Having friends and good company is good for one’s mental health and well-being. Friends are people who support you in your darkest time, accompany you and always have your back. Whilst making friends in school was an easy task, it can be daunting making friends as an adult. As you’re growing up, it’s normal to feel a fear of rejection, to become anxious and to become busy in your own professional life. If you’re feeling anxious about socialising, but want to make new friends – no worries! Scroll down to read how to make friends as an adult, with the help of our resident therapist, Shahrukh Malik:
Difficulties In Making New Friends
According to Shahrukh there are various factors which play a role in one having difficulties when making friends as an adult. ‘Each person has their own reasons and history. That being said, a few factors that spring to mind are: fear, personal availability and willingness to expand your circle’. Shahrukh also shares that the moment we grow older, we branch out into our respective careers.
‘During the days of education, one tends to live a more social life involving peers, study groups, winding down over the weekend, expanding your friend group and etc’, says Shahrukh. However this process changes when you enter the work force, and suddenly you find yourself too busy to socialise the way you used to. As life goes on, friendships, as well us, tend to evolve. While it may not be easy to make friends when you’re an adult, it is far from impossible. It’s just a matter of making the effort, according to Shahrukh.
The Impact Of Loneliness
It’s important to have an intimate social circle and a group of friends whom you can count on. Loneliness and having very few social contacts has a great impact on one’s mental health. ‘Loneliness can really impact one’s mental health and can be overwhelming. As human beings, we have an intrinsic need to connect and belong.’, says Shahrukh. Creating social circles and close friend groups is wired into us according to her. They play a part in not only our survival, but also in our emotional well-being. In distressing times, a support network is especially helpful.
5 Ways To Socialise And Make Friends As An Adult
According to our resident therapist Shahrukh, there isn’t a set formula on how to make friends as an adult, but there are things you can do to expand your circle and connections.
- Try new things out: Whether it’s a class (fitness, cooking, dance, art), workshop, a book club, or just a matter of going out to a dinner or a party where you might meet a few strangers: put yourself out there. Encourage yourself to talk to a person you don’t really know.
- Get in touch with old acquaintances: There might have been that one person who you might have been friends with, but never managed to keep in touch with. What would it be like to reconnect with them?
- Allow yourself the right to be open and authentic: People tend to dread small talk, but it doesn’t have to be all small-talk. Just be yourself, let go of the idea of approval or the fear of being rejected. Of course, you don’t need to go into too much detail, but go a little beyond the topic of the weather and basic job descriptions as an answer to the questions like ‘how’s it going?’ or ‘what are you doing these days?’
- Life hack: Be curious about others –one thing that our resident therapist Shahrukh learnt is that people are open to talking about themselves, especially if someone is genuinely curious about them. Go in with the intention of really wanting to know someone. Ask questions, allow for them to answer and let the conversation flow from there.
- Follow-up: You meet someone, and you really get along – make the effort to get in touch. Perhaps meet for coffee and get to know them better, or maybe bring a mutual friend or hang out in a group if it’s an option.