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Why making friends in adulthood is so hard: three problems and how to overcome them

Zoreslav SeredaLife
Why making friends in adulthood is so hard: three problems and how to overcome them

Finding friends in adulthood can be quite difficult, and many people face the problem of loneliness, which can negatively affect the mental and physical state of the body.

The Conversation explains what prevents people from making friends in adulthood and how to overcome these problems.

It is noted that it is quite easy to find a friend at school, for example, during games. However, it can be much more difficult to make, develop, and maintain friendships over time.

And this can be considered a significant problem, because humans are social beings and need to communicate. Old friends may move away, turn their attention to family or career, and simply have no time to communicate.

This can lead to loneliness, and this is a serious problem that should not be taken lightly. Studies have shown that chronic loneliness can be so harmful to health that it is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

And this problem was reaching epidemic proportions even before the spread of COVID-19. After the introduction of quarantine restrictions, the situation has only worsened. It is emphasized that in adulthood, there are three main obstacles that prevent people from making new friends.

The challenge of trust

During the surveys, researchers found that the most common problem among adults that prevented them from making new friends was a lack of trust. In other words, it was difficult for people to fully open up to someone new and lay the foundation on which future friendships would be built.

This explains the fact that many people try to keep their old circle of friends as long as possible, because these people have been tested by time and gained trust over the years. The survey also revealed that women have a harder time finding new friends than men, as they find it difficult to trust new acquaintances.

Why making friends in adulthood is so hard: three problems and how to overcome them

This phenomenon is explained by the fact that adults have much more self-awareness than children. Of course, this is not a bad thing, but they weigh the risks more, they are afraid of being judged or potentially harmed.

In addition, this is influenced by life experience, because if a person's trust has been abused in the past, it will be much harder for them to let someone else into their life.

Friendship takes time

"Lack of time" was the second most common reason after "lack of trust" when people were asked why they found it difficult to make friends as adults.

It is clear that as an adult, you have much less free time, as you have to work, deal with daily routines, etc. Of course, with a busy schedule, it's hard to build friendships with someone you don't know.

Even if you meet a potential candidate who could become a great friend, you may not have enough time to do so, and building trusting relationships is a long process.

Why making friends in adulthood is so hard: three problems and how to overcome them

Of course, the amount of time it takes to become friends varies from case to case. However, American researchers tried to determine this. The research yielded interesting results, and it turned out that it takes about 50 hours to move from an acquaintance to a friend. But it takes more than 200 hours to become a close friend.

Of course, this doesn't mean just spending time together mechanically, like communicating at work or the like, but a personal connection. It is not necessary to organize hikes in the mountains, just a frank conversation about what is bothering you and jokes are no less important in this process.

Individual characteristics

There are many other obstacles that prevent us from having the friendships we want. One of them can be an introverted personality type, such people are characterized by a certain isolation, so it is very difficult for them to start new close relationships.

The category of individual characteristics can also include health problems, personal insecurity, or a desire to maintain a certain status and keep potential friends away.

Surveys have also shown that older people are more likely to cite illness as an obstacle to expanding their social circle. Among young people, the most common reason was isolation and fear of rejection.

Why making friends in adulthood is so hard: three problems and how to overcome them

How to overcome obstacles

It is possible to break down psychological barriers in adulthood and build new and lasting friendships. Do not assume that loneliness is inevitable with age. However, you need to work on yourself to remove internal barriers to new acquaintances.

Build friendships for ten minutes a day. To lay the foundation for a new friendship, you don't have to climb mountains together or communicate intensively through a common hobby. A simple conversation lasting 10 minutes a day will be enough to start.

Send a text message, forward a meme, add to a group chat, or call a potential friend. Don't get hung up on how much effort, energy, and time it takes to create a friendship. Ten minutes a day is all you need.

Use your time wisely. If you have a free day or at least a few hours in your busy schedule, you can spend them with a friend. If possible, don't look at your phone, but give your full attention to your potential friend, which will greatly enhance your connection.

Gradually get rid of your isolation. A person determines how much he or she can trust an acquaintance, if you can't do it right away, then open up gradually.

You don't have to tell everything about yourself right away; on the contrary, a long process of getting to know each other will positively affect and strengthen your relationship with the person. And most importantly, don't be afraid to make new friends as an adult.

Why making friends in adulthood is so hard: three problems and how to overcome them

As OBOZREVATEL reported, it is very difficult to give up using your phone due to communication with friends, family, and work moments. Nevertheless, there are several methods to help reduce the time you spend on your gadget.

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