
3. Your friends/ partner are tired of hearing about the same friendship issue... over and over again.
Your resentment with a particular friend is growing and you honestly don't know what to say or do to make things better. But you've been using people in your life as non-stop sounding boards and they seem to be reaching a breaking point.
If you have noticed that your inner circle is tired of hearing about your ongoing friendship issue or they seem ill-equipped to offer helpful advice, it might be wise to speak with someone who's researches platonic relationships for a living. Bringing in an objective, technically trained professional can leave you with a perspective that's critical to finding resolution.
4. You Experience Anxiety Around Social Interactions.
Does the idea of attending social gatherings fill you with dread? Do conversations make you anxious? A therapist may be best equipped to help you identify root issues of your anxiety, and then a friendship coach and come in to prepare you with scripts and strategies to:
initiate conversations with confidence
keep momentum in conversations with new friends
close a conversation with less awkwardness and uncertainty
Once you've identified what’s causing these feelings, a friendship coach can provide strategies for managing them more effectively so that social interactions are less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
5. You have difficulty setting boundaries.
In any type of relationship—romantic or platonic—setting healthy boundaries is key for maintaining respect and trust between two individuals. If setting or enforcing boundaries feels uncomfortable or alienating, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional who can provide guidance on how to create strong boundaries while still being respectful towards others
If this content resonates with you, and you want to learn how to make a good first impression with a potential new friend, watch the video below.
While there are many different factors that contribute to our happiness—from career success to financial stability—our relationships often have the most impact on our wellbeing overall. If any of these signs sound familiar, consider booking a session with resident friendship coach Danielle Bayard Jackson, friendship expert and educator who specializes in helping women create healthier connections with those around them so that their lives feel more balanced and fulfilled as a result!