How to make friends? When we were kids, having a friend was easy. All you had to do is approach a kid, ask them if they want to be your friend and that was it. However, as we get older, making friends becomes difficult and new friendships are rare for some. When you are an adult you must go out there and try to make friends.
Here are the main ingredients on how to make friends.
When you were a child, your best friend probably was in your class. The same rule applies to friendships formed later in life. Location matters. Your best friend is probably someone who works with you or someone who lives in the same area as you do. It doesn’t have to be the same neighborhood or the same office building, studies have shown that the same city will do the job. But the closer you are, the better.
Of course, people make friends online with people around the world. But researchers have suggested that these friendships lack depth and commitment when compared to friendships formed offline.
The location gives us opportunities for interactions. You have to be in a situation where you have a lot of opportunities for face-to-face communication. Again, this is the main reason why a school was so important for forming friendships. We had a chance to see our friends daily and spend considerable time with them. Still, there are many places and venues for grownups where we can make new friends. Gyms, volunteer groups, neighborhood bars or recreational sports teams are just some of the places where you can meet new people. Chances are that if you don’t go out, you won’t make new friends. This comes down to the basic principle of exposure where the things or people you encounter often start to grow on you.
Besides the location and opportunities, the next important thing is timing which is probably the trickiest element of forming a friendship. You need to be at the right place, at the right time to form a new friendship. You need to make time for coffees, dinners, nights out and it is a lot of fun, but it can be a lot of work as well. Do you have that time?
Once we are adults with jobs and after work obligations, we need energy and time to make new friends. Is it the right time in your life to make new friends? Maybe we met the right person, but we just don’t have enough time. Or the situation is similar for the other person. Not everyone has time, willingness and funds to create opportunities and time for new friends. Also, if you have more than enough friends, they take a considerable amount of your time when you might not have enough time for new people.
Location, opportunities, and timing are the main ingredients for forming friendships. However, countless other elements play a significant role in making friends. Some of those elements are social skills and personality. Do you have anything in common? If yes, you are more likely to become friends. Do you have social skills? Are you open in your communication with others? If yes, you will make new friends with ease.
It’s important to remember that we are not in school anymore and friendships are not just given. Making new friends is an effort once you have a full-time job and family. If you feel lonely, you need to reach out. If you want to have more friends, you are not alone. Many feel lonely and in need of a friend and all you need to do is go out there and start talking to people. If timing is right, you will find a friend that you might have for the rest of your life.