Everyone deserves true, quality friendships in their life. Right up there with puppies, yummy food, and shopping sprees, genuine relationships can make us really happy. In fact, researchers have discovered that about three-fourths of our overall happiness comes from relationships.
These relationships include the ones you have with your family, a romantic partner, and with your friends. Unfortunately, sometimes friendships grow apart and it can be difficult to make new ones as an adult.
Do you have friends that you just love being around and who make you happy? Or are you looking for those special people and are hoping to make new ones?
I would be lying if I said that making friends or turning acquaintances into true friends is an easy task. The truth is, it’s harder to forge new relationships as adults because we’re always too busy and in our own world.
It doesn’t help that striking up a conversation with a stranger is almost considered taboo these days in our society. It seems that the more technologically advanced we get with social media, the further apart we grow from one another and the more we isolate ourselves.
However, it is possible to have honest, in-person friendships; here are 6 tips that can make it easier:
Express Your Interest
Do you feel like you lead an interesting life? You have interesting stories, you enjoy visiting unique places, you’re always down to try different activities, etc.
If so, it’s probably safe to assume that you enjoy being around other interesting people. People who aren’t afraid to go out and live life and who have had fascinating experiences.
These interesting people are out there, and chances are they’re looking for other interesting people to be friends with. People like yourself- the dreamers, the travelers, the change-makers, exotic food lovers, film buffs, etc. You just need to go out and find them!
Don’t keep your curiosity and interest to yourself when you meet someone new. When you run into someone who seems like the type of person you would want to be friends with, don’t be afraid to ask them questions or share your stories with them.
Being tight-lipped and looking like you would rather be somewhere else isn’t a good way to make new friends. Let them know that what they’re saying is intriguing to you and that you’d love to hear more.
Revive Old Friendships
Dutch researcher Gerald Mollenhorst, an assistant professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, discovered that people change their group of friends every seven years. This may or may not be the case with you, but overall this is what he found in his study.
Even if it’s not true for you, chances are that there’s at least one friend that you’re no longer in contact with, but who you enjoyed being around and find yourself missing. Why did you stop spending time together?
Did either of you get married or start a family and simply didn’t have the time to invest in the friendship anymore? Did one of you move to a different city? Maybe things never officially “ended” but you just had a lot going on in your life at the moment. This is a great time to drift back into each other’s lives and reconnect with each other.
If enough time has passed, their life has probably settled down enough to have more time to meet up and could use a true friend. They might even wonder about you from time to time too so don’t be shy and look them up on social media or email them.
There’s an old Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
I absolutely love this saying. Countless research has shown that making other people happy makes you happy as well. Be the person that everyone knows they can count on in their time of need.
Be their shoulder to cry on, pick them up from the airport, help them move, offer to babysit their kids every now and then so they can have a date night, things like that.
This shows people that you’ll be there for them and they can trust you. Trust is key in relationships and it needs to be established in order for any friendship to survive.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should be their errand boy. Don’t ever feel like you need to bend over backwards for someone who’s demanding too much from you, or think that you have to pay for their things, or throw them a party for every occasion.
Just be the person who brings out the best in your friends and do it with an open and loving heart. After all, what goes around comes around and having karma on your side is an extra perk.
Meet Up Often
Friends make every activity better, whether it’s a spa weekend, a coffee date, a movie showing, or a shopping trip. Make it a point to schedule “play” dates with your friends on a somewhat regular basis.
It’s easy to take your friends for granted sometimes when you’re busy with your own life. You might even subconsciously only seek them out when you’re bored, or going through a hard time and need to unload your drama or stress onto someone else.
True friendships are about sharing the good and the bad, being a shoulder you can lean on, AND someone you can go out and experience fun things with. If you want a quality friendship that lasts, you need to build and strengthen that bond by spending quality time together that is good for the both of you.
Sure, you can still talk about your problems while on a coffee date, but don’t let that be the only thing you talk about. Ask them how they’re doing and let them unload their burdens onto you too. Make sure to balance the conversation by talking about pleasant and positive things as well.
Don’t Box Yourself In
Your job is very important to you, and that’s understandable, but don’t let it get in your way of making new friends. Don’t let it dictate you who you can and can’t be friends with.
Just because you’re a teacher doesn’t mean all your friends have to be teachers. Talk to the bus drivers, the cafeteria workers, the janitors- heck, talk to the parents even!
You never know who you have things in common with and can become a new friend. Life is more interesting when you have a diverse group of friends, so make it a point to engage with people of different cultures, religions and backgrounds.
Anyone whose life has been different from yours can become a valuable friend so don’t limit your circle. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with people who have different hobbies and interests from you because you can teach each other a lot.
Know That You’re Worthy
Unless you’re a total jerk, you have a lot to offer your friends. You might not have a PhD, be loaded with money, or look like a model, but as long as your heart is in the right place, that’s all that matters.
Don’t let your insecurities keep you from talking to someone who might seem like a good friend to have, and definitely don’t compare yourself to them. You are worthy of good company and true friends.
Be positive and understanding and the right people will find you. If you’re the type who always assumes the worst and dwells on their flaws, you’re going to be putting those vibes out there and others can pick up on them. Remember, your vibe attracts your tribe so put those good vibes out there!
If you’re ready to change your life around and build a better future for yourself but don’t know how, consider having a life path reading done with a talented online psychic.
They can help you find your way and get you to where you want to be. There’s no handbook for life and it’s ok to need help from those who are spiritually gifted and have the ability to see things you aren’t able to see.