While alone time can be special and introspective, many of us don’t like being alone – maybe because we don’t want to introspect or contemplate our life choices. Based on observation, adult men and women (over age 30) have a harder time making new friends than they did in high school/college.
During childhood and adolescence, even with cliques and bullying factored in, friendship takes root more easily due to classes, after-school activities, neighbors next door and parents scheduling play dates emanating from their own adult friendships. Later on college is filled with students colliding with each other at parties, games and campus activities. However, something clearly goes awry during adulthood. Is it self-consciousness? Is it fewer group activities? Do people get pickier as they get older? Do adults tend to get more isolated or have less available time?
Laura L. Carstensen, a psychology professor who is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity in California, claims that people tend to relate to fewer people as they get older approaching midlife, but they grow closer to the friends they already have. However, what if you move to a new location, or experience a breakup/divorce – how do you make new friends?
4 big barriers to friendship and how to remove them:
- Many wish for too much too soon or yearn for a soul-mate which is a very high expectation. Meaningful friendships take time. Don’t become a “stalker” who overwhelms the potential friend. Ease on down the road which means not confiding too much and over-scheduling. Be patient and let things unfold more slowly.
- Nothing is more off putting, whether in a new romantic relationship or a friendship, like an air of desperation. People are repelled by negativity and neediness, fearing an energy vampire. Consequently, be positive, light and keep busy. Good moods are contagious.
- Women tend to be competitive creatures and might harbor feelings of inadequacy – that the other women are smarter, prettier, or more successful. On the flip side other women fear that the newcomer is prettier, smarter, or more successful. The threat of a new woman becoming part of the established group has to be evaluated and neutralized before granted admittance. It’s a process wherein one must prove to fit in as opposed to take over. Don’t rush the process.
- It’s hard to find a close friend when you wear a mask or mirror the other person for the sake of acceptance. Not being your authentic self is stressful though. How can you relax and have fun with a new friend if you are always pretending – living on edge of being detected as an impostor? Be your delightful, natural self to attract the right friend. First, befriend yourself!
For more info on happy relationships visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com