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Making New Friends Gets A Lot Harder As We Grow Up Because We Are Not As Open As We Were

Making New Friends Gets A Lot Harder As We Grow Up Because We Are Not As Open As We Were

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:

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  • 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.

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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.

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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.

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/ via unsplash.com

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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