Things were so much easier when we were kids, including making friends. Back when saving for retirement and anti-aging creams were in the very distant future, maybe you didn't give much thought to chatting up your peers at the playground. But, now that socializing is probably at the bottom of your long list of priorities, you might be wondering how you'd even make friends as an adult in the first place, or why you should bother. Beyond having a close-knit group of people to vent about your problems with, or to accompany you on your next girls' trip , maintaining human, interpersonal relationships can significantly impact your physical and mental health. According to a report in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior , having strong social ties can boost your immune system and help you to live a longer, more fulfilling life. Not only that, researchers found that cultivating friendships can decrease the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as reduce the impact of stress and chronic pain. With those benefits in mind, the most important thing to remember is that when it comes to your overall well-being, it's never too late to let go of toxic relationships and meet new people. Whether you're a recent transplant to a new town, or you're interested in adding a few fresh faces to your inner circle, there are some practical things you can do to make and keep friends as an adult. First step, put yourself out there.
Feeling lonely? Meet the people who suffered extreme isolation – then found happiness
“It’s an Automatic Friend Group”
Remember how easy it was to make friends in elementary school? Most of the time your best friends ended up being the kids in your class or in your neighborhood. Or maybe you were best friends with kids whose parents were friends with yours. As a child, making friends wasn't as complicated as it feels today. Not only were you less worried about being rejected; you also weren't as picky about who you were hanging out with. But things have changed now that you are a grown-up. Aside from the fear of rejection , making new friends takes a lot of time—something we all are a little short on these days. So instead, you lament the fact that your circle of friends is shrinking. And, you are not alone. Research shows that after the age of 25, most adult friendships start to dwindle.
“We Actively Check in With Each Other”
DM people on Instagram! According to lore from under the sea, dolphins are smart as hell and very, very social while turtles prefer to navigate the water in solitude, slowly and steadily. The recognition of its rareness, the pursuit of something more. In the spirit of investigating what actually works no, really! You know what they say — the best stuff bubbles up in the most unlikely of places. My most recent adult friends were made at my gym. And a dozen more friendly friends, who might not get a wedding invite, but whom I could call for happy hour. Initiating the first out-of-gym hang was scary, but I could tell we were all edging around the idea. Once we eventually initiated plans, it was easy after that. But it also can, at times, be more fulfilling, because these people know more about my life as it is NOW, versus what my life was five or 10 years ago.
Figuring out what kind of job makes you happy. Finding a place to live. The first 20 years of our lives are designed to build friendships. We spend most of our time in school, around people our age who have similar interests and backgrounds. But as we enter adulthood, those friendships tend to fade. We move to different cities, get married, have children.