It’s possible to make friends as an adult?
As an adult, how to overcome the challenges that arise on the path of new friendships.
In elementary and high school, you can make friends instantly, by simply exchanging dinner or taking the bus together. Subsequently, however, as we begin to explore the world, our large pool of friends begins to melt like snow in the sun. The loss of friendships is particularly felt in times of transition, including moves, the arrival of a new baby or a new lover, a career change, a separation and the departure of children from the family nest.
“Friendships are formed automatically when you are a child. At this stage of life, we have a critical mass of people who have the same age and the same interests as us around us. Things get complicated in adulthood, ”says Andrea Bonior, PhD, author of The Friendship Fix: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Losing, and Keeping Up With Your Friends and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology from Georgetown University in Washington.
Overcome the feeling of embarrassment
Suppose you meet a new neighbor and instantly connect with her, such as joking that you both have poor tennis skills. The idea of giving her your cell phone number in case she has questions about the neighborhood crosses your mind, but a doubt assails you and you finally drop. You don’t want to seem overly engaging, because you tell yourself that she might try to avoid you the next time she sees you. You are afraid of spoiling everything. You prefer to wait to meet the person a few times before offering them your number.
According to Ms. Bonior, in such a situation, you should not be afraid of the feeling of embarrassment, because everyone feels the same. In the case of meeting with your neighbor, you could have told him that you feel a little uncomfortable giving him your number, that you almost have the impression of asking him for an appointment. Ms. Bonior suggests finding a way to present things with humor because it can be “profitable” to overcome your embarrassment.
Arm yourself with confidence
You can find potential friends at work, but a lot of people are reluctant to get close to their colleagues naturally, because they assume they don’t really have time for it. “You know, it’s really easy as an adult to find that you are too busy, to doubt yourself, to feel embarrassed because you think you are old and without friends,” explains Ms. Bonior. In reality, making such negative comments can create more anxiety and make it even more difficult to meet people.
Take off from your screen
Even if your phone can be used as a safety net when you are alone at a social event, it is better to avoid distractions in such a case so as not to miss the opportunities available to you to chat. In addition, it is best not to have too high expectations for spontaneous conversations. Whatever the topic that feeds your impromptu discussions (be it the weather, the pizza or a random observation), these will be the first step towards more serious discussions, according to William Rawlins, PhD, author of The Compass of Friendship and professor of communication at Ohio University.
While new friendships can emerge from social media chatter, nothing can replace the rich experience of meeting face to face. “When we have someone in front of us, it allows us to see the kind of energy that the person gives off, to hear the sound of their voice, to observe the way they behave, to hear their laughter and see his gaze. This allows us to get an idea of the kind of connection we could have with this person, ”says Rawlins.
Discover your community
Meeting people is a bit like playing the lottery. But don’t put yourself under pressure. As Ms. Bonior explains, the more you cross paths with other people doing what you love – whether it’s walking with your dog at your favorite park, attending your workout weekends or even volunteering to support a good cause, the more likely you are to make friends. “If you start to frequent the same places and the same groups of people regularly, over time, you can recreate the kind of community that naturally formed when you were a child. Familiarity emerges from repetition, and familiarity flows from good feelings, on which good friendships are based, ”says Ms. Bonior.
Interesting Facts About Friendships In Adulthood
A study on the benefits of lifelong friendship published in Personal Relationships found that the number of people who can experience the same friendship difficulties as we do is generally underestimated. It is therefore worth trying to overcome these difficulties.
According to the same study, in order to promote health and happiness, relationships with friends are as important as family ties throughout life . “We expected the study to show that friendship has a positive effect on people, but we were surprised to find that it grows in importance over time,” says the lead researcher. the study, William Chopik, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University. “The importance of friendships never diminishes, so I suggest that you invest in those that you find most rewarding and that have the potential to stand the test of time.” “