Paula Abdul said that “opposites attract” but let’s be real, most of us have things in common with those we’re friends with. Whether it’s the same music taste, our favorite sports team (GO SPORTS!), political association, where we grew up, faith (religion…church…however you put it) and so many other things. Of course not everyone has everything in common, but the reality is that most friendships are born on commonalities. Last week we looked to Carlin Flora when it came to the idea of drifting apart in Friendfluence, but that was before she noted about the idea of friendship as a whole when she said, “Friendships are the least institutionalized and most voluntary social relationship we have.” Meaning that we are less likely to fake it when it comes to making these bonds, unlike the kind some may do when getting romantical or connecting with coworkers. I mean, that’s not always the case because some friendships are born with ulterior motives but that’s a whole other story for a whole other day. Let’s just stick with the idea of connecting with likeminded people in the adult realm and making friends.
Many of us enter adulthood with friends intact. We found them growing up or in college when we were technically legal adults but still acting like children who could drink and vote. Once we hit our mid-20s and 30s, people often wonder – how the hell does one make a friend at this age? Loni Love said on The Real about this that she was at “her quota” for new friends because in reality, it just takes so much time to make a new friend as an adult. Which, she has a point. On the flip side, you may not be into the same things you were into when you made those college friends and possibly that nostalgia is the only thing holding ya’ll together at this point. That’s when it’s time to make a new friend or two and it’s actually not that hard. You’re dating at this age, right? Well think of making a new friend like dating – only with less bedroom time.
Don Gabor offered his time about this very idea of making friends in the rightfully titled, How To Start A Conversation And Make Friends. He said, “[It] all starts with a conversation.” With that, think back to how you made a friend when you were younger, you connected about something and then it spiraled into something more. If you see they’re wearing a shirt you like or eating something you’d order – say hello. Simple as that. Gabor also notes that your body language has a lot to do with your initial conversation as well. Who wants to talk to an awkward stranger coming up to them out of nowhere? You are not in middle school anymore, fake that confidence if you have to and according to Gabor, smile and make eye contact. See it’s a lot like dating, only – no bedroom anticipation. And again, start with that connection of even the smallest thing because we’re more likely to be besties with those we share things in common with, despite what former American Idol judge Ms. Abdul sang about alongside an animated cat.
Sharing even the slightest thing with someone can make a friendship blossom into a lifelong bond. Hell, I will talk to any and everyone who shares my passion for Backstreet Boys, Degrassi or Oreos. Yeah, it’s not politics or religion but personally – I don’t really care about those real world things that cause too much trouble instead of good. The biggest drama Backstreet Boys ever caused was the war against N’SYNC in the early 00’s. Luckily those dark days of teeny bopper pop are over with.
So when it comes to being an adult and making friends, it’s not as hard as you’re making it out to be. The formula to making a new buddy seems to stay the same from the time you start to talk until the end; finding a connection and then growing off of that.