WHY IS IT SO HARD TO MAKE FRIENDS AS AN ADULT?

Some nuggets of wisdom, some questions I’ve asked myself and things I’ve learned.

Three years ago I wrote an entire blog post on the topic of making friends in your 20s but deleted it before it ever saw the light of day. I was so concerned people would think I was the social-equivalent of a skunk, and that I would just repel even more people by sharing my struggle.

Side note: did you know that skunks live as solitary animals other than in the winter when they tolerate the company of other skunks for warmth??? I digress.

The point is, I know what it’s like to want to have more friends but not know how to build a girl gang. I recall very clearly a conversation I had with my two oldest friends Talula and Jocelyn before I started class at Red River College. I believe I was 20 at the time. The way I saw it, they both had multiple groups of friends they could float between for a good night out. I had them and that was about it. I was somewhat jealous, and I expressed my frustration.

Was I weird? No, they assured me. I was just an acquired taste. I’d make friends in college. Sure enough, I met a few people in college I still keep in touch with to this day (see photo above).

If you’ve ever been scrolling social media and wondered: “Am I the only person who doesn’t have a f*cking posse of people to party with every weekend?” You are not alone. 

I am now two full years out from post-secondary education and am FINALLY figuring out how to make new friends. Take it from someone who thought they had the social skills of an animal that shoots stink out of it’s ass, it’s possible.

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I thought I’d share some nuggets of wisdom, some questions I’ve asked myself and things I’ve learned about making friends.

What kind of barriers are you putting up?

Looking back now, I acknowledge there were certain things that kept me from making new friends at various points in my life.

  • I had next to no confidence, so I always sort of assumed people were just talking to me just to be nice. I questioned their motives which IS SO DUMB.
  • I had a bad habit of avoiding making new friends because I dated a lot (live and learn amiright?).
  • I purposely avoided sports and group type activities.
  • I was really and truly too brutally awkward for words because I second guessed myself so much when I was 18 and 19. I cringe when I think back to some of the stuff I used to say to people I liked and wanted to be friends with.

What kind of people do you want to surround yourself with?

It has been said many times that we are the average of the five people we most associate with. Do you want those people to be responsible, kind, smart adults who are pursuing their passions? Or are you gonna hang on to those people who treat you poorly and wring you dry by encouraging all the behaviour you’re trying desperately to grow out of?

Make the choice, you are 100% in control of this. I’ll lean on my favourite quote here and say “participate in your own life!”

If you say you’re gonna do it, do it!

“Oh Becky, so nice seeing you, we should grab a drink sometime? Next week and this week are like super busy for me but maybe sometime before {insert whatever season it is} is over?”

Becky likely sees right through your wishy-washy bullshit. That kind of non-commital talk makes you look flaky, but for some reason I feel like…we all do it?

Why not just say – it was nice meeting/seeing you! *awkward pause* and be on your way. No need to pretend. Also, if you take their card or something and forget to email them then realize later – that’s on you. It’s never too late though….be sincere, apologize and give it a go. If they don’t reply, cut your losses and take the L. At least you tried.

Are you actually putting yourself out there?

REJECTION SUCKS. This is not a new concept.

However, if you actually want to make plans with someone, you can’t be afraid to follow up. If they don’t hit you back, no harm done, at least you tried! Don’t be put off just because someone is busy.

You’ll usually be able to tell if the person is making an effort to hang out, or if they are blowing you off because they never really expected you’d follow up in the first place and they are just trying to be nice. Insert upside down smiley face emoji here.

Are you actively trying to meet new people?

This is the part where you’ll need to talk to strangers and maybe make an ass of yourself a bit. Find comfort in the fact that at least you’ll be talking to strangers who like the same stuff you do. For example, I met so many awesome people I really enjoy seeing every week at the bootcamp I go to, which gave me the confidence to start two book clubs.

On the professional development side, I make a point of using social media as a connecting point rather than as a way of catching up on what everyone from high school is up to. I’ve met some really awesome people (who you might see featured on this blog soon enough muahaha) by reaching out to them on Instagram, and asking them to grab a coffee — no shame in the game. I slide into the DMs in a non-creepy way, I swear.

I also am trying to go to more industry networking events (to meet other PR people), and joining things like the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Winnipeg program to meet other likeminded people. I’m very fortunate to have an employer who appreciates that I like doing professional development type stuff, and wants to support me. Never hurts to ask!


Oh by the way, I am still friends with Talula and Jocelyn. See Insta above.

This probably doesn’t need to be said, but if you’re already a person who has a tough time making friends, don’t stress about the number. Besides, come wedding time your wedding party will be smaller and save you some paper. Yaaaaaaas chocolate fountain here I come.

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HOW I’M REPLACING SERIAL MONOGAMY WITH SELF-LOVE

After too many relationships in a row, I decided to stop dating for a year as a new years resolution. Then I talked about it on national radio. (Originally posted Jan. 2018)

Did I ever, in a million years, think I would be writing a piece like this for the internet to read?

Hell to the NO. Hard no. Absolutely not.

I do my best to be vulnerable when I write blog posts. I believe the most relatable and real writing is a byproduct of having the courage to be seen in an authentic way.

With that being said, that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary. While my words seem confident on the screen, that doesn’t mean my hands don’t shake when I write them. Fear still crashes over me in waves, I just try not to let it carry me away.

But nothing could have prepared me for the vulnerability hangover I had after my interview on CBC’s Now or Never.

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Ify Chiwetelu! And me! At CBC Manitoba! AM I DREAMING?!

Let’s rewind to January 1, 2018.

I wrote down a bunch SMART goals for 2018 in my journal, but there were really only two that stuck out to me as resolutions:

  1. Do as much dangerous stuff as humanly possible (too bad I can’t go BASE jumping in Winnipeg).
  2. Don’t date.

The first resolution I shared with people who asked me if I had any resolutions because I thought it was funny. The second one I only shared with a few friends and family, and when I did, I got a lot of mixed reactions which made me nervous.

I never had the intention of getting on a national radio show and telling my story, but here I am. Telling you to listen to my interview with the amazing Ify Chiwetelu, still absolutely terrified.

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My BFF (who is a producer at CBC), told Trevor and Ify about my blog and my resolution. My immediate reaction was heck ya! Cool! This is an opportunity to be vulnerable in a new format!

Then the dread set in.

I know from experience that if there’s something people have strong opinions about — it’s dating. And love. And sex. It’s also something I’ve historically had a lot of trouble with. For me, there’s generally been a lot of pain, struggle and embarrassment around the topic.

A lot of, “what kind of person can’t be alone for longer than four months?”

As much as the interview is about abstaining from dating, to me, the entire resolution is really about what I’m choosing to do with this opportunity to be alone.

To be clear, I have no regrets about anything that has happened up until this point. I’m just taking stock of where I stand and deciding where I want to go from here.

I have no hard and fast rules around this whole thing (other than staying off dating apps) and that really seems to bother people. Rules, and labels, are often created or used so others can feel more comfortable. For once in my life, I’ve given myself full permission to not give a flying fudge about what anyone thinks about this particular adventure I’m embarking on.

Everyone’s gotta make decisions based on where they’re at and what they’ve gone through — I’m just doing me. Please don’t leave comments describing hypothetical situations asking what I’d do. First of all, my mom has probably already asked. Second, I’ll say the same thing I said to her: “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”

When it comes to dating and how I see myself, I’ve carried enough shame in my life to sink a ship. That shit is heavy. I’m ready to put it down.

You can read the blog post I wrote for the CBC blog  here.


I don’t really know how to end this, so I’ll just say that this song says it all.

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WHY DO WE BECOME MEAN GIRLS?

Unpacking why we hurt and hate on each other.

No matter what the trigger might be — I think we all go to a judgemental place inside ourselves sometimes. We can’t help our knee jerk reactions to certain things.

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However, what’s important is to figure out WHY. Where are the feelings stemming from? While I understand that we aren’t going to mesh with everyone, because of personalities, differing opinions or otherwise, there are certain crimes we commit against our peers that require a closer look.

For me, it started with having a friend in my life who would call me on my shit, and help me get to the bottom of why instead of immediately participating in the bashing session. It was the first time someone has stopped me in my tracks before I went “there.”

We NEED to hold each other accountable to be better. There’s a reason Tina Fey wrote this quote into the movies Mean Girls:

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CRIME #1: JEALOUSY

Admiration is healthy and motivating. Jealousy is your brain’s way of telling you something important.

Humour me, but I’m pretty sure it was this article in Cosmo that made me re-think jealousy. It’s worth reading.

Pay attention to envy. Sometimes it can remind you of your values/goals and how you’ve strayed from them. Sometimes it’s a sign that you’re putting money on the wrong stock and sometimes you just need a gentle remember that just because someone else shines doesn’t mean you can’t too.

I was jealous of people who appeared to be living their lives unafraid of what people think, and freely expressing themselves. Essentially, anyone who was confident and owning their life without fear.

WHY? Because I was scared of everything, most of all what people thought of me. I had always wanted to truly feel that way about myself but it never came naturally, so I put on an act of being confident without actually being able to walk the talk. This forced me to confront the fact that I had to dig deep and do the work to really and truly start accepting myself.

Ask yourself why, and keep asking variations of why until you drill to the core of why you feel the need to be jealous of someone’s vacation photos on Instagram, their new apartment or your co-workers promotion. It might be about as ugly as a colonoscopy, but knowing you don’t have cancer is worth the excessive amount of laxatives and discomfort.

Ok maybe that metaphor was a bit of stretch, but basically it’s an opportunity to look within yourself and maybe make some changes.

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CRIME #2: FEELING “FEMASCULATED” AND PUTTING OTHER WOMEN ON THE PERFECT PEDESTAL

Feeling femasculated is a term I first learned from the book F*CKED by Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson. The writer describes it as feeling like you aren’t feminine enough, sexual enough or hot enough. Hutchinson talks about her boyfriends’ girlfriend before they met (who was a pornstar), and says feeling this way has the ability to turn us into “ugly mean-girls.”

This is harmful for so many reasons, but most of all because we end up feeling like we don’t measure up when we build pedestals. It might lead to wanting to “cut that person down to size” and “who does she think she is?” thinking.

Usually, if not always, it’s about you — not them.

No matter what anybody says or does on Instagram, nobody is perfect nor are they claiming to be. That ‘perfect’ descriptor is something we put on people, usually on social media especially. Straight up, it’s not a healthy form of admiration because it’s not BASED IN REALITY.

Want to know the best way to immediately deconstruct the pedestal? Get to know someone and ask them out for coffee. Realize that they are also human, like you, and that they have feelings, flaws and baggage too. Realize there’s nothing wrong with the fact that you aren’t them, because you’re you. And you are enough in every way.

While putting someone on a pedestal might your initial reaction, it takes effort to look beyond that and unpack your thinking. It’s the only worthwhile way to work through this sort of reaction, especially when you are in an Instagram vortex feeling like garbage.

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CRIME #3: SLUT-SHAMING

This one is very near and dear to my heart because it is something I’ve realized over time that I’m SO NOT FUCKING DOWN WITH Y’ALL.

Not long ago, I found a note a friend of mine wrote me in high school, and it went something like this:

Is it true you like ______? Because I heard a rumour you do, and apparently you said it was ok because your boyfriend doesn’t go to our high school. Is it true? If it is, I don’t think you’re slutty, but other people might.

For the record, no I didn’t. I cried in my parents basement after I read that as a 24-year-old because I think it so perfectly encapsulates how slut-shaming starts young.

Here’s the thing: it’s healthy to check in with our friends and ask how they are feeling about their relationships and sex lives, especially if we think they might not be happy. But it should be coming from a place of empathy, caring and non-judgement.

It’s not helpful to use those conversations to feel superior about ourselves.

Like lots of other women, I dealt with crippling body image problems for most of life that still haunt me to this day. So when I used to see other woman freely loving and accepting their bodies and expressing their sexuality, instead of being like FUCK YA YOU GO GIRL – I silently judged. I was rude. I spit out monologues to my boyfriend at the time after scrolling through my social feeds.

And you know what? It didn’t make me feel any better about myself. In fact, it made me feel like shit.

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In my mind, slut-shaming is twofold: not only do we need to stop shaming each other for what we choose to do with our bodies, but we also need to stand up to those who try to shame us and put us in our place.

Because believe me, people will try (and some will succeed). Society has conditioned us from the dawn of time to believe that as women we need to be pure, demure and monogamous. Those expectations create pressure, and pressure creates shame. That’s one fucked up physics equation.

I think more than ever there are so many amazing female role models who refuse to take that shame, and shut it down.

Want to see a woman who refuses to be shamed? Watch Spike Lee’s reboot of She’s Gotta Have It on Netflix. Or the two women who host Guys We Fucked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast. There is an entire chapter of the book they wrote (the one I mentioned earlier) devoted to shame, and how prevalent it is in North American culture when it comes to sex.

My final note on this subject: just because you wouldn’t do something or something isn’t your cup of tea sexually doesn’t give you the right to look down on anyone else that has different preferences. Playing it fast and loose with our personal opinions has the ability to hurt other people — be careful and considerate. Nobody likes feeling judged, especially not your friends.


Please feel free to share this with your pals and spread the love.

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WHAT I LEARNED FROM GOING SOBER FOR TWO MONTHS

I have nothing against drinking. In fact, I get why people do it. This was 100% my choice and it wasn’t brought on by a bunch of binge drinking. Actually…quite the opposite.

The whole point was to shift my thinking so much that I’d never see it the same way again, and I think I was successful. Some of this stuff I already knew, and other things just became really apparent as the weeks went on.

Drinking after a hard day isn’t a given

“I had a rough day/week/month and I deserve this,” is something I definitely used to tell myself.

It’s SO socially normalized to feel entitled to binge drink when things are shitty because we want to forget about whatever’s causing the feeling. All we’re doing is using alcohol to take a break from whatever feelings are consuming us. In my case, I would then wake up hungover and usually more depressed than I originally was. It’s like hitting the pause button on life, HOWEVER, the movie’s still gonna be there for when you come back. Being dry forced me to work through some of my pent-up end of the week negative self-talk in a constructive way. I would go to yoga, put on a guided meditation, cook or bake, go for an insanely long walk outside in the cold, get food with a friend or hit a workout class. Laughing honestly helped more than anything.

I also rage-consumed an entire medium pizza to myself one night, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

Self-confidence doesn’t need to come from alcohol

If I was as confident as I am after five drinks in everyday life, pretty sure I’d own Google or Dominos Pizza by now. I didn’t realize how much I used alcohol to boost my self-esteem and quiet the negative self-talk in my head until I had to go out and meet people over and over again without that crutch.

Buzzed Raegan values herself, calls you on your bullshit and knows she looks good in that outfit, whereas sober Raegan seems to act and think like she’s a homely pile of bricks with nothing to offer.

I figured out I was using the drinks as an excuse to feel confident — almost like it wasn’t ok if I just felt that way about myself in everyday life?? Which is dumb??? Wow someone who likes themselves..how radical and different!!! Not allowed!!!!!!!!

But seriously though, it made me come to terms with the fact that I’m allowed to be ok with myself as I am, as weird as that sounds. I don’t need to hide it or blame it on the booze.

Aiming for mental/emotional sobriety is actually what matters

This basically means not just avoiding drinking, but any behaviour that numbs. For me, I found myself eating junk food to feel better instead of drinking. For some people, it might be shopping or swiping on Tinder. Being sober is about stepping away from those behaviours and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and feel what you’re feeling.

This might sound harsh, but If you’re feeling like ass it’s actually better to just accept it. Numbing is what we do when we can’t accept our bad feelings, or we want to feel only good stuff. We’ve gotta stop telling ourselves we are wrong for feeling sad, angry or heartbroken because these feelings are part of being human.  Forcing those things down or away is sort of like looking at inspirational quotes when you’re not in the mood — it makes your brain want to vomit.

We can’t be happy or feel great all the time. It’s literally just not how life works.

Weekends are awesome when your stomach doesn’t feel like a dumpster fire

I have IBS, which basically means that if I have over three drinks it’s going to feel like there’s a colony of seasick fire ants living in my stomach the whole next day. The first Saturday after I broke my dry spell I woke up and was immediately reminded of how shitty it is to be incapacitated by a stomach ache like that for an entire day. I know hangovers aren’t that intense for everyone, but even just the fact that I sleep like shit when I drink is enough to make me a grumpy bitch.

Drinking is way women are “supposed to” bond

I already knew this already from watching a CBC Documentary in 2016 called Girls Night Out but it was good to take a step back and think critically about alcohol and it’s larger function. Critical thinking and questioning usually isn’t best done after having a pint, which is arguably why we have the pint in the first place. Because if we really thought about certain things there would be a big ol’ well of #rage underneath.

Reality television, memes, alcohol advertising, Buzzfeed articles, innocent social media posts (like the Cosmo one above) and more all tell women that it’s ok to use drinks to let down our walls, bond, have a wild night, free ourselves of our hangups and tell each other crazy shit we’d never say sober. It’s literally engrained in us socially. Is it fun sometimes? Hell ya. But it’s truly not necessary if you’re friendships are built on mutual values, trust and girl power *insert sparkle emoji here.*

Drinking doesn’t need to be used to make a chill night even chill-er

Ok don’t stab me, but if you’re having a relaxing night in a glass of wine doesn’t really need to be involved. That’s literally just years of marketing and magazines telling you those two things are correlated.

Remember: just because you’re willingly staying home on a weekend doesn’t make you a grandma or mean you don’t like fun. I hate phrases like that after doing this 60-days-sober thing. I just fucking love sleep, ok? That doesn’t mean I’m 90.

When I would stay home and taking a bubble bath, I had to tell myself wine really isn’t necessary. In some cases, it’s ornamental (a.k.a a carefully balanced glass of wine on the edge of the tub in a hot-dogs-or-legs-style bath pic). In other cases, I was finding it really hard to unwind. The main thing I learned — that I already knew, but needed reminding of — is that sleep is amazing and restorative and has the ability to change your mood and improve your life more than a face mask and a glass of merlot. But the economy doesn’t make money off me getting nine hours of shuteye sooOOoooOOoo ya.


Just know that I’m not coming from a holier-than-thou place where I’m saying I’ll never drink again. In fact, I did miss good ol’ beer and wine during January and February, but I now fully understand the role alcohol plays in my life and that seriously outweighs my love of a good rosé.

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