Finding sincere friendship, like true love, is not so easy. Especially when you are already well over 30, 40, or even more. And is it worth it to start making friends at this age? Or are there more problems from such a relationship than benefits? aif.ru told about this psychologist and coach Katerina Kazachenko.
From morning to night, we are surrounded by a lot of things, we are always in a hurry somewhere, we are late. In this turmoil, to find an extra minute for yourself, family and children – there is simply no time left for friends. Even on old ones, not to mention looking for new ones. Nevertheless, friendship is extremely important at any age. How to save or find it – we understand in this article.
Why friends are needed
“Man is a social being, unable to survive in isolation,” the expert says. – We depend on society and on our physiology, which, by the way, includes hormonal systems that also help maintain relationships with others. For example, oxytocin, the hormone responsible for social bonding and trust, is produced in us only when we interact with other people.”
Staying in society and warm contact with like-minded and pleasant people positively affects our health and overall well-being. And a person who does not go into interaction, preferring to avoid close communication, is deprived of this. For this reason, his interest in life gradually decreases. In addition, communication with other people enriches us intellectually, spiritually, emotionally: it helps to receive new information, develop, and acquire new strategies. Interest in life and curiosity are sources of joy and happiness, which is why children, open to everything new, are so full of energy and thirst for life.
Be like children
“At an early age, we create friendships more easily, as we explore the world without prejudices and judgments,” says Kazachenko. – In childhood, a personality is only being formed, and when a child meets someone, he interacts without fear and begins to explore both himself and the other person. If both children are interested in each other, they begin to share their own and others’ experiences and emotions for two, which only strengthens their friendship. The more time they spend together, the stronger their friendship becomes.”
Then the child grows up, and inevitably, on the path of life, he encounters various disappointments, pain, difficulties, and obstacles. As a result, the psyche develops various defense mechanisms in order to maintain its integrity. This is how attitudes and patterns appear, which form character traits. And the psyche “from a blank slate” becomes a certain system that functions according to its own laws. And if earlier any peer of the same age from the yard could be a friend to us, then the older we get, and the more angles and curves appear in our character, the more difficult it becomes to coincide with someone and put together this friendly puzzle.
You to me, I to you
With age, we begin to divide the world into “us” and “them”, and become more closed. Old friends fade into the background, interests change, conflicts often arise due to misunderstandings. People create boundaries to protect themselves from pain and stop being genuinely interested in others. They become self-centered and lose the ability to open up to others. Instead of friendships, relationships are sometimes built on the basis of benefits. This can lead to loneliness and depression.
Sympathy is a good basis for friendship, but without a real interest in the other person, friendship, like love, will not work. Benefit, commercial interest – this is about business, useful connections, which is also important and necessary in life, but to help “out of friendship” and to be friends for real – these are, as they say, two big differences. If you are not ready to share, but only want to take in a relationship, then it is better not to get close to other people so as not to disappoint them and not be disappointed yourself.
But if you are really ready to make strong friendships, then know that in adulthood friendship is not only possible, it is extremely necessary. The main thing to remember is that, unlike childhood, for its appearance it is now necessary to make a conscious effort. But on the other hand, in adulthood, we acquire friends more consciously. These are no longer random people, but those who are similar to us in spirit, they are more stable and share our interests. Therefore, such friendship, if it happens, is much stronger and more conscious than the one that we had in childhood.
How to find a friend
“If we want to build strong friendships in adulthood, then we must be prepared for the fact that this will not happen overnight,” the expert says. – With someone we will become closer, and someone will remain our good friends. But the main principle in building friendships is a sincere interest in a person.
Wanting to find a friend is the first step. But for it to translate into something more tangible, other steps must follow:
Don’t be afraid to meet new people. A large number of acquaintances increases the chances that we will meet a person close to us in spirit. And it is better to do this in those places where we do something that interests us: sports, professional environment, hobbies, etc.
Don’t lose contact. Immediately translate the acquaintance into some kind of joint agreement. It often happens that fate brings us together with some people on vacation, on a trip or somewhere else, we sympathize with each other, but, being distracted by everyday affairs and worries, we never move on to further communication. Therefore, it is better to immediately agree on the next step: call, meet in a cafe, go to nature. This will help you move from the “acquaintances” category to the “buddies” stage.
Feel free to open up emotionally. Share something personal. Friends differ from other social contacts in emotional involvement: we discuss something personal with them, talk about childhood, about our feelings and problems, empathize with their stories. Without mutual emotions, strong friendship does not exist.
Maintain and develop relationships. We all have our own lives, in which there is often not enough time even for ourselves. However, if we dream of friendship, then we need to set aside time for a person, try to see him more often and remind him that he also needs to find time to communicate with you. Friendship is always a movement from two sides.
Do not be too demanding and intrusive. Each person has his own format of relationships suitable for him. Relate to how much energy and free time the other person has, do not demand more from him than he can and wants to give. But, of course, approach the relationship critically so that your friendship does not turn into a one-way game.