- My orientation:
- Sign of the zodiac:
- What is my hobbies:
- Surfing the net
- My tattoo:
To this point in the chapter, we have focused upon the attraction that occurs between people who are initially getting to know one another. But the basic principles of social psychology can also be applied to help us understand relationships that last longer. When good friendships develop, when people get married and plan to spend the rest of their lives together, and when families grow closer over time, the relationships take on new dimensions and must be understood in somewhat different ways. Yet the principles of social psychology can still be applied to help us understand what makes these relationships last. The factors that keep people liking and loving each other in long-term relationships are at least in part the same as the factors that lead to initial attraction.
I was double-booked for play dates.
During lunch, I had a system to hang out with all of my friends. I would eat my sandwich at the blue table, eat my carrots at the green table, and eat dessert with the red table where the best swapping was. At recess, it was agony trying to decide if I should play tag, do the monkey bars, or trade stickers at the big oak in the corner of the playground—often panting while trying to do all three. When the end of school bell rung, I would skip along the line of waiting mothers in their parked cars and high-five all of my friends as they pulled away. Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?
Am I the only one who struggles with this?! I want to teach you how to make friends as an adult. I was waiting to board a plane at an airport the other day and overheard two little boys have this incredible interaction:.
I wish I could walk up to someone nice, tell them something I liked and then ask them to be my friend. If only it were that easy!
For some reason, becoming adult friends gets much trickier. Friends matter. Money will come and go, and career success will fade in later years, but friends only make you richer. I believe that finding, building, and maintaining fulfilling friendships is one of the most important things we do in our lifetime. But I have a big idea. I want to give you a different approach to making friends:.
Is it time to end that friendship?
I feel incredibly blessed to have found the most amazing group of friends after many, many years of awkward searching. They love to dress up in crazy costumes, are willing to participate in my science experiments usuallyand put up with my weird antics like asking to be blindfolded and seeing if I can recognize each of them by scent.
We have won only one game so far. Looking back, I realized we had gone through a courtship process of sorts. They are going to tease me mercilessly for writing this post; I am sure of it. It made me begin looking into the process of making friends. So, I want you to court your companions. Flirt with friends. Date your peers. I want you to think about making friends like dating, but without the heartbreak. We search for soulmateswhy not best friends?
In this post, I want to show you how you can search for your best friend.
Close relationships: liking and loving over the long term
Whatever this means to you—build your buddy system, hone your homies, meet your mates:. I know it feels a little weird to be talking about the science of making friends—to break down friendship into steps.
But, unfortunately, the art of building friendships often gets lost in childhood. I think friendships are important and worth the effort. So, I have broken down the process into steps so we can relearn this essential skill. Go through the following list of steps, just like you would court a new date. You are going to court your new friends. Most people think about the kind of person they want to meet. Something like this perhaps?
Then you look at the list and think about where you might find this type of person. A list like this also makes you more attuned to spot this person when you see them. Look at the list above and see if anyone you already know pops into your head. It could even be a distant relative or a friend of a friend or a spouse of a colleague. You are starting from scratch. Make a list of places, groups, clubs, classes and social networks where you might meet the kind of person above:.
This is the most important step for making adult friendships. Adults make two mistakes that get them all mucked up when it comes to making friends:. Flirting helps with both. Whether you already have someone in mind, or you are going to go to a few events and meet new people, here are three ways you can friendship flirt:. By this point, you have someone or a few people in your life who you think might make a great friend. You want to pursue them, go on some dates, spend more time together. Here we borrow a saying from weddings.
Step #1: courtship
In the States, most brides wear four unique items on their wedding day for luck or just for fun. I find this is an easy way to think about different types of wooing.
Now comes the serious part. You have someone you like and slowly have been courting them.
Now what? Most importantly, you want to know if you are good for each other. Over the next few weeks, go through more of the wooing steps and ask yourself these three essential questions:. Toxic relationships happen when we secretly have ill wishes for someone or they have them for us. Just like in a relationship, so-called red flags rarely tend to go away. This is the most amazing, fulfilling, mushy-gushy, part of friendships.
Closeness and intimacy
I think this is the part of the friendship where investment really pays off. What do I mean by investment? Emotional investment, time investment, energy investment. Even the best romantic relationships require tune-ups and energy. I think it is beautiful. Yes, I am getting mushy-gushy. Friendships are our greatest asset. We can make amazing friendships as adults—it just takes a little bit of courage and a little bit of romance.
Her groundbreaking book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People has been translated into more than 16 languages. As a recovering awkward person, Vanessa helps millions find their inner charisma.
How to handle toxicity
She regularly le innovative corporate workshops and helps thousands of individual professionals in her online program People School. Hi, I am 22 Years old and I want a friend, I live in a tiny third world country named Costa Rice, I like to saw clothes to adjust it to me, games, all kind of music, and I really try to dont be judgy since I am ver judgmental with myself.
My husband is an introvert but very social once he gets warmed up. I used to have a ton of friends when I was single. Do we need to start throwing parties or treating people to drinks?
Any other suggestions? Throw a party.
When I moved to Mexico, alone, single and pushing 60 I needed to make friends fast. I did know a few people, the owner of the restaurant I went to weekly, my rental agent and a couple of neighbors. We planned a fabulous party with an open bar, a jazz band, a taco stand and a rooftop garden overlooking the beach.
I invited everyone and encouraged them to bring friends. And I met a ton of new friends of all ages and continue to enjoy them. Thank you for this blog post! I did realize as I got older, that its so much more important to have quality friends over quantity and having many acquaintances. This is a step by step guide I needed!! I got all the answers there!!
Communal and exchange relationships
This is good advice, but only relevant if you have access to the right groups of people. I have pretty much given up on trying to be friends with people. I agree that children are a very intense topic for those who have children. We just have to find other ways of finding friends. That being said, look at every aspect of your life.
Not just the obvious ones. Think about yesterday. Where all did you go? What people were around you?