How To Overcome The Challenge Of Making Friends After Your 40s
Friends are necessary all the time. Good friends become families. But while it is easy to make friends when we are younger, the older we get, the more challenging it becomes. In the 40s, it almost feels impossible. Nothing is impossible though.
There are certain reasons why the age of 40 becomes a tough spot to make friends anymore – and here are some of the ways to overcome the challenges:
1. Family life
By 40s, you generally have a family, with teenage children. As a result, other people do not really have time to become friends with you. If you don’t have a family, the best thing would be to engage in stuff other family members do. If they take their kids to fields for sports, tag along. There will always be something to talk about.
2. After 30, people don’t change their social circles much
Quality over quantity – after 30, you don’t count the number of friends you have, you just settle for quality ones you have always had. A new one becomes an intruder. Join clubs where you can meet people with similar interests. That’s always a great starting point.
3. There is more individualism now
Studies are showing that people are getting more and more individualistic – millennials are spending more time on the internet rather than socializing in the real world. Find your individual spirit. Don’t become too clingy – it’s a turn off for everyone.
4. Lack of social skills
Social skills are something people pick up in their daily lives. If you don’t have it, read about it. The best thing you could do is get hold of Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s an awesome and helpful read.
5. Need more common grounds
In the past, it was easy to find common grounds – the football team, cheerleader squad – you get to be a part of one group and could easily be friends. At 40, it’s different – compatibility matters more. So, go to clubs. You can volunteer too. Get some common ground with people and work with it.
6. The fear to reach out
Pride or fear stops us from meeting or reaching out to other people. We fear that we will be rejected –or be judged negatively. This a grave fear and you need to fight it. Motivate yourself and rewire your mind. Plan the conversation ahead. Make it an objective to talk to a new person each day. Overcome your fear.
7. There’s nothing to say
If you feel like you have nothing to talk about, chances are your life is not that interesting. Add some value to it and enjoy. Of course, if you are with the right person, you don’t have to talk – even a healthy silence could be shared.
8. People are not willing to change
Psychologists claim that after 30, people stop changing. You are fixed in your views and ways. If you did not have friends before, then you will find it more difficult to make new friends now. But, that’s not the end. Reinvent yourself. Start small – maybe change the route that you always take to work. Open your mind and see new possibilities coming your way – grasp them.
9. Become more available
Do you often say ‘no’ to people when they come over with an invitation? Don’t isolate yourself – be more available. Even if you are not outgoing, try to accept invites and meet more people – before you know it, you’ll have a bunch of friends around you.
10. Money is necessary
If your bills are piling up and you lack the money to pay for your own meals outside, it’ll be frustrating and embarrassing to leech off your friends every day. You might end up not going out. But the best way out is making a budget. Allocate some sum for your daily bills, and keep some for social meetings. Don’t mess it up.
11. Your social skills have gathered rust
It’s been quite a time since you talked to someone. Or maybe you weren’t social enough from the beginning. Now, you know you will fail because you don’t have the social skills to make friends. There’s an easy way out – use the internet – there are websites to meet groups. They will help you get back in action.
12. Social media is not as easy
Studies show that we can manage up to 150 friends, which include online ones. If you have become a part of many groups, then chances are you lack the time to make new friends anymore. Cut out some groups. It might feel like losing prospects, but it will grow eventually, into quality friendships.
13. You see faults in people
Probably you find fault in people where there isn’t any. Thus, no one is friends with you. It might be related to your past – maybe you have had a traumatic experience with friendship before. Talk to a counsellor before it gets out of hand.
14. Protecting yourself from being injured
You have had a bad friendship before, something that had hurt you immensely. You do not want to experience that again – so you don’t make friends. Go to a therapist to guide you. Take a leap of faith – you might land in a good place this time.
15. You have limited time
Maybe you don’t have the time to make friends. You are handling two jobs at the same time to sustain yourself. Start downsizing your life – make a choice. Manage time and make some time for new friends.
16. You are not excited
New things are generally exciting. But after 40, we are no longer excited about something new. We have seen and experienced most of life and novelties don’t matter anymore. Don’t think like that – see the world in a new light. Take the help of the internet – there’s always something new if you look closely.
17. It’s not as interesting as your 20s
In the 20s you were exploring who you are – it’s expected that you’ve had more friends then. But being older makes you settle in a routine. It becomes a habit. It’s difficult to get rid of habits – but try to do so. Get a new perspective. Travel. Get into new clubs. Spice up your life – as you did back in your 20s.
It’s difficult to make friends in the 40s but that the beauty of it – take it as a challenge. It’s an occasion to grow more – to bring back a novelty in your life. Don’t be scared – take it and overcome it.