Adult Friendships

Adult Friendhips February, 2022, the American Psychological Association's Speaking of Psychology reported on an interview of Marisa Franco. PhD, an expert on friendship. The focus of the interview was about the question, "Why is it so hard for adults to make friends?" 

The main answer was that as adults we are not naturally in situations for unplanned interactions and shared vulnerabilities,  like we were in our years in school. In the workplace there are stricter boundaries, such as professional decorum. Also, as we get older, we have less discretionary time and therefore focus more on the quality rather than the quantity of friendships. It has been found that adults are four or five times more likely to have no friends compared to decades ago. The pace of life is quicker, and the demands of family are often more.

Yet loneliness is toxic to physical and mental health. What to do? Dr. Franco advised people to initiate contacts. Science finds that those who regard friendship as taking effort are less lonely than those who expect it just to happen, like it did when they were younger. Another complication is the fear of rejection. Dr. Franco asserted that it is best to expect that people will like you. She said, "Take the risk and reap the benefits." Also further to deepen existing friendships, make regular plans to get together with your friends so that too much time doesn't lapse. Have making and keeping friends be a personal goal.

Who are our friends? Dr. Franco thinks they are those who look out for us and wants the best for us. They affirm who we are and don't try to make us into who they think we should be.

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