You don’t need us to tell you that 2020 has been a terrible year. So terrible that even YouTube decided not to do a rewind! But if there’s one thing that has made this year a little bearable, it’s family, and friends who feel like long-lost family, no?
It’s no secret that friendships are the best! Having someone you can talk to, discuss your world domination theories with, laugh over silly films, and learn new things from is what makes friendship an absolute joy of life. Studies have shown that dosti is actually good for your dil, with friendships reducing “stress levels and releasing happy endorphins within the body.”
And much like good wine, friendships only get better with age! Adult dosti is less about cribbing about homework, and more about being each other’s #rideordie. Think about it! Aren’t the friends you made in college the ones who you still call at 4am to talk about your latest existential crisis? Friendships during young adulthood are “complex and meaningful” which allows for a “lot more self-disclosure and support between friends.”
But as we grow older, making friends isn’t that easy. It’s like when it's your first day of college with no old friends, or you’ve just moved to a different city for work. Your friends — the ones who know you the best and with whom you are most yourself — are far away, or at least, scattered throughout the world. They are making their own paths, and you are left humming “I’ll be there for youuuu….” How do you not feel lonely in such a scenario?
By recognising that friends come in all shapes and sizes! Geoffrey L Gief, a therapist and researcher, came up with an interesting classification of dosti. And no, not just Jai-Veeru and Rachel-Monica. He classified friends as “must, trust, rust, and just friends.” A must friend is a zaroori dost, the buddy you will call to confide your deepest fears to. A trust friend is, like the name says, someone you can trust. A rust friend is that chuddy-buddy who has seen you do so many embarrassing things that nothing fazes them anymore. And then, just friends who...are just friends.
The thing about this classification is that there is no hierarchy. So, there's no pressure of feeling like we don’t have enough friends. Which is handy when you need to scare the ghost of loneliness away! The good news is, dosti can come knocking at your door whenever. Whether you’re eight years old with a snotty nose in a playground or eighteen years old with a heavy backpack in an unfamiliar city.
So what can you do if you want new friends? Start conversations. Join a local club, meet-up or community. (Virtual works too!) Be open to different interests, make the effort and talk to all kinds of people. Remember your new friend doesn’t have to be your Best Friend Forever immediately. It can be someone you meet up, and have fun with too!
Like cycling, swimming, skating, and pretty much everything else in life, making friends is something that comes with practice. And don’t believe the #friends5ever IG stories too much haan. Everyone is learning how to navigate rules of dosti and make new ones.
Just remember, no one is born popular. (Not even Adele. Yepp!)