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5 Ways to Strengthen Friendships as an Adult

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Strengthen Friendships as an Adult

People and even some animals make friends and value friendship, but why? Perhaps, the main reason why friendship exists is that it can increase our chances of survival. Friends often remind us of things we would otherwise forget, and friendship helps people watch each other’s back.

Human connection is necessary for human beings to thrive. It can improve your physical health and strengthen the psychological well-being of those around you. However, just like many other good things in this world, friendship takes some work. We’re all feeling the pressure of life getting in our way sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that friendships can’t thrive. Make time for your best friends no matter where they are!

How to make friends as an adult

When we were kids, making friends was so easy. As we grew older, our relationships with others became more and more complex, and so did our understanding of friendship. So, how to make friends as an adult?

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The fear of rejection is the first obstacle you may encounter when it comes to making friends as an adult, but don’t let this stop you. There are plenty of ways for shy people who need some encouragement and support to make connections with others. Joining clubs or participating in social activities is always a great idea if you want to meet new people and make friends.

Build new connections

Making friends as an adult is hard because there aren’t many places where you could interact with new people continuously and unplanned. It can be difficult to share vulnerabilities with people who are not close family members or those you’ve known for a long time. However, you should keep in mind that the direction in which your conversations with others evolve is up to you. You can always communicate your boundaries and keep communication comfortable for everyone involved.

Develop self-confidence

The key to being likable and making friends is confidence. You need to be confident so that others can see that you like yourself, and that will show them that you’re worthy of sympathy. When it’s time to socialize, make sure that you introduce yourself and ask others if they’d be interested in meeting outside of the event. Even though you don’t know each other yet, there might just be something worth exploring.

Join social clubs, classes, and other recurring events to make a lasting impression on people. Making friends is not always easy, but it starts by taking that first step. There are many ways you can do so without feeling awkward, and if the communication feels difficult at first, just think of what conversation topic would work well with someone else.

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How to improve self-esteem?

Low self-esteem can stop people from building fulfilling relationships and following their dreams. People with low self-esteem can benefit from positive feelings and doing things they’re good at so they can feel more confident in themselves, being able to do what makes them happy without the fear of failure or embarrassment.

Here are some common signs of low self-esteem you should be aware of:

  • Focusing on the negative aspects of life only;
  • The lack of boundaries;
  • Negative self-talk and self-hatred;
  • Negative body image;
  • Thinking that other people are better than you and feeling worthless;
  • Obsession with perfection and feeling that you are not good enough;
  • Intense fear of failure, assuming the worst even if you have no evidence to support it;
  • Difficulty in expressing your needs;
  • Relying on others to make decisions;
  • Difficulties with accepting compliments;
  • Feeling guilty for everyday actions;
  • Apologizing way too frequently;
  • Blaming yourself for any troubles in your life;
  • Avoiding social interactions;
  • Being hostile when confronted with criticism;
  • Feeling depressed and anxious.

Quite often, self-esteem issues are rooted in harmful self-talk. Negative thoughts often fall into one of the following categories:

  • Blame: Holding oneself accountable for things outside one’s control; 
  • Catastrophizing: Imaging all the bad things that could happen in the future;
  • Denial: Refusing to believe in success or compliments;
  • Overgeneralizing: Perceiving minor events and circumstances as those that have excessively large consequences;
  • Polarization: Interpreting events as strictly good or bad;
  • Projecting: Assuming neutral interactions are signs of disapproval or dislike;
  • Ruminating: Repeatedly thinking about situations that have already happened, punishing oneself for past mistakes;

Is low self-esteem a mental health problem?

Low self-esteem is often linked to mental health problems like anxiety and depression. If you have been feeling bad about yourself for quite some time, this can lead to an ongoing cycle of negative thoughts that gets worse over time. As a result, feelings of loneliness or hopelessness can reinforce your low opinion of yourself and your life, in general.

If you feel like your self-esteem is low or have other mental health issues, like depression or anxiety, a great solution is to try mental health counseling online. A licensed counselor can help you figure out what caused your self-esteem issues and suggest effective coping practices. Online counseling platforms allow you to get the necessary help from anywhere you are, with no need to commute to a counselor’s office.

How to stay close to your favorite people

Friendships are really important, and they can grow stronger with some effort. When it’s hard to make time for hanging out, here is some simple guidance from those who know best on how you should keep your friendships thriving.

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1. Figure out what your friends need from you

When you’re in a long-distance friendship, there are some things that will never change — for example, your loyalty to each other and how much fun you and your friends can have together. Even though it might seem like you and your friends grow distant from each other, distance shouldn’t necessarily affect emotions or feelings. Sometimes, they even get stronger due to the lack of contact.

When maintaining a long-distance friendship, it’s important to make sure that the two of you keep the communication alive. Some friends are going to take it personally if you forget a birthday or anniversary. Annual visits may be more important than monthly phone dates for these individuals, and you should consider what they need from the relationship in order to not only avoid hurting their feelings but also maintain a healthy connection.

2. Set expectations regarding how you’ll stay in touch

Be clear about what you both want and need from the conversation. Decide on a plan that works for both of your schedules, and then stick to it. Maintaining a friendship where your friend is farther from you than if they were in another town or state can be difficult. Sometimes, we don’t have enough time for long phone calls because of work, family responsibilities, and other personal issues, but it’s important to still take care of your friends and keep up with what’s going on in their lives. A good way to do it is by being sensitive toward each other’s needs while also trying not to let the distance influence your connection.

3. Remind your friends that you think about them

Texts are the best way to show your friends that they’re on your mind. Send them an occasional text after you’ve had a rough day at work or just want someone else’s company for a while. Tell them that you miss them and how important they are to you. These short messages make all of the difference in our relationships with one another because they let each person know what is going through their friends’ minds without having too much detail to exchange.

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4. Remind your friends why they’re special and why their friendship is special to you

We all need to be reminded of the value that someone brings into our lives. This can include affirmation, appreciation, and respect for one another’s unique talents or abilities. Even if there are no romantic feelings involved in your friendship, don’t forget to remind your friends how special they are to you.

5. Talk about the future

What does the future look like for us? This question has been at least partly answered by evolutionary psychology. Humans are really good predictors when given enough information. Predicting what’s likely to come can help people make more informed decisions about how they spend their time and effort in relationships, focusing on maximizing rewards while also minimizing the risks or costs involved. 

As a way of showing your friend that you want them in life, talk about what events you both are going to attend or how you’re going to spend time together. For example, if one person is going through tough times and doesn’t know where things are headed with their career while also feeling torn between two friends who live far away from each other; an idea would involve looking forward to meeting at some point during next year’s holidays when both parties can celebrate together without any additional pressure.

5 signs of a true friend

Relationships are a subjective topic so the very understanding of what a true friend is may vary drastically among different people. However, there are a few things on which everyone would likely agree they characterize true friendship.

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  1. A true friend encourages you to achieve your goals;
  2. A real friend will tell you the truth, even if you don’t like it;
  3. True friends will make the time to see you;
  4. Friends stick around during the good and bad times;
  5. Good friends accept you for who you are.

To have true friends means to live a more meaningful and joyful life. True friends value your goals and opinions, and they can not only share happy moments with you but also support you when you face challenges. They’ll never leave you when you need them most because that’s what real friendship is — sticking by one another no matter how things change.

Wrapping Up

The importance of friendship is hard to overestimate. Friends help us overcome life’s challenges and give us a sense of community and belonging. However, making friends and maintaining friendly relationships take some effort. Sometimes, you may need to get out of your comfort zone, and you may also have to overcome self-esteem issues if they impact your relationships. In this case, a nice solution is to consider online therapy platforms.

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