I don’t know how to maintain friendships. You’d never know it if you met me, but I seriously need help on this. Advice? Guiding principles?

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Be proactive. Check in for no reason. A simple “Hey, what’s going on?” every now and then lets people know you’re thinking of them. Invite people out not just to drink but for an activity that can lead to discussion later — a movie, an event, etc. Simply showing interest in their life outside of work on a consistent basis is important.

likesmart

I’ve been struggling with this too, OP. I sort of woke up six months ago and realized that I wasn’t letting people in and I wasn’t proactive about letting people know I took interest in their lives. So I started small - invited people to lunch or coffee, offered to watch someone’s dog while they were away, let people know I was happy for them when good things happened, and generally asking questions and taking interest in their lives. Looking back, I can genuinely say that I had been so self conscious about overdoing it that it made me seem less friendly. Six months later, I’m actually a happier person in my own life because my entire attitude changed. Some people were receptive to my overtures, others not. But I’m not longer the problem and that feels good. Life’s too short to worry about what people think.

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And don’t be judgmental. Gotta instill some sort of safe space and trust :)

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I think all the above are good points. When I try to show an interest in others, I always wrestle with the question of “hey, am I being too interested in (whoever)? Am I coming off as weird or desparate?” But I think the answer to those doubts is that you generally come off as 50% less weird when trying to be friend-like than you think you are. So your weirdness is in most cases fairly minimal and confined to one’s own head.

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Pick an activity and then ask a few likeminded contacts if they’re interested in joining! Ideas include: a museum, speaker series, trivia night, new restaurant or bar in the area, bowling, festival or food fair

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Agree with everything above. Another tip (bc I find myself so busy all the time and unable to carve enough time out) find activities you can do two things at once. For example, I love Soul Cycle/need to exercise to keep me sane. So I invite my friends who enjoy it to a class I’m taking or ask them what classes they are taking that week. I get to exercise & maintain friendships by catching up w them for 15-30 min after. So for me I find things I need to do and ask friends to join. Kill two birds with one stone.

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When something funny/awkward/sad/happy happens to you, is there anybody you want to tell or share it with? As an adult, keeping and maintaining friendships is hard but I mostly do it by sharing those seemingly stupid small moments throughout the day. A text or Snapchat goes a long way. Also, initiate plans once in a while. If you’ve had a bad day and want a drink, invite someone to join you

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Be selfless, invest and care in others and listen. Soon you will find, you have maintained a friendship

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For get-togethers, what do you mean exactly? For something informal start small. Start with one person and do something regularly that makes sense, like get coffee or go for a walk (or play foosball or whatever works). Then give it time and more people will tend to join. For something bigger, like a party or happy hour, I think you could just ask around to see if anyone would like to do that, then set a time. Best to find people who have something in common, and do it at a time that is convenient. My experience is formal big get-togethers are harder to pull off as you get older, because people have other stuff going on.

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Sounds like youre sociable and fun but not making deep or lasting connections. People just assume that all people have close friends. The key is momentum. If you like and hit it off with someone, keep the momentum going. Make plans to hang out. Text in regards to an inside joke. And then invite them to similar hobby things. And vice versa will happen. At our age, no one is ever out to make new friends. But it happens naturally. Or because we genuinely like someone. It sounds like dating and sometimes I feel like I might be coming across as “liking them" when I come on strong as a friend but that is just my own personal paranoia (I think).

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Don't be a psychopath? Ask questions, be interested, listen and hear.

What about get togethers? No idea what to do or how to initiate

Friendship goes two ways- you have to proactively be a friend to keep a friend.

I’m kind of surprised these scenarios happen even with the success of your career (basing it on your title. I know it doesn’t matter and this can happen to anyone at whatever title). Is it because you have been so career focused that you left out certain aspects of your life ‘ignored’ for a lack of a better term.

@UM Worldwide 1 - yeah pretty much. Even in high school and college, my career has been my singular focus. Everything else was deprioritized. I lack the “practice” many got in those years. Every year on my birthday I really feel it and have regret. My goal is to shift things around and celebrate my birthday with friends next year.

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