I have often heard the phrase that “finding friends as an adult is hard” but is it? If we break it down, what has changed from making friends when you were in kindergarten to now? Are you being friendly? Are you finding similarities? Are you creating spaces to get to know each other? Do you express hurt and disappointment?
Let me break it down what I mean from the perspective of adult friendship foundations and kindergarten friendship foundations:
Are you being friendly = Hi. I like your red shirt and I think you are nice.
Are you finding similarities = “I like Sesame Street” and they respond “me too”.
Are you creating spaces to get to know each other = Ask your mom if we can have a playdate. Do you want to have a sleepover?
Do you express hurt and disappointment = Ouch that hurt when you stepped on my foot. I wanted to play with that toy but you are playing with it right now and I’m sad.
I think it could all be so simple if we take a step back and learn from childhood experiences. I still have best friends/great friends from different walks of life starting in 5th grade. I have made friends from middle school, high school, college and being a young adult. I used the same tools I did when I was a kid. So my suggestions include: if you are having a hard time making friends as an adult, be friendly, give compliments, create times to get to know them and follow through. Actively work on your friendships because even if you share a love of chicken nuggets, adult friendships take time to thrive. Lucky us! We can drive ourselves to our playdates (happy hour).