Doesn't it seem like it was so much easier to make friends as a kid? A 7-year-old will walk up to another, say "Will you be my best friend," and BOOM, they go skipping off hand-in-hand. So simple. Now, the quality of those friendships is debatable and would have to be worked on over the years, no doubt, but the difference seems to be the fearlessness. Rejection? What's that?
OK, assuming we're all adults here, things are different now, right? It's probably safe to assume we have all experienced rejection and to most of us it stings! In some extreme cases it can shut a person down and close him or her off to new people. It's not so easy to make good, solid, true friends as we get older. But as we get flung far-and-wide from our childhood and college friends we may find ourselves adrift and looking to start over with a new assortment of solid buddies closeby.
So, as we slowly start getting back to our pre-COVID lives as grown ups, what does making friends look like?
It does come down to a few key things:
1.) Assume people like you. Research has found that if a person just assumes others will like them, they generally DO! Most people underestimate how much others like them when they first meet, anyway. So, just go with that and trust that people like you more than you know.
2.) Keep showing up. It's called the "mere exposure effect." The idea is that friendships often develop simply because you're around each other more. This is why, again, it is often so much easier to make friends in childhood or college. You were around the same people all the time - for YEARS. So find a way to see people more than once. Join a book club or improv class on Zoom, if necessary. Meetups have been continuing even with social distancing. They're out there. Find something that meets for at least a few months.
3.) Get vulnerable. To make true friends you have to share something about yourself and ask questions. Go deeper.
If you'd like to hear Dr. Wendy talk about how to make friends as an adult, just click the show link below. You'll also hear ways to spot someone with low EQ (emotional intelligence) and a checklist to figure out if your romantic relationship is on the right track!
To read the full article, click HERE.