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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 158 > The last word on… Making friends as an adult

The last word on… Making friends as an adult

Oliver Burkeman breaks down the barriers to finding new buddies

psychology

PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT to make friends as a grown-up? It’s not just a matter of potential social awkwardness: the whole of adult life is a conspiracy against the conditions in which friendship blossoms. As a child, you had endless hours in the playground, classroom and school holidays to make friends; later, if you were a student, you had spare time, plus access to the social lubricant alcohol. But, as an adult, you have varying combinations of job, partner and children – which means less free time, and also less patience for the trial-and-error process of forging new bonds. Even office friendships are in decline, probably because we change jobs more often, and 42 per cent of Brits say they don’t have a good friend at work. Fortunately, there are ways to smooth the path – but you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone and be brave.

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