Did you know that the average adult says they have not made a new friend in 5 years? Like a real, legit friend. You may need to think about that for second – I know I did. Have I really made any new friends recently? Facebook doesn’t count, either
For a number or reasons, it gets harder to make friends as we get older. Bottom line – if you struggle making new friends as an adult, you are normal. That said, it’s an endeavor worth pursuing.
So how do we make new friends as we get older? A few quick tips – most friendships come from regularly seeing someone and engaging with them. This could be joining a class or group where you regularly see and connect with the same people.
Secondly, and this one is hard for introverts like myself, be the initiator. Sometimes we complain that no one comes and talks to me. But if we all just sat around waiting for the other person to start the conversation, we’d really be lonely. So force yourself outside of your comfort zone and initiate a conversation.
Finally, in your conversations with potential new friends, strike a balance between asking questions about them and talking about yourself – too much of either, is not always good.
Bonus thought. I always tell my kids this: “If you want friends, you have to be a friend.” Be friendly, be nice, and look to help others.
Here’s to new friends!
*Eric Allen has his Masters in Counseling. When he’s not on B105.7, he works as a private practice therapist*
Photo credit: Getty Imagesjacoblund/