Do you want to learn how to make friends? Are you a guy who finds it hard to make friends? Do you need new friends who are not your co-workers? Do you need a support system? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article would be of great help.
Hi. My name is Sean Galla, a facilitator for friends groups like men support groups, men’s forums, and men’s groups. In my line of work, I oversee a platform where men can meet other men in a safe environment that allows them to nurture platonic friendships.
I have seen firsthand how important it is for every man to have friends. If you are interested in understanding new friendships, this article is for you.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about making friends and why it is important.
Table of Contents:
Who Are Friends?
While it may seem rather obvious, most people, especially men, still do not understand what it means to have friends. When it comes to platonic relationships, most men have a hard time understanding the actual meaning of having a close-knit social circle.
Simply put, friends are either male or female companions with whom you are close and share similar interests without any romantic association. If you have one or a few social relationships, they can be termed as your friends.
Bffs share a sense of camaraderie in little things. They often spend time in a group setup where they share, learn and explore together. They have a deep level of connection that is different from that found in romantic relationships.
In most cases, friends have an unspoken or spoken commitment to one another, including being there for each other emotionally. Close friendships accommodate and encourage vulnerability around one other.
Why Do You Need Friends?
There are numerous benefits associated with having friends.
Boldly speaking, all humans are social creatures. We are born to socialize and live in a community. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, everyone can benefit from interpersonal connections where you fall back on when you need support.
In this growing digital age, research shows that it has become increasingly difficult to make meaningful friendships or even retains old ones.
For most men, it becomes harder to meet people or maintain long-term friendships with other men and even harder to maintain old friends.
Emotional isolation is one of the leading causes of lifestyle vices and diseases like smoking, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, high blood pressure, tumors, and other neurodegenerative behaviors.
Having a group of people you can call good friends gives you continuous support whenever you need it. It also helps in fighting social anxiety by learning to be around people more often.
Friends act as accountability partners. Research shows that people are more likely to achieve a goal when they are held accountable. When you have a bestie, they follow up on your progress to achieve your goals because they want the best for you.
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Lack of friends causes loneliness.
Not having close friendships is not advisable to your overall well-being as it leads to prolonged loneliness, which affects a man’s emotions, cognition, health, and behavior. Lack of a close-knit group of male friends or even a best friend causes physiological aging in men.
Loneliness is one of the greatest threats to men’s health. Most men have a hard time admitting that they are lonely or need more male friends because growing up, most men were never taught the importance of having a close group of male friends.
According to scientific research, loneliness can trigger signal hormones and molecules that dictate human behavior, lasting effects on men’s mental health.
Why Is It Hard to Make Friends When You Are an Adult Male?
Men have been programmed to believe that they are not allowed to be vulnerable, show emotions, or allow people to get too close to them.
While some men can have tons of friends, others have a hard time meeting people and making friends in general. As a man gets older, you tend to retain a few male friends with hardly the chance to make new ones. Yet, according to research, men still crave intimacy in friendships, just as women do.
From a young age, making friends as a young man comes more naturally. However, as boys grow older, especially in high school, fear takes over and affects their effortless ability to make male friends. When a man gets to late adolescence, most young men lose their close friends because being part of a group of guys is believed to be gay, girly, or immature.
When young men ignore the need for friends, it often leads to a generation of emotionally stoic, autonomous, and isolated adult males with personal issues. These men try to live up to societal expectations and beliefs of what a man is and how a male friendship should look like.
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As you grow older, having a social network and an active social life cease to be fundamental parts of your overall routine. This makes it difficult to forge new and genuine friendships. When this happens, most people find that most of their friendships are nothing more than casual acquaintances instead of best friend kind of friendships.
Making friends is especially difficult for people who live in small towns. Moving to a new city makes it difficult to find people you share interests with since you meet people from different places with different personalities and outlooks about life. This often causes social anxiety in most people since they must come out of their comfort zone to meet people and potential friends.
If you are an adult having a hard time making the first move to making friends, here is not to make friends as an adult.
How to Make Friends?
Encourage and listen
Once you start to open up freely, it is easy to be carried away and make a friendship one-sided. True friendship is also about listening and encouraging your circle of friends even as you seek support for your issues.
A genuine male friendship should be built on mutual support and active listening while taking time to understand and offer a solution whenever you get together.
Be ready to open up
One of the reasons you probably lost your old friends is that you were unwilling to open yourself up. It is only possible to form a bond with other people if there is a connection, mostly shared ideas or experiences.
Going beyond small talk can be scary. However, once you allow yourself to be open about your deepest thoughts and feelings, you allow other men to do the same around you, which is what real friendships are built on.
Learn how to share platonic touch
Physical contact, including maintaining eye contact or suggestive body language, is one of the most difficult topics and things to do, especially amongst straight men.
Most men are subconsciously afraid of physical contact with other men because they have been conditioned to relate physical touch to romance or sexual connections.
While you do not have to walk around town hand in hand, being able to develop a platonic touch with your male friends strengthens your bond and makes you feel good and comfortable around them.
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Do fun things together.
If you want to build a lasting bond between you and your new best friend or friends, you need to have shared interests.
Whether it is hiking, watching sports, playing video games, or just spending time in a circle talking and having a beer, you need to find things you have in common with your new friends.
Remain proactive in keeping the friendship
Most men lose their closest friends because they do not actively participate in maintaining the friendship. For a friendship to last, you need to make an effort to meet face-to-face and connect with good ones.
Recognize when your friends are making an effort and appreciate their willingness to keep the friendship going. Be open to talking about different issues, including the very personal ones. Sometimes all you need a listening ear from a male friend to feel better.
Join friends groups
Sometimes, the easiest way to make friends is by joining groups on social media or online. Joining a men’s group for the first time ensures you build friendships that meet your needs from the start.
Friends groups ensure you meet like-minded men who share your interests, ideas, and plans.
The Best Friends Groups for Men
This benefit corporation brings together men from all walks of life to a space where they can freely exercise their emotions to lead a fulfilling and successful life. Everyman uses life-coaching, events, and retreats as part of their service delivery to allow men to be themselves in a natural habitat.
Guy Burstein is a self-help forum that encourages healing, growth, and transformation. It is specifically created for men who want to achieve a higher sense of self-awareness and anyone looking to cultivate better personal male relationships.
Men’s Group is a men’s support group where men can acquire skills by learning how to remain dedicated and disciplined.
This is a space where young men can harness their full potential through learning leadership, emotional intelligence, integrity, and accountability.
Since it is an online-based male friends group, you can join a meeting from the comfort of your home or office.
Mensgroup ensures regular meetings online to ensure men can get the support they need at any time, whether in New York or London, especially after the pandemic last year.
If you are interested in making true friends, it is time to use your social skills to cultivate the friendship and make it what you and your new best friend want it to be.
Attending meetups in fraternities or groups increase your chances of making new friends. Mensgroup is one of the best places to make male friends with whom you share common interests, goals, and ideas.
*Sources: 1. This is how to make friends as an adult: 5 secrets backed by research 2. HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS? STUDY REVEALS TIME IT TAKES 3. The Best Way To Make New Friends According To Science 4. Why Making Friends As An Adult Is Difficult And How You Can Fix It 5. How to Make Friends, According to Science