If you check your social media feed, you will find that you can be connected with a lot of people. But how many of those people are your friends? Perhaps not much. Some of your relationships are professional colleagues. Some are people you’ve known for a long time or distant relatives that you’d like to be able to track down. There are still others who may be people whose updates you follow, but which you personally don’t know. Only a small number of those relationships actually qualify as friends.
Among them, most likely those relationships are people you met in the first 20 years of your life. As you get into the habit of working, your social circle tends to narrow. If you get into a romantic relationship, your circle will narrow even more. And if you have kids, you may find that most of the other adults you know are parents to kids your age.
However, there are many rewards to having at least a few friends who are not directly related to your primary responsibilities (such as work and family). There are a few ways to make friends as an adult — even during a pandemic, when your social circles may be shrinking.
One of the difficulties many adults have when trying to make new friends is that they want to make friends with everything else they’re doing. But, life is inherently quite busy with work and other responsibilities.
If you don’t take the time to make friends and develop new friendships, you won’t be surprised how small your circle of friends is. Instead, you must clear the time. Look at your schedule. What can you move? Do you have time for other activities that you could use to call friends or go out to do something? Can you negotiate time with other people in your life to prioritize spending time with friends?
If you’re not used to having a lot of friends anymore, you may really need to remind yourself to interact. Set a time on your calendar for a phone call or plan to go out for a cup of coffee or do something together. As an adult, your life gets busy, so scheduling time with friends is an acknowledgment of the complexity in your life, not a sign that you’re up to something. that you don’t really want to do.
You may feel guilty about spending time with other loved ones or away from the responsibility of developing friendships. In the long run, your happy memories will be based on the experiences you have with other people — including your friends. On top of that, having places to energize you outside of work and family can help you bring new energy into those aspects of your life.
Engage common interests
A common approach to adult friendships is to align them around a common interest or activity that goes beyond the concerns of the significant other people in your life. Having other friends with similar interests (souvenir photography, cooking, coin collecting), sports (golf, tennis, football) or hobbies (theater, music, TikTok) is one way to spend time with others while engaging in an enjoyable activity . Social organizations and religious groups also provide places to find people with shared values.
In addition to engaging in activities with others, add some time before, during, or after activities to chat. It’s great to have people in your life with whom you share the same interests, but it’s better to…
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