For most of us, our friendships stem from a childhood connection, similar interests, or a shared friend group—rarely do we ever take the time to pause and reflect on how our inner circle may be affecting our lives. Because make no mistake: There’s truth to the saying “You are who you hang out with,” and we should all be surrounding ourselves with people who genuinely care about and want the best for us.
The problem with this? Making friends as an adult is easier said than done. Our busy work schedules, family commitments, and love lives often leave little room for mingling or the energy to nurture the connections we already do have. Enter: manifestation. We’re sharing everything you need to know about it, how you can apply the principles of manifestation to your own life, and how you can manifest better friendships.
What is manifestation and how can it affect your friendships?
The term “manifestation” refers to the process of making your dreams and goals a reality by putting positive intentions and beliefs out into the universe. This is often done through journaling, using positive affirmations that focus on what you’re trying to manifest, and releasing harmful, negative, and limiting self-beliefs.
When it comes down to it, what you think—consciously or subconsciously—is what you attract. So it only makes sense that your thoughts and beliefs affect all areas of your life, from jobs to friendships and everything in between. For example, if you believe that you can’t rely on anyone else but yourself, you will manifest friendships where you can’t rely on one another. But on the other hand, if you believe that your friends always have your back, you’ll end up surrounding yourself with people who will pick up the phone when you call them out of the blue at two in the morning.
The good news is that we’re all capable of changing our conscious and subconscious thoughts and beliefs in order to manifest what we want. And with the right steps, you can shift your mindset and manifest better friendships in your life.
4 steps to manifest better friendships:
1. Be the friend you want
One of the biggest misconceptions about manifestation is that the universe will deliver what you want so long as you put it out there. The fact of the matter is that you still have to work for it, which is exactly why you need to embody the kind of friend you want. Think about how you show up for your friends and whether there’s anything you could improve on, like reaching out more to offer support or to chat for fun, following through with plans to see each other when you’re busy, and so on. Doing things like this is going to inspire your friends to mirror your behavior, and you’ll end up manifesting better friendships in turn.
2. Let go of negative self-beliefs about friendships
In case you haven’t heard, friendships are good for the soul. Friends hold you up when you need it most, offer life advice that’s both eye-opening and questionable at times, and enrich your life tenfold. Friendships are a good thing, but you’ll never have a positive and supportive one if you’re holding on to negative beliefs about them. So, let go of the idea that you can’t trust your friends or that they don’t have your back and instead trust that you can count on them. Recognize that you don’t have to do everything alone and that your friends love you for who you are. Whatever the case may be, letting go of these negative beliefs once and for all will make room for your friendships to flourish.
3. Put yourself out there and say “yes” more
There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody, but turning down invites and keeping to yourself during your free time is not going to improve your friendships or help you make new friends. You have to put yourself out there! So, say “yes” to catch up over drinks, invite your girls over regularly, and make the trip to visit a friend who lives out of state. Putting yourself out there is going to open up the door for new possibilities in your friendships and give you the chance to make iconic memories together. Likewise, getting out more will also increase the likelihood of meeting someone you could hit it off and forge a strong friendship with.
4. Accept yourself and your friends for who they are
We all have insecurities, but nourishing the relationship you have with yourself and learning how to accept yourself exactly as you are can help. Practicing radical self-love (taking concrete, intentional actions that support all areas of your well-being, happiness, and growth) will give you the courage and confidence to be fully authentic in your friendships and in turn encourage your friends to do the same. Not only will this create a safe space for your friendships, but it will also help them bloom because you’ll both feel comfortable opening up to one another and fully being yourselves.
How to manifest better friendships if…
You want to improve your current friendships…
There was likely a time when you constantly updated your closest friends about the happenings in your life and vice versa, and chances are that all stopped as you got older and busier. But there’s no reason why you still can’t communicate regularly, regardless of what you’re juggling. So, text or call them if something exciting happens, reach out to congratulate them on an accomplishment you saw on their social media, and so on. What you nurture will grow, and making an active effort to connect regularly is going to help strengthen and improve your friendships.
What’s more, when you’re close to someone, having a genuine, positive, and loyal friendship naturally becomes easier. Likewise, prioritizing your friendships shows that you aren’t taking them for granted; you know and value what you have. So in addition to communicating regularly, be sure that you’re also making an active effort to see your friends face-to-face—and yes, that includes saying “yes” more often.
You want new friendships…
Making friends as an adult can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. Start by focusing on what you want in a new friendship. Visualize what your ideal friendship looks like. Do you share the same hobbies? What do they like to do for fun? Do they prefer staying out or in? What kind of activities will you do together? Specificity is key here because it’ll help you get intentional about your manifestation.
Once you’ve done that, prioritize getting out and about regularly. Opt for an in-person yoga class over a virtual one so you can stay and chat with others afterward, or strike up a conversation with a fellow classmate or co-worker and accept the happy hour invitation. Likewise, find groups where you can connect with like-minded people. This could be anything from a Facebook group, neighborhood community board, or a wine and sip paint class. There’s an endless amount of ways you can meet new people, but it all starts with putting yourself out there.
You don’t know how to open up…
No matter how extroverted and authentic you are, opening up to others is usually easier said than done. After all, the idea of being vulnerable only to be met with judgment, criticism, or rejection is not a pleasant one. But vulnerability plays a key role in friendships, and it isn’t something that should be discounted.
The good news is that you don’t have to go from 0-100 overnight. Instead, start with baby steps. Practice being true to yourself by honoring your feelings in conversations. If someone asks how you’re doing, answer honestly instead of saying “I’m fine.” Talk about things that matter to you with your friends (think: work, politics, etc.) and don’t brush off or minimize your feelings. You may not share the same views on everything and that’s OK—discussing these kinds of topics will help you become more comfortable opening up and being true to yourself. Also, remember that being open goes both ways. Make sure you’re actively listening to what your friends are saying and demonstrating a genuine interest in them and their lives as well.
Taking these steps to learn how to manifest will help you break down your walls, and opening up will become easier eventually. It may take some time and that’s OK—Rome wasn’t built in a day. You don’t have to share your deepest darkest secrets right off the bat in order to be a good friend. Give yourself permission to start slow, and practice radical self-love so you can learn how to be genuine and open with yourself and others.