Some people find it easier to make friends than others. But regardless of how social you are, making new friends as an adult is far more difficult than it was when you were younger and in school. Have you found this to be true in your own life?
Why is Making Friends So Hard?
As humans, we’re created to be social creatures. Even the most introverted of individuals thrive when they’re able to interact with other people. But as you transition from adolescence to adulthood, making friends becomes a bit more challenging. Here’s why:
Family obligations. As an adult, you have a lot more family obligations. Not only do you have a relationship to maintain with your spouse, but you also have kids who each have their own needs, activities, and social lives. You may also reach a point where your parents need to be cared for, which requires even more of your time.
Work. There are 168 hours in a week. The average person spends at least 40 of these hours working and another 50 or so sleeping. Throw in household chores and projects, and you have less than half of the week free.
Lack of structure. If you think about it, school is the perfect setup for making friends. You’re surrounded by the same people, who are the same age and live in the same general area. You spend seven or eight hours a day with them for years at a time. Once you finish school, this structured environment falls apart and you’re suddenly surrounded with new people of different ages and backgrounds. Friendships can still be formed, but they don’t come as naturally.
3 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult
While your life certainly isn’t as conducive to making friends now as it was in your younger days, this doesn’t mean you have to spend your weekends sitting at home, binge-watching Netflix.
The following tips will help you make friends more easily.
Join Local Organizations
Friendships are best forged within some sort of structured environment. It’s why we tend to make friends with people we go to school with, work with, or play on sports teams with. If you’re having trouble making new friends, join an organization and become an active participant. Examples include: fraternal groups, business networking groups, churches or religious organizations, sports leagues, and hobby groups.
Try Social Activities
Generally speaking, men and women make friends in different ways. Whereas women can strike up a conversation and build friendships on the spot, men typically need an activity to create a friendship around. Try some social activities – such as the following – and you’ll cultivate a few friendships along the way.
Cigars. Smoking cigars is more than something you do – it’s a social activity with an entire culture behind it. Getting involved in this tight-knit community will open up avenues for new friendships. Buy a sampling of cigars and see if this is something you might like doing.
Craft beer. Much like cigars, the craft beer niche has quite a following and culture attached to it. Find some breweries in your area that you like and you’ll start to see some familiar faces.
Sports. Whether watching or playing, sports often bring guys together. Golf is a great sport to play because it’s set up in a way that you can play competitively, while also having time to leisurely talk and build friendships with your playing partners.
Use Mutual Connections
Your current friends may be your best resource for making new friends. Not only do they know you and have a good gauge of your personality, interests, likes, and dislikes, but you know them. You have reason to believe they’re a good judge of character.
If you’re moving to a new city, ask around and see if you have any mutual connections in the area. This is a great opportunity to expand your social group and get connected.
Make an Effort
You can’t make new friends if you don’t put forth some effort. While you may experience some uncomfortable moments, you’ll ultimately be rewarded with mutually beneficial relationships that add meaning and purpose to your life.
Are you ready to put yourself out there?
This post made possible by site supporter Larry Alton.
Photo credit: Pixabay