How can I make friends?
Friendship is important for your social, mental and physical wellbeing. As adults it can be hard to develop meaningful friendships, here are some tips from researchers:
- Focus on others, not yourself – be genuinely interested in other people – their thoughts, feelings, experiences or opinions.
- Pay attention – switch off your phone, avoid distractions, make an effort to truly listen
- Self-disclosure turns acquaintances into friends – sharing your values, struggles, goals and interests
One of the biggest barriers to building friendships is being too busy. It takes an investment of time to make friends. You may need to schedule time for your friends, to mix your activities with friendship or have a group get together. Having too high expectations of friendships can set your friends up for failure. Forgiveness and flexibility is an important part of friendship.
Be the friend you would like to have. Be a good listener. Be forgiving.