We often look back at our childhood or teenage years with rose-tinted glasses, thinking life was easier back then and so was making friends. But if we take those glasses off we remember that Junior Schools were often a harsh environment and Secondary School gossip brought us to tears more often than not.
The truth is, building friendships was just as difficult before our cerebral cortex was fully developed. It was just a different kind of difficult…
As teenagers, when we felt sociable or energetic, friendships came easy but often changed easily too. Then we leave school, get married, create a family, move overseas or work ourselves up the career ladder. Life becomes more demanding, as a result our old friendships either evolve or dissolve. Often the latter applies.
Fact is, as grown-ups, we need meaningful connections and close friendships more than ever. When life gets tough they keep us grounded and give us stability.
A study from the University of Kansas found that two people generally need to spend 90 hours together to become friends, and 200 hours to call it a close friendship.
That’s a lot of coffee dates, brunch sessions or yoga classes ….So how do we fit this all into our busy schedules and where do we start?
Here are our 5 tips to build friendships as an adult
1. Be open-minded!
So you want to find new friends but are too shy to join the local runners club, the gym or a reading circle. How about using technology to your advantage. Apps like friendrequest help you find like-minded people in your city with a click of a button. You can have a few in-app chats and then make plans to take the conversation offline.
2. Don’t just be interesting, be interested!
Now that you decided to meet in person you want to make sure your conversation goes smoothly. So what do you do? LISTEN, SEEK SIMILARITIES, and be SUPPORTIVE! Clicking with people is a lot less about you and a lot more about focusing on them. Studies have shown that being likable can be as easy as listening to people and asking them to tell you more.
3. Be vulnerable!
Open up. You don’t have to go full TMI right away, but showing your vulnerable side helps the other party to trust you. Putting yourself at “emotional risk” tends to make other people being more open themselves. Nobody becomes best friends by just discussing the weather…well, you get the idea.
4. Be active together!
If you’re too nervous to get straight into heartfelt conversations over coffee, then suggest an activity you can do together. This will give you something to talk about and manifest your time together. On friendrequest you can book your activity directly in your chat. Maybe go and see a comedy show or take an art class…there are endless options.
5. Don’t be a stranger! Prioritise your friendships.
The most important thing about friendship is being a good friend yourself. Your vibe attracts your tribe. The better you are at being a reliable friend, the bigger the chance your new friend will do the same. So make the time, try not to reschedule to many meetings and check in with each other regularly.
Start finding new friends today. Sign up on friendrequest