Why Making New Friends Is Harder As An Adult
I was at dinner a few years ago with a group of women I just adore. Back then, we met from time to time without kids in tow, and I really treasured both the social time and the women’s company.
But what occured to me on that particular evening as the table was cleared and checks were paid is this: we had done nothing but trade stories about our children the entire evening.
And as I began to think back to recent interactions with my “mom friends” in general, it seemed to be the common theme.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy talking about my children - they are, in fact, one of my favorite topics. But that night made me think about ways that we, as adults, might subconsciously talk about our kids to avoid talking about topics that make us feel more vulnerable.
In other words, we might be “armoring up” around each other because of a fear of rejection.
When I read Dare to Lead last year, Brené Brown gave even more context to my hunch when she wrote about the concept of a “square squad.”
In case you haven’t read the book, a square squad is basically a one-inch by one-inch square on a piece of paper that lists the people whose opinions truly matter to you - those who care about you, and are willing to give you their honest feedback.
The point of the small square is to keep you diligent about who you include and who you don’t. These are the people you go to when you get feedback that is confusing or hurts your feelings. Because this group both knows and loves you well enough to give an honest perspective - not just lip service.
And so it made me think - what has to be true to move a relationship from acquaintance to square-squad-worthy? And am I willing to invest the time and energy it takes with NEW acquaintances?
I’m curious. How many people on YOUR square squad are newer friends you’ve made in, say, the last three years? Not many, right?
As children, making friends is so easy. All it really takes is 10 minutes of tag on the playground to make a connection that can grow and grow.
In college, you almost had to try NOT to make new friends.
But then you got a job. You got married. You had kids.
You got busy.
And then one day, not only is “making friends” no longer at the top of our priority list - it doesn’t even make the list.
So we go to church and our kids’ sporting events, and we sit by the same people and make the same small talk for years on end. And it’s fun.
But it could be so much more.
There are proven ways to meet new people and develop deep friendships. If you’re dying to make some new friends and need a nudge in the right direction, today’s episode is for you!
Today’s episode covers:
- The depressing reason we treasure our oldest friends so much. (3:20)
- 3 things every friendship has to have to form and deepen. (5:00)
- The most common belief holding adults back from making new friends. (8:30)
- If you’re ambitious in your work, spending time with friends might seem hard—but this realization will make it easy. (10:55)
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