No One Teaches you How to Make Friends as an Adult
Making new friends once you reach adulthood is different than when you were a kid
Friendships come and go, but how often do they come by as we get older? You have your childhood friends, your friends that you make from grade school, your friends from university (if you attended), and then you might make some friends at work. The proximity in which these environments allow you to interact with one another creates a perfect storm to make new friendships. But, what if we don’t like our coworkers enough to hang out with them outside of the office? Or the people that you work with are significantly older or younger than you? What if your classmates aren’t your cup of tea? What then? As adults, it’s an interesting journey to go through when finding people you want to hang out with or have in-depth conversations with.
Time is so valuable that people may not give you the chance to develop a close friendship. Not because they don’t like you, it can merely stem from the fact that individuals are just too occupied.
I still have my core group of friends that I made throughout grade school. We’re all in our mid-twenties and hang out on occasion. We’ll grab a bite to eat, maybe play some tennis or basketball, talk about some old times, and we’ll be on our way. It’s nice to have your circle of people around you, but what happens if you decide to move. That circle is still there, but now there’s a void in your life where, at least for me, I need to have at least one person that I can hang out with or confide to. How does one approach the discovery of new friends? I think you have to bring it back to the basics and find people who like the same things that you do. The rules and tools for making new friends are slightly different as you get older, but technology can be pretty beneficial in these scenarios. It’s not like you have to go out and talk to random strangers on the street or at a coffee shop. Now, some apps help you meet people with the same interests: meetups are held at different locations in your area, groups on social media can interact with one another online, and these niche communities bring people together that produce potential friendships like you would if every person in that group attended the same school.
If there’s one thing that I would focus on when it comes to creating friendships as an adult — it would be setting expectations of the friendship and understanding where each person is at in their life.
Any relationship you have will have areas of give and take. The better we can understand where a person is and how they operate, the better the interactions will be. Fewer feelings will be hurt between the people involved, which means more meaningful time to have different conversations and creating enjoyable experiences. This would be the perfect time to put our fantastic communication skills as people to the test; in a climate where individuals are so easily divided, making new friends as adults can be a daunting feat. If you can find the right people to enrich your life, it could be the beginning of the best memories that you carry with you. Friendships aren’t meant to bring you more stress and drama in your life. Leave that to the high school shows that are streamed on tv.