Here’s the thing: A lot of us are lonely. Really lonely.
And making friends? As an adult? It can feel kind of scary.
Why does this matter? Well, Sherri Gordon on Very Well Mind cuts right to the chase:
“Research shows that after the age of 25, most adult friendships start to dwindle.1 Of course, some of this has to do with changing jobs, getting married, moving, and even having children.
“Forming meaningful relationships may be harder as you get older, but it’s well worth the effort. Good friendships have a myriad of benefits, including:2
- Better immune functioning
- Decreased risk of disease, illness, and injury
- Increased longevity
- Reduced stress
- Speedier recovery when sick.”
We want all that for you, so we’re here with some advice on how to make friends
Check out the people you work with
One great way to make friends according to Dr. Miriam Kiramyer, a clinical psychologist interviewed by Emily Burns for The Cut is:
“We all have workplace acquaintances that we know deep down could be something more. Dr. Kirmayer suggests taking the leap to growing those relationships. Find a common denominator you can bond over, like a shared hobby or interest! You don’t have to talk about work. “Making an effort to gradually open up about different parts of your life, that can help to deepen that sense of connection,” said Kirmayer. Talk about your life, what you like to do in your free time, etc. Perhaps set up a Zoom coffee chat with your fave colleague or schedule a hangout with the neighbor you always joke with in the hallway.
Very Well Mind has a slew of suggestions, but one that resonated with us is:
“Reach Out to Neighbors
“Many people don’t realize they have a potential friend living right next door or across the street. They give the courtesy wave and immediately close their door, not even trying to start a conversation. But there may be some really great friendships waiting for you right next door. So the next time you are both out, do more than just wave.”
And then there is . . .
You have to be brave (especially if you have social anxiety or are an introvert) to put yourself out there and ask someone to go have coffee or take a walk. It’s like dating. You can feel rejected. But even if you are? And they say no? Be proud. You were brave and that poor bugger is missing out.
Friendship is hard and it takes work. Friendship isn’t about instant gratification. It’s about time and connection. It’s about sticking it out even when your friend is a twerp. And social media? It makes us feel connected and isolated all at once because it takes up a lot of time that we used to use for hobbies and hanging out in real time.
I think our favorite piece of advice is actually from Psychology Today where Andrea Brandt writes:
“Seek, and you will find
“You know how you won’t meet new people? By living every day like it’s identical to the previous one and not mixing up your routine at all. A strategy with a high-return rate is to go places or do things you enjoy and see who you meet there. If you like to read, join a book club. If you’re more physically oriented, join a gym or take a class in a new sport: golf, tennis, tai chi. The more it involves interacting with other people, the better.”
So there you go. Be brave. Look for people. Reach out.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
We have a new puppy in the house. Sparty could chose to be friends or not. He’s still deciding. Sometimes it’s okay to be picky.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!