It’s fair to say once you’ve been living the ‘adult life’ (whatever that is) for a few years, you begin to settle down into set routines and patterns. You’re probably working a regular job, stick to roughly the same schedule every week and get comfortable with life as you know it.
When it comes to your social life, things tend to die down a bit as well but, as far as you’re concerned, that’s probably OK. You’ve got your friends from work and your school days who you should maybe see more of – but again; that’s part of life.
But should it be like that? Should we be comfortable putting relationships on the backburner while we work our 9-5s? Shouldn’t we still be trying to expand our horizons?
Of course, the responsibilities of adulthood can sometimes get in the way of social pursuits, but that doesn’t mean we should ever stop trying to meet new people. Here’s why you should still be trying to make new friends as an adult.
There’s No Need To Be Lonely
Loneliness is a very real thing for millions of adults in the UK, and it’s not something we may realise we’re suffering from.
The Guardian suggested last year that more than 9 million adults are often or always lonely. While this demographic is likely to be made up primarily by the elderly, a significant chunk of ‘lonely’ people will be simply those living on their own, regardless of age. Naturally, loneliness can have a significant impact upon someone’s mental wellbeing.
Join a club you’re interested in and meet likeminded people. This can be anything from your local running club, to an adapted martial arts class, to playing backgammon with your gran’s friends.
Even if you don’t consider yourself one of the lonely ones, you’ll benefit from going out and meeting new people whilst enjoying a hobby. And chances are, you’ll be helping others out as well.
Up Your Empathy
It’s particularly easy to spend time wrapped up in your own personal problems as an adult, no matter how big or small they are. A great way to get out of your own head is to go out, meet and help people with different challenges in life to you, indeed it might help you remember that your problems aren’t so big after all.
Recognising what other people are going through in their lives, the daily struggles they face and seeing how they cope with those problems is a great way to boost your empathetic side, which is a sure-fire way to improve you as a person in all walks of life.
Whether it’s volunteering down at the local old people’s home or offering to drive a disabled group on a day out via Allied Mobility, you’ll likely find doing your bit will benefit you as much mentally and spiritually as it does the people you are assisting.
Understand Different Cultures
Again, human nature often persuades you to stick to what you know, stay inside your comfort zone and only do things you’re familiar with, but stepping outside of that comfort zone can open you up to new worlds and a better appreciation of them.
The UK has always been proud of its ‘cultural melting pot’ status, so why not go out and experience the way of life of a different culture and get a better understanding of our differences?
You don’t have to join a society or group to do this, it can be as simple as speaking to new people and learning about their lives. Just as with growing more empathetic, embracing diversity will no doubt better you as a person.
Whether it’s for your sake, for others or for both, there’s a lot to be said for continuing to push yourself to meet new people as an adult. The good news is there’s a million ways to expand your horizons; you can join a club, get involved with volunteering or simply just talk to the man on the street.
The benefits of boosting the social side of our lives are well documented, in fact the key to making improvements to your physical, mental and social wellbeing could be just one conversation away.