Making friends as an adult

This article talks about how people make fewer friends as they get older. It mostly sounds depressing: parents who make friends only when their kids do, busy people who deduct points from friends if they’re late, retirees who find themselves totally friendless.

More interestingly, though:

“…the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other…”

Seems simple enough. Why not create that environment after college too?


Julenka -

There is, it’s called grad school! My summer experience working at a company has been interesting. Although there is plenty of proximity, everybody is nevertheless quite distant. Maybe it’s because there are too many people around and if you were freindly with everybody you wouldn’t have time to work

Dan -

Well, also: you do get proximity and repeated unplanned interactions with coworkers (especially if you have a good office layout and lots of good talks or other things to do) but you usually don’t have a setting that encourages people to let their guard down. (depending on your company, you might have the opposite: people always with their guard super high.)

And people at work have families more, so they’re not around as much. (if that’s still a reason, it’s still a little sad, as it means a lot of my friends (and maybe I?) will at some point become unavailable all the time and therefore not great friends.)

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