This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Growing up in school, many students get the opportunity to make friends and meet new faces. As a child, making friends seems easy. Two kids who both love the same cartoon do not worry if they have the same political opinion or religious view. So, why is it so easy to make friends when you are younger, but it feels impossible as an adult?
There are many reasons that we should want to make friends. They add excitement to your life, increase your opportunities, and enrich your social life. Despite the many benefits of making friends, friendships are easily broken. Learning how to make friends and maintain friendships is vital to your mental health and happiness.
Why Are Friendships So Important
Having valuable friendships in your life is beneficial for your physical health and mental health. When you have solid relationships in your life, there is a decrease in feelings of loneliness and depression. There are many consequences of loneliness. You can avoid the following issues if you combat loneliness and depression: heart disease, diabetes, strokes, substance abuse, and heart attacks.
Your mental health can also improve when you are surrounded by good friends. By seeking out social relationships, you can increase your opportunities, build better self-esteem, and have a reliable support system. Throughout each person’s lifetime, they will run into unavoidable conflicts. However, these conflicts are much more manageable when you are surrounded by people who care for you.
Friends can encourage you and build you up while also providing you with the emotional support you need to navigate various circumstances. You can learn more about the correlation between friendships and mental health with the assistance of BetterHelp articles.
How Friendships Are Easily Broken
There are many reasons why friendships end. The most common reasons for friendships breaking are selfishness, deception, distance, and influence.
In many cases, all friends are not created equally. For example, one friend may give 110% of their time and effort into the friendship while the other friend does not contribute. This can cause individuals to feel used and hurt.
Deception and distance can also cause friends to drift apart. If your friend has consistently lied to you or manipulated you, it is reasonable to remove yourself from that relationship. People can be extremely close for years, but when one person moves away it becomes difficult to keep up with the relationship. It is easier to put forth an effort when your friend lives closer to you.
Lastly, a person’s influence can also hurt a relationship. If you have someone in your life who abuses substances or regularly makes poor decisions, you may try to end that relationship. Friends can be extremely influential, that is why it is pertinent to surround yourself with good influences.
How To Make Friends
Making friends and growing your social circle can be difficult if you are also trying to maintain a home life, workload, and personal downtime. Many people find that they do not have the time to make new friends. However, the benefits of making friends should encourage you to put yourself out there!
You can easily make friends while also doing the things you love or the things you have to do. For example, you could make an effort to grab lunch with a coworker once a week. By spending more time together, you can strengthen your work relationship and create a lasting friendship.
You can also make friends while engaging in your favorite hobbies. For instance, if you love to run, consider joining a marathon group or a community club for runners. You can meet new people who have the same interests as you.
By far, the easiest way to make a friend is by taking initiative. If you have continually met someone at your local coffee shop, think about giving them your number! You can also invite them to sit with you to chat. By taking initiative, you are showing someone that you are interested in creating a friendship.
How To Maintain Friendships
Engage In Yours And Their Interests
If you wish to maintain a current friendship, show curiosity about their likes while also showing them your likes and dislikes. To maintain a friendship, you do not have to share all of the same likes and dislikes. However, you should show your interest in your companion’s interests. For example, even if you do not like wine tasting, you could accompany your friend and make yourself the designated driver!
Also, make sure to show your own hobbies to your friends. Invite them out for trivia nights and movie showings if those are your favorite things. It is much easier to maintain a friendship when you both interact with each other’s hobbies.
Seek Out Their Companionship
Do not be afraid to take the first step with your friends. Oftentimes, when you wait for your friends to make the first move, you may lose time and confidence in your friendship. Also, your friend may be waiting for you to call first!
By seeking out their companionship, you are showing them that you care about them and your friendship. Take the time to invite them out first or send the first text after a recent hangout. When you make the first move, you are more likely to maintain a solid relationship with your new and current friends.
Show Your Support
Lastly, another key to maintaining friendships is showing your support and being a good friend! A good friend is someone who supports you through difficult trials and unfortunate life circumstances. Try and be a good friend by offering a listening ear and small gestures of care.
For example, if someone loses a loved one, you could show your support by taking them out for dinner or sending flowers to them and their family. When you show your support, you can build a firm foundation in your friendship.
Maintaining friendships does not have to be a difficult task. In fact, maintaining a friendship is often composed of tiny, minimal tasks that create lasting relationships.