How to make long lasting friendships as an adult

-Aug 22, Hannah Hargrave , Living -

If you’re looking to build new friendships but you’re not quite sure how to do it – and how to make them last – then Lumity has some tips on how to create and keep connections which can improve your life.

With loneliness on the rise, having good friends has never been so important. But if you’re an adult then looking for fresh friendship can be a struggle and you may even think you’re the only one searching. But rest assured you’re not alone and forming new relationships cannot only be fun, but incredibly rewarding too.

The benefits of friendship

Friendships offer more than just someone to chat to, they have some serious health benefits, physically and mentally, too.

 – Boosts your mood

 – Reduces stress

 – Improves self worth

 – Helps depression

 – Increases longevity

Related: Six easy ways to combat stress and anxiety

How to meet new friends

Meeting people in the first place is half the battle, especially if you’re shy. But you don’t need to hang around at your local coffee shop attempting to instigate conversation with strangers to meet people.

Set yourself up for new experiences and activities you enjoy and meet like minded people in the process.

Volunteer 

Pick a charity or something you’re passionate about and volunteer your time. You’ll not only be helping people – or animals – you’ll be launched into a social situation almost immediately. 

Join a group

Whether it’s a book club, gardening club, dance class or whatever else you’re interested in, find a group and join it. You’ll quickly meet people with common interests and have something to talk about from the get-go.

Stop and chat

Be social when you’re out and about. Make eye contact and say hello when you’re out walking the dog, or chat to other mums or grandmas if you’re at the park with the kids. 

Connect

If you’re staring at your phone, have your headphones plugged in or essentially seem way more engrossed in your electronic devices than the people around you, then you’ll come across as unapproachable.

Exchanging small talk with a stranger might lead to a connection, but googling what’s on the TV that night won’t.

Get out

Attending things like museum openings, art galleries, lectures or even shows are things you can do by yourself and not feel uncomfortable. Once again you’ll be surrounded by people with similar interests and plenty to talk about too.

Reconnect

Make an old friend a new friend by reconnecting with people you have lost touch with. Social media makes it easy to find the people you used to love spending time with. There was a reason you were friends with them in the first place and talking about old times is an easy conversation starter too. Just ensure you make a date to actually get together and don’t leave the friendship online.

Related: 7 tips for reversing loneliness

How to make friendships last

There is no denying that good friendships take time and effort. You don’t have to prioritise the friendship above everything else or have your buddy on speed dial four times a day. But making the time to keep in touch and meet up in person is very important. So to ensure the connection you’ve worked so hard to make doesn’t go to the wayside there are some things you should try to do.

Listen – friends won’t stick around if they think the conversation is always one sided and you’re not interested in what they have to say. Support them in the same way you would wanted to be supported.

Don’t be clingy – Putting pressure on your friends or being too clingy will only push them away. If they can’t meet up or have missed a few phone calls don’t make them feel bad for it. The same goes for understanding they want to spend time with other people too. 

Make the effort – It doesn’t feel good to be in a one sided relationship where one person is always reaching out to the other. Balance it out and ensure you’re not constantly the one on the receiving end of the invitations.

Don’t force it – True friendships will evolve naturally and although there will be bumps in the road, if it’s meant to be, it’ll work out. Forcing a friendship – or a person –  to be something it isn’t will only end the relationship prematurely. 

Have fun – Although there will be times when it’s good to have a shoulder to cry on and a support system it’s also important to have fun. A multi-faceted friendship is a long-lasting one.

If you found this article interesting then you might also like to read why Dr. Rangan Chatterjee says friendship is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for good health.

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