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I Need a Friend – Why People Need Friends

How to Make Friends as an Adult | By: Katie Lister

April 23, 2024

What do you do when you experience an ‘I need a friend’ moment but have none? Is it okay not to have a friend? What are the benefits of having solid friendships? How can I make friends as an adult? What are the disadvantages of not having any friends? If you are looking for answers to these questions, this article is for you.

Hi, my name is Katie Lister. I am a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. I lead personal development groups and coach women to live their best lives authentically. Growth Gals provides a safe space for women to connect with like-minded individuals, learn, and offer support to one another, even as they make new friends.

At Growth Gals, women come together to discuss various topics related to everyday issues that are relatable to them. The topics discussed include mental health, emotional intelligence, finding one’s life’s purpose, personal development, and navigating complex relationships. In this article, I will highlight the importance of friendships and why anyone needs a friend.

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Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

I Need a Friend – Why Making Friends as an Adult Is Complicated

There are so many books and RnB songs on numerous playlists on Spotify written about friendships. The official music videos or official lyric videos often talk about the benefits of friendships.

We live in a fast-paced world where everyone is busy with life and career and chasing the next big thing. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of life, people have seemingly less and less time to pause, reflect and even reconnect with their loved ones.

Growing up, making friends was easy. You met someone in school or socially through mutual friends, liked them, and became friends. Back then, it was easier to find people with whom you had shared interests, which made bonding easy. However, this is not the same in adulthood.

I have no friends‘ – Here is what to do about it. 

Lack of trust

As you grow older, your perception of friendships and your ability to make friends dwindle as most people come with beaming red flags. This is because you are more self-aware, and sometimes, finding people interested in genuine friendships can be hard. Therefore, most people prefer not to have any friends as they find getting to know people to determine whether they can make good friends too tiring.

Friendships need time

Researchers have tried to quantify the time it takes to make friends, and it has been found that one needs to invest roughly 50 hours of shared contact with a potential friend for the relationship to move from acquaintances to casual friends. It will take much more time to make the casual friend a best friend, and time is the one thing most people do not have.

For friendships to grow, they require you to invest time for regular meetups, and a ‘lack of time’ is a thing among American adults. As an adult, you probably do not have a lot of time on you to spare, between juggling demanding careers and juggling life. Lack of time also makes it difficult to maintain existing friendships. This is why most adults end up lonely later in life. Eventually, they get so preoccupied with life that they forget to nurture friendships. Like any other relationship, friendships die when they are not nurtured.

Fear of rejection

The fear of rejection is a leading cause of loneliness among adults. Even when one knows they need a friendship of women, the fear that the people they want to be friends with do not want to be friends with them keeps them from attempting to make friends.

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Why Adult Friendships Are Important

According to research and science, friendships are pivotal to mental health. Real life friendships, where you can cry, laugh, and share your most intimate thoughts, are powerful and necessary for everyday life. Science has shown that adults with close friendships have a reduced chance of developing many physical and mental health conditions, including depression, hypertension, and even cardiac arrest.   

Strong friendships offset stressors

When stressed, this is probably the time you think to yourself, ‘I need a friend.’ Everyone needs someone in their life with whom they can share a bit of chit chat when going through a difficult time. Offloading your stress on a trusted friend group will lighten the mental load caused by the issue, which boosts your mental health.

Friends boost self-esteem

Having friends is one of the best ways to boost your self-love and confidence. Good friends help you see the best parts of yourself. Whether they occasionally compliment your outfit, praise your strong qualities, or support you through a project, friends have a special way of making you feel confident about yourself and your abilities. You really don’t wanna have to go through life alone. 

They encourage you to grow

It is easy to procrastinate when no one is holding you accountable. This is often common among people with no friends. When you procrastinate, you start to feel as though you are stuck. This usually leads to the development of mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Friends are your accountability partners. They are the support system you need when you need someone to remind you to remain focused and work on your goals.

Friends help to prevent loneliness

Most people underestimate the effect of loneliness on mental and physical health. Most suicides are caused by loneliness. When you have no friends, you do not have an emotional support system, which often contributes to depression rates among adults.

Friends enrich your life

Apart from being stress relievers, support systems, and loneliness preventers, friends simply enrich your life. Life is better when you have friends you can share it with, and experiences are more meaningful when you have people to share them with.

I Need a Friend – How to Make Friends as an Adult

Making friends as an adult can be challenging, especially if you are an introvert or have no active social life. However, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of meeting new people and making friends. Here is how to get and keep friends. 

Get involved in volunteering projects

One of the best ways to meet people with shared interests is by volunteering for causes you believe in and are close to your heart. When you volunteer, you put yourself in the company of individuals who are passionate about the same things you are. This offers the perfect foundation for a natural platonic friendship to grow.

Say yes to social invitations

Life can get busy and tiring. However, just like other essential things in your life, friendships require you to invest time for them to work. Therefore, whenever a potential friend invites you, say yes as often as possible. Having a simple cup of coffee as you talk or going out for lunch together boosts your chances of maintaining new friendships.

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Work on your social skills

If social anxiety or lack of social skills is what is keeping you from making and maintaining friendships, it is best to consider improving in these areas. Seeing an anxiety specialist can go a long way in helping you manage your social anxiety.

You can brush up your social skills by practicing on social media. Find and join forums and groups about issues you are passionate about, join the conversations there and try to meet new people virtually.

Reach out to your neighbors

Some neighbors are always potential close friends. If there is a neighbor you think may make a good friend, you should consider making the first move. If you live in an involved community, you should make more effort to join community projects to get to know your neighbors in a natural setting.

Join a local sporting team

If you love sports, one of the best places you can meet and make amazing friendships is out there doing what you love. Instead of spending all your free time on TikTok, you can find a local sports group for your ideal sport and see if they are open to new memberships. Again, this presents an excellent opportunity to meet people with shared interests.

Reach out to old friends

If you once had good friends, you can reach out to them and see how they are doing. As adults, it is normal for life to drive people apart. Sometimes, a little effort is all you need to rekindle amazing old friendships.

How Growth Gals Can Help You When You Need a Friend

Realizing that you need a friend as an adult but have none is not always easy. However, friendships in adulthood are necessary for good health and a prosperous life. If you are a woman interested in meeting more like minded women you definitely have things in common with, Growth Gals is an excellent place to meet your tribe. Here, you will find a safe space where women can come together and get the support they need as they navigate different life seasons.

We also strive to inspire women to reach their full potential as we create positive change, even as they make new meaningful friendships. We support women with the resources to discover their true selves and expand their knowledge base on various issues, such as navigating relationships, including friendships. Subscribe to the Growth Gals newsletter to access trending news, resources, and helpful guides for women and learn more about how we can support you.

The Bottom Line 

While making and keeping friends seems complicated in adulthood, it is still possible to create and experience great friendships as an adult. If you need help making meaningful friendships, following the tips in this article is an excellent way to get you started. Also, joining Growth Gals presents a wonderful opportunity to make new friends even as you access resources to help you become the best version of yourself.

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