We’ve all experienced it and if you haven’t yet, well, you probably will: the fact that we stop making new friends after having reached a certain stage in our life. It’s a fact that is unpleasant, but seemingly unavoidable. A fact that seems to derive from our growing lack of time but actually doesn’t. A fact that concerns 99% of the people around us and has therefore finagled a legitimate status within society.
But where did the vice take its course and –more importantly- how can we get out of a habit that obviously diminishes the quality of our lives to such a vast extent?
The “obligatory” K-12 education and possibility of doing further studies means meeting new people and forming new friendships into your early twenties is easy. But afterwards, this process rapidly decreases. Is this because we have found our final place in society or is it because, when entering the “real”, working world, we stop being colleagues and start being rivals?
The former justification is not to blame, I guess. Having found one’s space in society is all fine and dandy but within it – and it’s most likely made up of more than your humble self – there is a sheer endless amount of people that WOULD fit in, if only you let them!
And neither can the second take all responsibility on its shoulders. Our all’ impartiality might decrease with every year we grow older – but still, I think and hope that the pressure to achieve has still not conquered our minds to such a high degree.
So what’s the antivenom to resting on the laurels of one’s juvenile self-discovery process? How do we resist the tree of indifference? Fact is, there’s no foolproof recipe. We could now continue with semi-scientific tips on how to make new friends post-25 and that we should all overcome our reservation and start chatting to strangers on the subway, but hey – we’re not the Dalai Lama, right?
But seriously: a fault confessed is half redressed. So as soon as you’ve grown aware of the fact that your once so-open-character got lost somewhere between grumpily spending your Friday evening in a lecture on business mathematics and trying to spend some quality time with your family while simultaneously convincing your boss that you definitely don’t need to cut down your office hours, you’re on the road to recovery.
Keep your goal in mind and when the opportunity occurs – and believe me it does, we’re just very good at overseeing it – seize it. Nothing is more refreshing than a new friend. But ATTENTION: friends are not stamps, collecting them as if they were will not refresh you!