Raise your hands if at least once, you’ve come across someone in real life or social media and think “Oh it’ll be great to be friends with this person… but they are so much younger than I am”.
Chances are your friends are in the same age group as you are. And if you’re slightly liberal, perhaps your youngest friends are 3-7 years younger than you. When I say friend in this context, I don’t simply mean an acquaintance or someone you follow you Instagram. I mean a real friend – someone who you talk to often, share interests, laugh and do life together.
Not many people have friends who are way younger than they are. And it isn’t any one’s fault. It’s basically the way society operates. Our earliest social interactions are often age – based, starting from nursery schools and sometimes right up to university where you have to be a certain age to get in.
You’re probably wondering what inspired this post. Three things.
First – a few weeks ago and totally out of the blues, I suddenly remembered a book I’d read at about the age of 9. It was an A5 thick spiral bound book and a collection of short stories – one of which was the story of a 17-year-old boy and his 7-year-old best friend! I’ll love to lay my hands on a copy of the book again to re-read the actual facts. But I recall thinking it was such a genuinely sweet and true friendship – and at that point longed to have such an older friend. They played basketball together, and while the younger chap talked about his school work and other 7-year-old issues, the older young man related his experiences with his first job and girlfriend stories. Remembering this story inspired me to write this topic down as a potential blog post.
Secondly, turning 28 last week made me realise that a lot of people around me are pretty much younger than me and doing so much amazing stuff in different spheres of life. It didn’t help that one of my readers sent me and sort of chipped in the words “Oh you’re old!”.
Thirdly and on the flip side another reader reached out to me and I was so pumped. She’s way older than me – possibly twice my age – but she said she loved my blog and was going to share it with her friends (in her age group) because she believed that despite our age difference, there was always something they could learn from my posts.
So I did a mini dance and finally decided to write this post.
Thinking about it, I also recall when I remember when we hosted the Career Workshop and someone said she’d have loved to attend – but imagined that the audience will be full of younger persons and she wouldn’t have a great time. Such a shame because having younger people and friends around you totally rocks.
Here are my top 5 amazing reasons to have younger friends!
1. Be a Mentor:
There’s something pretty amazing about acting as a mentor to persons younger than you, and showing them the ropes. This could be in different areas – career, relationships and life in general. There’s a huge chance that older people have gone through whatever insurmountable mountain younger persons think they have to deal with.
I read a funny story about how a young man had asked his older friend why we had to ‘dial’ numbers on a telephone – as opposed to just touch the numbers as we do on cell phones today. The older man – in a fit of amusement I imagine – responded explaining how telephone boxes worked in the past such that you had to put your fingers in the dial and turn it around. Funny right!?
By having career chats with younger people, I’ve met some amazing friends one of whom was my frolleague (a colleague + friend)!
Related: My Frolleague is leaving (+ Why Everyone needs a Frolleague)
2. Learn & Develop Your Interests
For people who will rather chill with only people their age, the not-so-good news is all the friends in your age group might be totally uninterested in learning about the one thing you’re utterly fascinated with. So if you insist on walking around with a chip on your shoulder and not integrating with persons younger than you, you’ll never learn these things or do the fun things you truly enjoy. So shake it off and go find some younger friends to share your fun!
Related: 5 Different Kind of Support Networks Everyone Should Have!
3. Keep Abreast with the Times
It seems like with each passing day, things change so quickly and life becomes slightly difficult to keep up with. Take technology for example! Except you’re such a techie, chances are that with age comes some lagging behind. You probably have had such experience with your parents trying to explain SnapChat or Instagram to them. I’m not even that old and I’ve personally found it so confusing. But my younger friends have attempted to come to my rescue! Asides technology, younger peeps also help keep your slangs, fashion sense, and music very up to date so you don’t feel left out from all the fun stuff.
4. No Mid-Life Crises
Seriously. With younger friends around you, some of their hype, and general enthusiasm is bound to rub off on you. There’s no room for you to sulk and moan about getting old and potential mid-life crises when there’s someone half your age who’s willing to drag you to the next ‘in thing’. I know that once I get to my 30s, I’ll probably make a conscious effort to surround myself with young exuberant people.
Related: Dear Adult, It’s Okay to Unleash Your Inner Child
5. Expand your Point of View
In today’s world, it’s easy for us to see things only from our point of view and experiences. One way to combat this is to ensure that we relate with a wide range of people across cultures and age! I’ve often heard older people say millennials are lazy and feel entitled. Such opinion will probably be shared only by people who have no millennials around them as friends or colleagues.
Oh and one piece of advice.
When relating with your younger friends, please don’t sit on your high horse. Because as you can see, it brings a whole lot of good to the older person. So avoid saying all those really annoying phrases like “In my days” or “when I was your age…!”.
Finally, having younger friends need not be confined to just our social interactions, but is also really useful even in professional settings.
What are your thoughts and what’s your friendship circle like? Are the more the younger or older friend. How old is your youngest friend and what’s the one thing you’ve gained / loved about that friendship.
Leave a comment – It’s always awesome hearing from you!
ps: Maybe I’m not that old. I just realised I’m classed as a Millennial even though I’m an 80s baby.
ppS: I finally installed a Google widget. So please follow me on Google + and please like our Facebook page. Both are on the side bar. Thank you!
Annie EjioforDecember 6, 2016 at 14:31
Thinking about it, it appears I don’t have much younger friends like you described – friends that I talk to often, share and do life with. My youngest (real) friend should be two years younger than me. Haha, that’s not so much younger! But I do have a lot of older friends (friends in the context you described). In fact, most of my friends are older. Some as old as six to eight years older than me. I learnt early in life from a friend, who happened to have more older persons as friends, the benefits of having such friends. Since then I have coveted such relationships.Just as important as it is to have these older persons as (real) friends, so it is to have younger persons, whose lives we can invest in. I particularly love the younger generation and I’m passionate about nurturing and mentoring them and can be forward about it a times.On a side note, Kachi, I’m officially asking, “Please, can you be my friend and mentor?” I’m serious about it. I have wanted to ask since your birthday and I have been subtly saying it everywhere… Okay. I’m taking it to “the other room.” 😄😄😊Very nice post. My first share, too! 😀Love, Annie. ❤❤
Oluwatoceen!December 6, 2016 at 22:52
Lool, I actually taught Kachee was your mentor. Nita Nita, your famzing skills sha. 😆😆
Annie EjioforDecember 7, 2016 at 00:36
😄😄😭 I’m learning from the best 😂😂😜 Official, official, mami 😀
AbbyDecember 6, 2016 at 15:15
I actually dont think I have younger friends per say, majority of my friends are in my age group, however I am really looking to develop friendships/mentorships with people older than I am, will be interesting to see life from their point of view.Xx
Kachee || KacheeTee.comDecember 8, 2016 at 16:58
I think it’s good to have older and younger friends – variety is the spice of life!.
pagesbyikeDecember 6, 2016 at 20:08
The slangs!!! That’s too important out miss out on.Lol! @ mid-life crises, tell me about it. On the other hand, what happens (hypothetically speaking) when your younger friends want to party till 6am and you REALLY want to go home at 10 PM to watch old episodes of The Office? Haha.I couldn’t agree more though, younger friends are great and like you said, showing superiority isn’t cool.Off to acquire more millennial friends!PagesbyIke.comFiction: Pa. Amos Adegbola Street (Short Story)
Oluwatoceen!December 6, 2016 at 23:04
Hey kachee! I really missed commenting on the blog. I was offline for a while and used any opportunity to check on the blog for updates.You should know I am a huge fan of Kacheetee.comMost of my friends are my age mates and I am seriously looking for ways to get older friends especially as mentors. I think I should deliberately start sowing seeds of friendship to younger people around me so as to reap older friends.P.S Happy belated birthday, I wish you many more years of continued awesomeness.Your first newsletter was awesome, I was very close to hitting the reply button but my curfew was over.Wonderful post as usual, you just have a way of working your magic. Please give me some of the magic to sprinkle on my blog. Lolthat internist.wordpress.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comDecember 6, 2016 at 23:09
I really considered emailing you to ask if I did something wrong! Lol. But I figured you got busy. TBH not like I have that many younger friends oh. But with the many benefits im open to it. I think I like your idea of being open to younger peeps to sort of reap older friends.Lol @ magic! I’m sure you have it already! Hope you’re good. 😘😘
EnimzDecember 6, 2016 at 23:45
If you consider yourself old, then I wonder what you expect people like me to say; hehehehe..at least you’re not 30 yet..lol. Anyways, I think I have a wider age span of friends..(Quite a number of younger ones..up to 5 years younger and more ) I don’t bother too much about the age gap, more bothered about similar interests. 😊😊
Kachee || KacheeTee.comDecember 6, 2016 at 23:50
Haha! You’re not old either! Yeah age shouldn’t be an issue at all. But you’ll be surprised many people think it is! Interests and other things matter more!Thanks for your comment- pleasant surprise!
EnimzDecember 6, 2016 at 23:54
Yeah!.. I’m also pleasantly surprised to eventually be able to comment after going through the ‘registration process’! hehehehe.. was worth it though!
Live In IbadanDecember 10, 2016 at 19:33
Funny enough, I don’t do friends of my age group because I am way very young…uhm, not too young and I feel people of my age…not all but most of them are way immature. So, I have mostly older friends from one year and above. I even have friends 30 years older than I am. Younger friends? Uhm, they most time seem dependent and I can relate as a mentor or guider.www.liveinibadan.blogspot.com
YemisiDecember 12, 2016 at 20:56
This year I made a friend who is 11 years younger than I am. At first I felt it was a bit weird. I’m not one to fuss over age and all but 11 years! Lol. But honestly, it’s been amazing knowing her. I doubt my 2016 would have been complete if I hadn’t met her. She’s so full of life and so very mature for her age, and we share a lot of things in common. It has also given me an opportunity to be able to sort of be a mentor to someone else without lording it over them. The age thing never even comes up. And honestly, she makes me want to be better and do better. So yes, it has been a mutually beneficial relationship.Lovely post as always, Kachee. Somehow you always make me want to drop a comment! It’s a beautiful community you have created here. More grease.https://musingsbyjas.wordpr…
SauniyaJanuary 9, 2017 at 16:29
Most of my friends are in the same age group as me. I also have a few people I consider as mentors and I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to make younger friends, be a mentor myself and expand my point of view in the same. Great points dear. Oh and by the way you are not old Kachee. Have a great week ahead :)xoSauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡