Striking up friendships can be tricky — and studies show millions of us are lonely. Here, four people who forged new connections explain how they did it. Plus: psychologist Linda Blair gives her tips. Teenage years are filled with friendships easily made and some easily forgotten , when you are feeling keen, sociable and energetic. Then there are engagements, marriage, relocation, career changes, families: life comes calling with its multiple demands, and friendships evolve as a result. I have been happy to see my friends move through these huge life moments, but as much as I value my friendships, I have found myself lonely at times.
And this is coming from someone who is pretty content with her group of friends. But from hearing so much from others about their struggles with finding and forming strong friendships in the years after college, it seems like a big problem for some people. While it's a joke, it's kind of true, right? It's tough out there!
As a kid, friendships happened naturally. It was as easy as being in the same class or playing the same sport. Those childhood bonds formed effortlessly and sometimes lasted years. But as an adult, making new friends is a lot harder. However, studies show that close friendships are important to your happiness and can even extend your life.
Friendships give us so much. She writes regularly about connection for Psychology Today and has been a featured connection expert in publications including The New York Times , The Telegraph and Vice. She is currently writing a book, Platonic , on how to make friends as an adult. She lives in Washington, DC. Edited by Christian Jarrett.