As a matter of habit, humans cannot live without friends, irrespective of age or geography. Starting in childhood, we thrive on friendships that help us grow into mentally and physically healthy individuals. While the notion of “parents being our best friends” might be valuable for some people, there are always things that we can’t share with our parents. That’s when having a close friend counts.
Friendships have been proven to extend life expectancy and lessen chances of cardiac diseases. Harvard studies have also shown that having solid, dependable friendships can ensure mental health as friends can help us cope with stress and make more informed and conscious choices. Scientists believe that a part of the brain that makes us feel good is catalyzed by friendship, keeping us happier and less stressed. Friends help us stay strong and happy, and a happy heart is always healthier!
Being able to share our lives is something we all need to do, no matter our age. Some friendships are limited to particular situations; like the ones we have in grade school or through work. But some last for the rest of our lives. In these modern times when mobility is inevitable, it’s easy to lose contact with friends. Although with the advent of technology and modernity distance matters less, the physical presence of a friend is a craving that transcends technology and reason.
In fact, even old age friendships play a key role in rebuffing loneliness and improving mental and physical activity. Therefore, it is essential to make friends, especially during this phase of life. Contrary to what we believe, there is no age limit to making friends. In fact, friendships born later in life can become lifelong, but the biggest challenge is always how to take the first step.
It is harder for adults, especially those in their later years, to make friends. If you are wondering how to make friends later in life, you can either start socializing locally with more and more people or use online chat social platforms like Paltalk that can be accessed from your device at your discretion.
Here are some different ways to make new friends in later life.
Be available regularly
To start a friendship, you need to give people the opportunity to get to know you. Your likes, dislikes, interests, hobbies and just about everything about you that someone needs to know to connect with you can only be understood when you regularly socialize with someone. In later years, friendships are less impulsive and more cultivated. Give people the time and opportunity to cultivate you. The more people see and know you, the more will they be willing to know you more and approach you for friendship. A well-understood friendship developed over time can be a great support in shedding your loneliness.
Shed your shyness
We won’t sugar coat it. It is easier to approach people for friendship during the younger years. In our youth, we don’t necessarily need to know a person in detail to approach him or her for friendship. Liking the person or nurturing a secret crush and gathering the courage to walk up and start a friendship is quite common in our youth. For adults in their later years, it is necessary to open up and demonstrate your traits for people to understand you better. So, leave your inhibitions at home when socializing, be it a physical or virtual space. This is especially true if you are trying to make friends online. Here, your body language is, more often than not, not visible to people and they have to form an opinion about you through your social behavior. Being shy will only deter the process.
Follow your interests
Your interests can be a major catalyst in the process of making friends. In our later years, we tend to attend events or gatherings that trigger or nurture our interests. It is in these gatherings that you can encounter others who share common interests and can have a stimulating conversation with you. Given a meaningful conversation or an interesting discussion appeals more to our mature senses that trivial flirtatiousness, it is essential to follow your interests and make common circles of acquaintances within these. It takes time, but an acquaintance who starts to know you and reciprocates your thoughts and feelings often graduates to the next level – friendship.
There is nothing more precious that being honest and transparent especially at a later age when vanity and beauty might fade away to reveal a beautiful heart. You don’t need to try to be someone else to grab others’ attention. You are what you are, and you are special. A true friend is one who will accept you for being what and who you are, no matter how you look or dress or smile. It doesn’t matter if you have a sad, tricky, curious or dissatisfying past because that is what you have left behind. Trying to cover it up will only make you uneasy and might spoil a possible good friendship if the cover ever blows off. So be honest, truthful, and open about yourself. It is bound to yield better results than if you pretend to be someone you are not.
Charity can help
When we have less work and more time at hand, life gives us the opportunity to do good unto others. All our lives, we run around – running against time, running after money, running towards happiness and satisfaction and we hardly get the time or opportunity to stop and think about how we can do good to others. But there comes a time when we have to stop running, and it is then that we can divert our attention to doing good deeds. Doing a good deed does not necessarily mean publicizing your charity work. It simply means making one more attempt at being happy doing something that you might have always wanted to do but never managed – like gifting a smile to somebody. Voluntary charity activities can bring a lot of like-minded, like-aged people together. More than anything else, it will help boost your self-respect and make you feel happier and more confident. And you never know whether your friend-to-be is waiting right there!
Connect with old friends
While once upon a time this might have been a great challenge, it is not one anymore. Social media and other technologies have shrunk our world to the size of a cellphone. In past years, when we lost contact with our old school or college friends, letters were the only hope and with time and the busy ness of their own lives, friends could get lost forever. It was only a very lucky chance meeting somewhere that would connect us back to our friends. But today’s reality is different. With more ways than one to remain connected, it is hard to lose track of friends. Even if you do, it has become easier to track them down and connect again. Who knows? Your best school friend might just be waiting for you, as elated as you are to get back together after ages. Connecting with old friends also helps us revisit lost days and a happy trip down memory lane can ensure your pleasant memories come back to you time and again. If you find such an opportunity, take the plunge without hesitating!
Upgrade yourself technically
Yes, this is necessary. Once upon a time, a phone was a luxury few could afford. Slowly it became a necessity, as it would let us stay connected to our near and dear ones. With the progress of science and technology, a standard static wired phone has now become obsolete, making way for smarter mobile devices. The purpose, however, remains the same. However, it also connects us to not just people we know but those who are waiting to know us as well. Making friends has never been so easy as it is now, but unless you upgrade yourself technically, you won’t be able to make the best of what the new world has to offer. Learning to use newer and smarter devices can open a world of opportunities for you to make new friends and find long lost ones.
Be alert and safe
It is good and almost essential to technically upgrade yourself if you want to make new friends in later life. However, don’t forget that this same technology has also made us more vulnerable. Our information, now often available on the web, can be misappropriated by anybody to defame or harm us. In our later years, we sometimes are in a more emotionally and physically vulnerable position and are easy prey for fraudsters and scam artists. As mature and educated adults, it is our duty to be aware of what is happening in the world around us so that we can try to keep ourselves safe from unwanted harassment. Therefore, while you make the best use of technology, always be alert and aware of how it can land you in trouble.
Identify opportunities available through your device
Our devices have now become our gateways to the world. While they can keep us connected to our immediate and extended family members no matter where they, devices can also be our entry point to the larger world of social media and communities where we can talk and make new friends. You might often wonder how to make friends online when you hardly know who they are or what they like, but some online communities and applications can help you overcome this doubt and expose you to a whole new world of possibilities. Online chatting and friendship communities transcend the barriers of geography and even language. You can have a heart-to-heart conversation and get to know a person without living in the same area, meeting the person regularly, or even speaking in the same language. To make life easier for you, platforms like Paltalk offer a variety of features. They can run on any platform, so irrespective of the make of your device, you can install the app and start using it to expand your circle of friends.
What features can a service like Paltalk offer?
While there are a variety of services and applications, you should select the one that is most appropriate and convenient for you. While you can look for the features elsewhere, Paltalk does offer most of these features mentioned below.
Runs on all platforms – These services are generally available on Android, iOS, and Windows devices. So, whatever the make of your phone, tablet, or laptop, you should be able to install and use the service.
User-friendly – Keeping the clientele in mind, these services are usually made simple and user-friendly. As a user, make yourself comfortable with the features and user interface to get the best use out of your application.
Public chat and video chat rooms – You can choose from a variety of interest areas based on open access to multiple chat rooms. Chat platforms also guarantee security to a great extent by enabling video chats, since video chats generally drive people out of oblivion by exposing their real face to people. This can help prevent the use of fake identities.
Multiple language options – Some services like Paltalk also provide for multilingual support for people who might not be able to converse in English. So, language barriers are generally brought down further by some of these services.
Well then, gear up and set out to make new friends, regardless of your age. Making new friends in later life can be challenging but following some of the suggestions mentioned above can help you connect with more people and choose your friends from among them quickly and surely! Remember what Dale Carnegie said about making friends – “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”