Why does it seem like it’s more difficult to make friends as we get older?
Well, the answer is pretty simple.
It seems more difficult because it is more difficult.
There are actually a number of factors that contribute to this.
So if you’ve been feeling like making friends is getting just a little bit more challenging year after year, you’re not alone.
This is a feeling shared by many people.
And unfortunately, it doesn’t tend to get much easier.
With that being said, there are some techniques that you can use to help give yourself an advantage.
Being intentional about making friends, joining social groups, spending time doing things with other people, and going out of your way to invite new people into your life are all methods that you can utilize to help you overcome the problem.
But why is this a problem to begin with?
In this post, we’re going to explore a few reasons for why it actually gets more difficult to make friends as we age.
1. Our Social Groups Become More Fragmented
When you were younger, you probably went to school.
Among other things, school is a massive social collective—with many smaller groups contained within it.
It’s literally a friend-making wonderland.
Going to school is probably the easiest way to assimilate into social groups and make friends.
So it only stands to reason that after we graduate, it’s going to be more difficult to replicate this experience in other places.
2. Humans Become A Bit Less ‘Socially Pliable’ As They Age
When you’re young, you’re much closer to a blank slate than you are when you get older.
When you meet new people as a youngster, you’re just as concerned with discovering new ideas as you are with believing the things you currently believe.
With young fresh minds and eyes-wide-open to new possibilities in the world, we are much more likely to accept different points of view (and the people who come along with them).
But as we get older, this childlike sense of wonder gets replaced with a more rigid belief system about the world—and this can make it more difficult to connect with people.
3. We Experience Trauma
As we get older and we start to make our way into adulthood, we make friends and lose them.
We date people and break up.
We get married and get divorced.
We assimilated into social groups, and then those groups fragment and leave us stranded.
We get hurt, betrayed, lied to, manipulated, and wounded by other people.
And all of this trauma can take a toll.
Most humans build up at least a little bit of emotional scar tissue that causes them to be a little bit more cautious with making new friends and inviting new people into their life.
Most of us have learned the hard way that not everyone can be trusted to be a good friend.
And this extra caution can sometimes cause us to put up walls and make it more difficult to bond with others.
At the end of the day, making friends is still possible—no matter how old we are.
It’s just important that we be intentional about it, and that we actually try to make it happen.
So get out there and make some new friends.
It’s worth it.