Being an adult is a juggling act. Between working, spending time with family, and attempting to take care of yourself, it seems you have no time to spare. This busy lifestyle inevitably leads to the demise of your adult friendships.
You don’t have to remain a friendless adult, though. In fact, you really shouldn’t! Adult friendships are important for your health. And, with the right tips, you can easily maintain them without adding more work to your plate.
Why Adult Friendships Matter
Friends are good for you – period. Developing connections with others and maintaining friendships increases our sense of belonging and overall happiness. When we find a group of people to call our friends, we feel connected and less alone. This can boost our confidence levels and self-esteem, which helps other aspects of our lives as well.
Friends also help us reduce our stress levels, cope with difficult times, and drop bad habits that can harm our health. Furthermore, friendships can lower a person’s risk for serious health problems like high blood pressure, depression, and unhealthy weight gain. In other words, friendships can save our lives and help us live longer.
1. Be Present
Remaining present in a friend’s life helps you maintain the connection you share. Even if you haven’t seen your friends in person for a while, sending a quick text or calling them on the phone can really go a long way towards maintaining your bond.
So, make sure to send them a text on their birthday. Call and congratulate them on their recent engagement or job promotion. Your friend needs to know that you care and that you’re still willing to be a part of their life. Whether you realize it or not, these reminders of your presence can open the door to other conversations, which helps you and your friends maintain the connection you have established over the years.
2. Stop Flaking
Canceling is a major letdown. If you do it too much, your friend will start to lose trust in you. They see you as unreliable. Over time, this can cause them to make plans with you less often or even stop trying altogether.
To avoid becoming a flake, you just shouldn’t accept plans unless you’re sure that you can go. Check your calendar and think about anything that may interfere with your ability to commit. If you feel tired or unsure, it’s better to put the effort into your friendship.
Once plans are scheduled, try your best not to back out last minute. In the unfortunate case that you do have to cancel, immediately reschedule a better date and make it up to your friend.
3. Stay Authentic
If you are worried about maintaining adult friendships, you may feel like you need to “play the part” around your friends so they still want to spend time with you. However, this is rarely the case. In fact, most adults want the exact opposite: they want friendships with authentic, meaningful connections.
Your friends should be a judgment-free zone where you feel free to be your most authentic self. So, don’t put on an act or fake interests for the sake of your friends. It’s exhausting and, most of the time backfires.
4. Take Advantage of Technology
Although in-person interactions with your friends are usually the most beneficial, sometimes it’s hard to pull off. Adults have lots of other things going on, and sometimes it’s hard to align schedules.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to postpone quality time with your friends altogether. Instead, you can take advantage of technology!
You can use video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet to spend quality time with your friends in a virtual setting. You can also use apps like Teleparty or Rave to watch television shows or movies together.
If you are looking for less time-intensive ways to connect, you can start a group message with apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, or Telegram. A group chat is a perfect place to share funny pictures you found online, have engaging conversations, or make plans.
5. Make Time to Hang Out
You have a busy life, and so do your friends. However, that doesn’t mean you have absolutely no free time. Can’t you spare an hour or two out of your week to grab a quick lunch with your friends? Ideally, you should aside time at least once a week (or even once a month) just to hang out with your friends.
Don’t forget to plan the occasional bigger outing in between bite-sized hangouts. Make plans to see a concert, go to a winery, or head to the beach a few weeks in advance to ensure all of your friends clear their schedules.
6. Give Gifts for Special Occasions
There are lots of ways we can show our friends how much they mean to us. However, gift giving is often a great way to do this, especially if you provide gifts for special occasions and life events.
Obviously, birthdays and holidays are important. However, other life events, like engagements and baby showers, are also perfect opportunities to show how much you care. Gifts don’t have to be something you buy at the store, either. You could make something by hand or even bake a cake!
No matter what you do, what’s important is that you make an effort for your friends and remind them that you care.
7. Do Frequent Check-Ins
Make it a point to text your friend at least once a week. Check-in to ask how their job is going and what they’ve been up to. Don’t forget to let them in on any updates in your life as well.
While texting is a great way to keep in touch, you should pick up the phone and call them as well. It may sound old-fashioned, but hearing your friend’s voice offers a much more personal conversation than just plain texting. Frequent phone calls are even more essential when you have a long-distance friendship.
8. Remember The Little Things
Special occasions are important, but they aren’t the end all, be all. Friendships are often built and maintained based on small moments you share together. Therefore, you need to remember these little things if you want to keep your friends.
You don’t have to plan elaborate nights out every time you hang out. You also don’t have to give them extravagant gifts or go to great lengths to show you care. Just spend time with your friend, find ways to show them what you remember from the past, and look for ways to keep your friendship going forward.
9. Accept That Friendships Change
The friends you made in high school won’t always stay the same. A person’s interests and attitudes change over time. Not only that, but you won’t see each other in school daily like you used to, and that’s okay. Friendships evolve, it’s just a matter of keeping them alive.
Don’t Let Your Friendships Fizzle Out
Once you start actively talking and getting together with your friends, don’t stop! Always keep the lines of communication open.
While you’re on the self-improvement kick, become an even better friend by learning how to be someone who people like hanging around.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I make friends as an adult?
Sometimes it is hard to meet new people as an adult. However, you can make friends at work, through events or organizations in your community, or by using apps like MeetUp to find people with similar interests.
How many friends should I have?
There isn’t a set number of friends you need to have as an adult. In fact, quality is usually better than quantity. However, try to maintain at least a few friends.
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