Learning in Adulthood

Everyone will tell you that they are interested in learning beyond their school years. Very few of those people actually go to the effort. I am one of those people that does want to learn new things so I do what I can to make that happen. However, I found myself in a bit of a holding pattern when I came across something that I figured should be pretty obvious… no study needed.

Friendship, sounds easy enough, don’t we all just naturally know how to make that happen? One might think so but I started to question my patterns and choices and realized that I just don’t know how to do the whole friend thing. I got to thinking that it wasn’t such a good thing that I didn’t feel skilled in this area.  I wanted to learn how to make friendships last longer.

I talked to a lot of people and most people gave standard answers about trust, time, and experiences together. This all sounds great but those have never been my problem. My issue is with having friends that last-a-life-time. I don’t have a template for what friendship looks like within my family or life that would help me find someone I was friends with for 10 to 20 years. People just do it and talk about it all in vague terms that made me want to pull my hair out.

So I realized something that seems brutally obvious. I need to learn how to be a friend, like really learn. My discussions have helped but not in a way that makes a difference in my day to day interactions. It was time to hit the books! It was time to learn from people that know this stuff and have proven track records on the topic. I could learn something rather than assume I sucked for this not being natural to me. I could change my life rather than stick to what wasn’t working this whole time.

And this is the point! We all have blind spots, mine was how to make long lasting friendships (BTW, if you are curious one of my big problems was thinking everything in my friendships had to be 100% intense all the time. Apparently you can have friends where it is okay to coast too. Who would have thought? ;).  It would be great if I just knew how this worked naturally, as society in part tells us this very myth, but the fact is we don’t all just know everything.

Maybe your blind spot is in direct communication, or hugging your partner the way that really works for them, or maybe it is learning to start conversations, or how to have a fight. These are real life issues and we often assume we should just know.  Reading up, talking to people that are doing it right, and looking for role models that make sense to us is what learning as an adult is really all about.    We have weaknesses and we can either keep throwing ourselves against a wall or we can learn to build a way up over.

Let’s all use the widsom that is out there to better or lives. Learning in adulthood rocks once you get past the part that made you think you knew everything already to begin with!


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