An established lifestyle, emotional and mental hurdles, and a lack of engagement in relationship building can make adult friendships…

An established lifestyle, emotional and mental hurdles, and a lack of engagement in relationship building can make adult friendships difficult for emotionally and cognitively mature adults.

When you are an adult, making new friends typically requires you to go through a more intensive procedure, such as joining a club, networking with groups, or participating in social events. For example, join a book club if you want to make new friends.

The fact that many adults have reached a point in their lives where they are satisfied with their chosen path makes it less likely that they will be interested in meeting new people and developing new connections.

Making friends is hard.
This is especially clear when people are adults and have already done a lot in their lives, like get jobs, start families, and build their social networks. During this stage, people also tend to have more meaningful relationships with those around them.

As a result of their greater wisdom and experience, adults often tread carefully when forming relationships with new acquaintances.

It’s possible that adults have a more nuanced understanding of the repercussions of social events, such as the demands made on their time and the hazards of some gatherings.

Adults may also have emotional and mental impediments to developing friends. After a succession of terrible experiences, someone may be less hesitant to open up and risk being harmed again.

So, how do we make friends?

Well, one advantage you have as an adult is that you understand your values and principles; let’s start there!

1. Be open about your values and principles.
We’re social beings who enjoy forming groups, but our hectic lives lead us to value those around us who make it easy to learn who they are through transparent communication.

2. Find people who share your values.
Locate a community of like-minded individuals, whether online, among your friends and family or at your place of work. Reach out to others, share what you’ve learned, and make progress collectively.

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
– Marcel Proust

3. Find people with other values who consider yours good.
You need to find mentors, look at your biases with the help of people who don’t share them, let go of many principles, and be willing to unlearn and relearn new values and ways of doing things after being shown better ones.

4. Invest in your relationships.
The time invested in a friendship is substantial. If you want it deeply enough, put as much time and effort into calls, check-ins, and chats as possible. Shared challenges and activities are great ways to do this.

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End note (aka: note to self)
Having close relationships with other people has a lot of benefits, and it is possible, though hard, to find and connect with new people in a meaningful way.

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