July 20, 2022
Remember how easy it was to make friends as a kid? It was as if you could walk up to anyone and instantaneously become best friends with them.
But for some reason meeting new people and making new friends as an adult seems more challenging than ever. Sometimes, it feels near impossible.
But there are several reasons for this.
You are not alone if you’ve lost touch with most of your friends. One study in 2016 suggests that people’s connections with others start to decline after 25 years of age.
As we get older, our priorities and responsibilities evolve, and with the combination of work, finances, family life, to-do lists, and our relationships, it can feel that all these things compete with each other for time and attention.
Unfortunately, our relationships with others can often slip through the cracks over time.
Think about how often you’ve canceled a meeting with a friend because something came up. Life happens, and whether the excuse is legitimate or not, our friendships are the easiest to put on hold. When this habitually happens, the relationship ties become weaker and weaker.
Friendships are investments that take time and effort.
In a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the average adults need to invest 50 hours with another person to consider them a casual friend and about 200 hours for the other person to be considered a close friend.
It goes without saying that time should be allocated to develop our relationships with other people. The more meaningful the relationship, the more attention it may need, and with our busy schedules, it can definitely be an obstacle in making time.
Having good and healthy relationships makes us healthier and happier.
Dr. Robert Waldinger, a Harvard researcher and the fourth director of the longest study on happiness, says, “While many young people tend to think that fame, fortune, and hard work will bring them happiness, it’s actually our social connections that are the most important to our well-being.”
Positive relationships provide emotional support that can help us get through difficult times. They also are an excellent source of encouragement and motivation and boost our sense of self-worth.
These types of friendships positively influence our lives.
But if you struggle to make friends or keep them, know it is not too late.
The best course to start making friends is to start connecting with others.
Meeting new people and making new friends can be intimidating. But to support our overall well-being, we should invest time towards creating positive relationships with the right people.
Forcing yourself to start talking to people can be a significant source of anxiety. But meeting and talking to new people doesn’t have to be a big networking event. It can be a simple gesture toward someone that lets them know and feel acknowledged.
We can start small without forcing ourselves to cast out our entire friendship net. After all, we wouldn’t want to discourage or prevent you from going out there.
To start connecting with people, you can start with:
Along the way, you may come across people who won’t reciprocate your friendly gestures, and that’s okay.
Don’t give up!
Making new friends is not impossible.
With just a little courage and resilience, you could be on your way to connecting with others, making new friends, and developing yourself and relationships.