4 tips for making friends at any age
Friends are an important part of our lives, no matter how old we are. Healthcare professionals say friendships act as a "vaccine" for mental and overall wellness. They are also the greatest support systems and true friends also help you augment self-esteem. It is therefore imperative to make friends and cherish them, even if you think you are beyond the stage of making friends.
Why does this story matter?
Studies say that people over the age of 45 find it tough to maintain friendships. This may further result in feelings of despair and unhappiness. In fact, many old people are socially isolated and have heightened risks of poor mental health, which may also lead to cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and stroke. But it is never too late to start making friends. Here's how.
Learn to accept differences
The first rule of friendship is acceptance. One needs to put behind judgmental behavior, if any, to understand the other person's diverse thoughts and personality. Therapists believe that while people are attracted to those they have something in common with, differences are also an essential part of any relationship. So, it is a good idea to keep an open mind.
Embrace the online space
The pandemic has left people physically distant from their loved ones. But it has also opened up a whole new world: the digital space. A wellness expert explains that digital relationships can be a source of happiness. There are several local groups on social media and apps where you can find like-minded people. However, be cautious while furthering such friendships.
Join a community group or volunteer program
Volunteer and community groups are a great medium to make friends. The USP of such groups is shared interests. Meeting people with similar interests makes getting to know them easier. Further, such groups and programs have a set routine, which means you are bound to meet the same people on a regular basis. This regularity translates into bonding and camaraderie over time.
Be invested, show that you care
Just like any other relationship, friendships are also about give-and-take. If you feel like you are the only one invested in a friendship, step away. If you feel the other person is showing more concern than you, stop and analyze your role. Talk about yourself, but never forget to ask about how they are doing. Displaying empathy tells the other person that you care.