Have you noticed that you gradually tend to have fewer and fewer friends as you grow up? You’ve probably spent your school and college years surrounded by a bunch of friends. You probably used to instantly hit it off with someone you just met and in spite of having completely different personalities, it was quite easy to maintain a relationship.
But as you grow up you start to drift apart and end up losing touch with most of your old friends, except for one or two special ones. Some moved to another city for work, some preferred to hang out with their new friends, and some you started avoiding because their interests did not match with yours anymore. Well, that’s just life – and this is how we evolve.
Regardless of whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, you are likely to struggle a little to make new friends as an adult, but don’t worry: you’re not alone. Even though there’s no age limit for making new friends, all of us find it hard to make great connections the way we used to do in our younger years. We get caught up with our hectic adult lifestyle where we spend most of our time balancing our personal and professional responsibilities, leaving no room for anything else. The traditional way of going out and meeting new people doesn’t seem feasible anymore.
However, thanks to the internet and the world of social media platforms like Paltalk, it is quite easy to find and get connected to a new person every day. Simply create an account for yourself and hit the “Send Friend Request” button. As soon as they accept the request, you have added another new person to your list. But are they really your friend now? The answer would be “no”.
Social media gives you only the platform to meet new people, but befriending them and developing a new friendship is totally up to you. Even though it’s online (or virtual), it works exactly like how you would build a connection in real life. You will have to put in some time and effort to get to know them better. You have to balance your approach so as not to overwhelm your new friends. You need to be interesting and friendly without being pushy, so that they’ll positively respond to your efforts.
Here’s a simple guide of things you can do to nurture new friendships anonymously as an adult:
- Do not expect it to happen spontaneously
Some friendships like the one with your highschool best friend occur and flow naturally. You both are so comfortable and in-sync with each other that such friendship doesn’t need any extra effort. But most of the friendships that start during adulthood don’t start and proceed as spontaneously. You will have to give it a little bit of time, attention, and effort so that it blossoms just as it was meant to. Imagine planting a tree – care and attention at the beginning make for strong and swift growth.
- Be available
You’ve heard that playing hard to get may work in the case of building a romantic relationship with someone who shows interest in you, but that won’t work here. Be available on various social media platforms so that you can meet and connect with new people. Being consistent and active on these platforms will make you accessible and help them find you. When someone shows interest in being your new friend, be welcoming and friendly towards them.
- Listen more, talk less
Let the focus be on them and not you. Nobody likes a person who doesn’t allow others to enjoy the spotlight. You may have a lot to share with your friend but focusing only on yourself makes you come across as self-centered. Your goal here should be to know your new friends better so that you get an insight into the type of person you’re talking to. This will also help you decide whether you value the qualities as well as principles of that person and if you’d like to extend your friendship with them. Show interest in your friend’s likes, dislikes, hobbies and passions. Be a good listener before being a good talker.
- Make sure they are interested
You cannot force someone to be your friend if they do not want to. Before you start acting all buddy-buddy, make sure they are genuinely interested in your friendship. The easiest way to know that is to observe if they ask you questions and try to get to know more about you. Notice if the way they respond seems warm and welcoming. Do they simply respond to your questions all the time or talk about themselves without you having to ask?
- Don’t fake it
There’s nothing more attractive than a person who is genuine and confident about themselves. When you try too hard to blend in and act in a certain way in order to make people like you, you are only making them think that you are fake and pretentious. Don’t hide your little quirks. Rather, own them — that’s what makes you unique and memorable. Show new friends who you are and let them know the real you. Be honest and authentic about your intentions.
- Quality over quantity
Keep this mantra in your mind while you decide to extend your friend circle. New friendships are great but they’re only worth your time and effort if they add value to your personal life. The type of company you keep influences your image as well as characteristics significantly, so be wise while choosing your new friends. And remember, only the genuine friendships can stand the test of time.
- Don’t be a closed book
Nope, you don’t have to reveal your deep secrets. But be open and expressive enough so that your friend understands that you trust and value them. Start small and share personal values such as your interests, principles, goals and struggles etc. Once they acknowledge your respect and trust for them, they will reciprocate the same towards you. They will understand that you are trustworthy which will help them be comfortable around you too. A combination of mutual interest, trust and appreciation go a long way to build a solid foundation for a lasting friendship.
- Start or join a group
It is easier to build and maintain a friendship with someone with whom you share a number of mutual friends. Start or join a group with people who share similar interests as you. If you meet a new friend who can be a valuable part of your group, then invite them to hang out with you all. Group meets are not just fun and exciting but can also help save you some time if you cannot go for one-on-one sessions for each of your friends individually.
- Meet them and socialize
You cannot expect someone to be your best friend in virtual platforms and never want to socialize with them in person. If the opportunity arises, make plans for lunch or dinner, watch a movie, or join some group activities together and hang out with your new friends. Spending some quality time together will take your friendship one step further.
- Don’t be too aggressive with your approach
Being over-friendly and aggressive with your approach is the perfect way to creep someone out and scare them away. You don’t want to be like that. Let the friendship develop at its own pace; you don’t have to force it. Show your interest in the lives of your new friends but make sure they are ready to share the same enthusiasm.
- Don’t expect too much
Don’t be too needy and clingy – give your friends some space. You cannot force or expect someone to consider you as their friend right away. It takes time for people to develop trust and commitment towards new relationships. Keep the window of communication open and follow up every now and then, but do not set your expectations too high.
- What you give is what you get
Make sure to be the type of person you’d want to be friends and hang out with. You’d not want to be around someone who is negative, complaining, and toxic as the influence of such people affects your mood and emotions. Be kind, helpful, and confident as well as fun and friendly – just what you’d expect your friends to be.
- Remember and value the little things
Celebrate the important moments and things in their lives. Host a big birthday surprise or give your friend something amazing or expensive once in a while. But remember, the little things matter the most. The strength of your friendship is not based upon the grand gestures you show for them but is in cherishing the little details about your friend such as how to cheer them up when they’re upset, remembering their favourite things, asking what they’re passionate about, etc.
- Acknowledge and honor your differences:
You can have a lot in common with your friend and share similar tastes, interests as well as passion, but there will still be many differences that will make you two quite unique in your own ways. Acknowledge and cherish these differences – this way both of you will feel more welcomed and comfortable around each other.
- Keep in touch
As we grow older and gain maturity, we tend to have lower tolerance and higher standards than we had when we were younger. While surely it automatically eliminates some people from our close circle, whoever remains in the circle ends up being highly valuable to us. Be sure to stay in touch with these friends and make yourself available for them especially in times of their need. Even if it is a new friendship, you need to be consistent and regularly follow up with your friends.
How Paltalk can help you to know your new friends better
Apart from providing you with a platform to meet and make new friends, Paltalk has multiple features that can benefit you in building a better and more personal relationship with your new friend. Make good use of these and let your friends know the fun and amazing person that you are so that they feel invested in nurturing this blooming friendship into a life-long journey.
Accessible through multiple platforms: One of the best features of Paltalk is that it runs smoothly on multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and also Kindle. No matter what computer or phone you use, you can easily download and install Paltalk and start searching for new friends.
Public and private video chat rooms: Along with one-on-one private video chat options, they also offer multiple public video chat rooms that you can choose according to your interests. With easy-to-use buttons, full screen mode, and faster and clearer video quality, bonding with your new pal has become extremely convenient. The best part is that both you and your new friend can choose whether or not to switch on the camera while video chatting.
Ease of sharing media files: Be it those hilarious cat/dog videos on YouTube or your favourite song on SoundCloud, you can share them directly with your friends in your chat rooms and enjoy them together.
Fun gifts, stickers and contests: Break the ice with your new friend by sending them virtual gifts and communicate with some fun stickers. You can use them in public chat rooms as well. You can also invite your friends to participate in exciting contests and win amazing offers.
Even though we may not realize, solid friendships are beneficial for our mental and physical health. We need good friends at every step of our lives – to celebrate happiness and success as well as to support us during the difficult times of distress and loss. It may be a little intimidating to start a new friendship as an adult, but no matter what your age, it’s never too late to make new friends. Use these social media platforms wisely to discover new connections every day. Above all, remember to be mindful of the above-mentioned tips to choose quality friends and nurture your friendships.