Why is it hard to make friends as adults? (and wtf you can do about it!)

Something I hear A LOT is ‘why is it hard to make friends as adults’ or ‘making friendships as an adult is really hard’. My response is consistent ‘it isn’t, you just don’t know it yet’.

As an adult it is easy to put up a barrier to protect yourself or to make excuses so that you don’t have to feel uncomfortable. The bit that is ‘hard’ is to step out of your comfort zone, to make the first move and to put yourself in a vulnerable position where you could possibly be rejected.

“The first place to start when looking to build new friendships is building the love you give to yourself first. You need to consistently practice self care and self worth. This process will naturally build your self confidence and ease the fear of rejection. You will learn that you can rely on yourself and ultimately that really matters.”

Secondly, you need to go into how to make friends process with positive vibes. Sometimes you can get in your own way before anything real has happened. Don’t let made up fears stop you from going out and trying to meet new people, make new friends and build your social circle. There are many ways to make friends as an adult.

Here are the Top 5 excuses I hear why it’s hard to make friends as adults (and wtf to do about it!)

1. ‘I don’t have time’

Time as an adult seems to fly by…never enough hours in the day springs to mind. While juggling 8 hours sleep, full-time work, trying to be healthy, looking after family and keeping up a social life can be exhausting. The thing with time is that with a little bit of extra effort you can feel organised and open up new opportunities for yourself really easily.

What to do about it:

Pick a time dedicated to friends and put it in your diary, think of it as a friend time slot. Try to keep it at the same time each week and arrange everything else around it, tell your family/partner/friends about it and plan things in that time slot each week to look forward to. It can be as little or as much time as you like. Even if you can only commit to a couple of hours at first, something is always better than nothing.

2. I don’t go anywhere to meet new people

By having the ‘friend time slot’ you instantly open up plenty of opportunities to go to new places and to meet new people. This takes some effort and a step out of your comfort zone. If the thought scares you start small and gradually build up to bigger places that contain more people.

What to do about it:

If you’re wondering about places where I can make friends some examples include; starting a new hobby, going to a networking event or simply make an effort and catching up with friends you may have lost contact with. The biggest thing is to be brave and try new things. You will only benefit from it by learning what you do and don’t like.

3. I don’t really find anyone I want to be friends with

When meeting new people and making new friends you have to go in with a really open mind. Think about the people you may have previously met that you like and didn’t think you would. Opposites do attract and you should not judge until you have had a proper conversation with someone.

What to do about it:

It takes time to build a friendship so go into the process without judgement. Unrealistic expectations only hold you back from communicating and instead have friendship goals that are actually realistic.

4. ‘I’m scared I’ll run out of things to say or they won’t like me’

As adults, we are more worried about being rejected that we’d prefer not to take the risk in the first place. Simply making eye contact, smiling and saying ‘Hi’ is a great place to start. The best thing about being an adult is that usually, we are

What to do about it:

You have to remember others can be just as nervous when meeting new people as you are. Nerves can bring on things like too much talking, not saying anything or not giving eye contact. If you sense someone is more nervous than you lead the conversation. If you feel stuck for things to say ask the person you’re speaking to about themselves. People love speaking about themselves. It’s a great top tip to have some conversation starters and questions saved on your phone for those moments where you feel stuck.

My best advice for making friends as an adult is to let go of the made up fear and take risks. Be confident of yourself and say yes to new opportunities as you never know where they will lead you, I promise you won’t be lonely forever. Never be afraid to follow up a good conversation by asking to swap numbers or social media pages. Someone might be sent your way for a reason don’t let them slip away, you’ll only regret it.

Author: Gemma Scopes

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