It kind of makes sense, that as we grow older it is much harder to sustain friendships, let alone make new ones. There are a number of reasons for this. First of all, as careers, relationships and kids become our priorities, there is simply not enough time to chill all day with our besties and talk about everything. Moreover, as we get more mature, we get pickier about who we spend our precious time with. Remember when you were a teenager, you could hardly count all the members of your squad? And now, you can barely have one person to talk to once a month. Yet, this doesn’t have to be the end of your social life. Even better yet, now it is the time to make true and closer friendships that will last for a lifetime. Let’s learn how.
The new old friends
In order to warm up for creating new friendships, you can try reconnecting with the old ones first. This doesn’t mean we have to call each and every person we met, no matter how much we liked them. We all know a couple of great people we used to hang out with, that we simply stopped seeing due to our busy schedules. Make time to make a couple of phone calls and see how they are doing. This could be beneficial in many ways:
- Firstly, you will be much more comfortable meeting new people once you start in the familiar ground.
- Secondly, you may make more honest and open friendships with those people now that you have matured and are ready for more meaningful connections.
- Finally, old friends have probably met some new people that could potentially be your new friends as well.
Now that you have made the first step with the old friends, it is time to make some new ones. Here are some suggestions as how to make genuine connection with people you meet.
Be interested rather than interesting
When found in a new social group, most of us would focus on being interesting so as to make people like us. This is fine up to a point, but, if we are looking for ways to connect with people on a deeper level, we should prioritize listening instead of entertaining. People like when they feel they are being heard and when others show honest interest in their thoughts, feelings and beliefs about anything. By actively listening to what someone is expressing, we would show that we are not shallow and narcissistic, but respectful and caring. Moreover, once we take an interest in other people’s lives, we would be much more able to find things we have in common and build on that as we move forward.
Put yourself out there
In order to get something, you have to be able to give something too. Don’t be afraid to share some of your personal thoughts, feelings, or struggles with others. Being vulnerable will make you more human and people will respond to that. This doesn’t mean that you have to go around and tell all of your secrets to everyone who says “Hi!” to you. Once you meet people who you feel you can trust and have a lot in common with, feel free to be more vulnerable and share a bit more. This makes a bridge between good friends to very close friends. As we open up, we are letting people to truly get to know us, which makes us go from an acquaintance to a real human being in their eyes. Also, people will be much more willing to share their deepest feelings with us, as they will feel they can trust us and find a kindred spirit and a loyal friend in us.
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