5 proven ways to make new friends as an adult

5 proven ways to make new friends as an adult

Happiness is not selfishness.

Happiness is not just feeling good it’s doing good.

Happiness can be enjoyed on one’s own but happiness is frequently at its best when in the company of friends and loved ones.

So what if you don’t have as many friends as you’d like? or if you need to make new ones … after leaving school!?!?

Well, as with most things, there’s research to help…

via the Ladders by Eric Barker

When you were a kid it was a lot easier. In college, you almost had to be trying not to make friends. But then you’re an adult. You get busy with work. Your friends get busy with work. People get married. Have kids. And pretty soon being “close” means a text message twice a year.

You’re not alone… Or, actually, the whole point of this is you really may be alone. But you’re not alone in being alone. These days we’re all alone together. In 1985 most people said they had 3 close friends. In 2004 the most common number was zero.

In a survey given in 1985, people were asked to list their friends in response to the question “Over the last six months, who are the people with whom you discussed matters important to you?” The most common number of friends listed was three; 59 percent of respondents listed three or more friends fitting this description. The same survey was given again in 2004. This time the most common number of friends was zero. And only 37 percent of respondents listed three or more friends. Back in 1985, only 10 percent indicated that they had zero confidants. In 2004, this number skyrocketed to 25 percent. One out of every four of us is walking around with no one to share our lives with.

Friends are important. Nobody would dispute that. But I doubt you know how very important they are.

So let’s see just how critical friends can be — and the scientifically-backed ways to get more of them in your life…

Loneliness Is A Killer

When people are dying, what do they regret the most? Coming in at #4 is: “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

And neglecting your friends can make those deathbed regrets come a lot sooner than you’d like. When I spoke to Carlin Flora, author of Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are, she told me:

Julianne Holt-Lunstad did a meta-analysis of social support and health outcomes and found that not having enough friends or having a weak social circle is the same risk factor as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Maybe your grandparents lived to 100 and you take good care of yourself. You’re healthy. But if you want those years to be full of smiles, you need to invest in friendship. 70% of your happiness comes from relationships.

Via The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People:

Contrary to the belief that happiness is hard to explain, or that it depends on having great wealth, researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family, and relationships with co-workers and neighbors. Together these features explain about 70 percent of personal happiness. – Murray and Peacock 1996

The Grant Study at Harvard has followed a group of men for their entire lives. The guy who led the study for a few decades, George Vaillant, was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response?

That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.

So friendships are really really really important. But maybe you’re not worried. Maybe you have lots of friends. Guess what?

In seven years, half of your close friends won’t be close to you anymore.

Via Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are:

A study by a Dutch sociologist who tracked about a thousand people of all ages found that on average, we lose half of our close network members every seven years. To think that half of the people currently on your “most dialed” list will fade out of your life in less than a decade is frightening indeed.

Ouch. Scared yet? I am.

(To learn more about the science of a successful life, check out my bestselling book here.)

So what do we do? (No, going back to college is not the answer.) How do we make new friends as adults?

1) The New Starts With The Old

The first step to making new friends is… don’t. Instead, reconnect with old friends:

These findings suggest that dormant relationships – often overlooked or underutilized – can be a valuable source of knowledge and social capital.

Doing this is easy, it’s not scary, they’re people you already have a history with, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or work to get to know them. Go to Facebook or LinkedIn for ideas and then send some texts. Boom. You already have more friends.

If you’re going to be strategic, who should you prioritize? You probably met a disproportionate number of your friends through just a handful of people. Those are your “superconnectors.”

Rekindle those relationships. And then ask them if there’s anyone you should meet. Next time you get together, see if that new person can come along. Not. Hard. At. All.

(To learn how to deal with a narcissist, click here.)

But maybe this feels a little awkward. Maybe your friendship muscles have atrophied. Maybe you weren’t great at making friends in the first place. So what really makes people “click”?

…keep reading the full & original article HERE