If you struggle to make friends as an adult, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

I remember when I was a kid, making friends was as easy as sharing a crayon.

But as we grow older, it seems like the playground rules no longer apply.

We all know the importance of having a strong circle of friends. The support, the shared laughter, even the simple joy of companionship.

But as an adult, forging new friendships can feel like an uphill battle.

Ever wondered why?

Maybe you haven’t considered this yet, but sometimes our own behaviors can become stumbling blocks in our quest for new connections.

So if you’re sitting there asking yourself, “Why is it so hard for me to make friends?” it’s time to take a hard look at your own actions.

Let’s delve deeper into this, shall we?

1) Being overly self-centered

We all enjoy talking about ourselves, right?

Sharing our experiences, our views, our triumphs, and even our mundane day to day activities.

But here’s the catch.

There’s a fine line between sharing and dominating conversations.

If you always steer the conversation back to yourself, it might give off the impression that you’re not really interested in others.

And let’s be honest, no one wants to feel like they’re just a sounding board for someone else’s monologue.

This is because making friends isn’t a one-way street. It’s mutual interest and shared dialogue.

So next time you’re in a conversation, try asking more questions and showing genuine interest in other people’s lives. Because friendship isn’t just about finding people who want to listen to us, but about us being willing to listen too.

2) Being too rigid in your expectations

Let me share a personal story.

I used to have a very specific idea of what my “perfect” friend should be like. They needed to have the same taste in music, enjoy the same hobbies, and even have a similar sense of humor.

But I soon realized how limiting that was.

I remember meeting someone at a work conference. He was into heavy metal music (which I couldn’t stand), had a passion for hiking (while I preferred the comfort of my couch), and his humor was a lot more sarcastic than mine.

Despite our differences, I gave it a shot.

And guess what? He turned out to be one of my closest friends. Our differences actually enriched our friendship, offering fresh perspectives and interesting conversations.

The lesson here? Don’t let rigid expectations limit your potential friendships. You might be surprised by who you can connect with when you open up your mind a little more.

3) Being afraid to show vulnerability

Here’s a hard truth: friendships aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. They aren’t built on constant positivity and surface-level chit-chat.

Real, meaningful friendships often delve into the messy, uncomfortable parts of life.

I get it. It’s scary to open up, to show your flaws, and to let someone see the ‘real’ you. What if they judge you? What if they don’t understand? It’s a risk, for sure.

But consider this: When was the last time you felt truly close to someone who only shared their highlight reel?

Real connections happen in the trenches, in the middle of the mess and the raw, honest parts of life. They happen when we dare to take off our masks and show up as our authentic selves.

So if you’re struggling to make friends, maybe it’s time to let down your guard a little. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but the friendships you’ll nurture will be worth it.

4) Being too quick to judge

Quick to judge 2 If you struggle to make friends as an adult, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

We’ve all been there: Someone said something that rubs us the wrong way. Or they showed a particular habit that we find annoying, and we’re quick to write them off.

Here’s something to think about.

What if we replaced judgement with curiosity? What if, instead of dismissing someone based on a first impression, we took the time to understand their perspective or their backstory?

Because when we’re quick to judge, we might be missing out on some truly amazing friendships.

So when you find yourself passing judgement too quickly, try to hit pause. Ask questions. Be curious. You might just find a friend in the most unexpected person.

5) Being reluctant to initiate

It’s a common problem we all face. We wait for the other person to make the first move, to extend the first invitation. We worry about coming off as desperate or needy.

But here’s the thing.

Most people are waiting for the same thing. They’re waiting for someone else to take the initiative, to show interest in them.

Being proactive in reaching out can make a world of difference when it comes to making friends as an adult. So don’t wait for an invitation. Be the one who invites others for a coffee catch-up or a weekend hike.

Remember, the worst they can say is no, but the best that could happen? You might just make a lifelong friend.

6) Being harsh on yourself

We’re often our own worst critics. We nitpick our flaws and magnify our mistakes, thinking that they make us unworthy of friendship.

But no one is perfect. Not me, not you, not the friendliest person you know. We all have flaws, and that’s okay. It’s what makes us human.

Next time you find yourself spiraling into self-doubt and negativity, take a moment to remind yourself of your worth. You are deserving of friendships and connections, just like anyone else.

And remember, the right friends will accept you for who you are, flaws and all. So be kind to yourself. You’re doing better than you think.

7) Being closed to new experiences

The world is full of opportunities to make friends, but they often come wrapped in the form of new experiences.

It might be a hobby you’ve never tried before, a place you’ve never visited, or even a social event that’s outside your comfort zone. But these unfamiliar territories are often where friendships are born.

So don’t shy away from stepping out of your comfort zone. Embrace the new, the unknown, and the exciting.

After all, the world is full of potential friends. All it takes is a little courage to meet them.

Final thoughts

If you’ve read this far, it’s likely some of these behaviors resonated with you.

And that’s okay.

Recognizing these patterns is the first, crucial step towards change. It’s all about self-awareness—understanding that certain actions might be standing in the way of forming meaningful friendships.

Now comes the challenging part: letting go of these behaviors. It won’t be easy, and it certainly won’t happen overnight. But remember, every small step counts.

Start by acknowledging when these behaviors show up in your life. Question your actions, understand their roots, and slowly work on altering them.

Take assurance in the fact that change is possible. By consciously shifting our behaviors, we can open doors to new connections and deeper friendships.

Be patient with yourself. Celebrate your progress and don’t lose heart if you stumble.

After all, the quest for friendship isn’t a race; it’s a marathon. And with each stride you take, you’re getting closer to becoming the friend you’ve always wanted to be.

And who knows? In this process, you might just end up discovering a better version of yourself.

Picture of Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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