When you were in school, it was easier to make friends. Maybe that’s because everyone was forced to be in the same room with each other. You couldn’t help but become friends with someone stuck in the same class rooms for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Yet as you’ve gotten older, it’s harder to make friends.
Losing your friends didn’t happen all at once. It was a gradual process. One got married. Another moved out of town. Someone else had a baby. One got a new job. Another got divorced and then remarried. Still another had a second or third or fourth child. Someone else moved across the country.
Before you knew it, you don’t really talk to anyone on a consistent basis. You’re not even sure where they work now or what they do. You can’t keep up with it, because you’re barely able to keep up with your own life.
Or maybe you were too focused on your career, working 60 or 70 hours a week, and climbing the corporate ladder to keep close ties with your friends. You keep up with them a little on social media, but when it comes down to it, they’re not really close friends any more. You would never reach out to them for help or to get advice about something.
You could use some close friendships now. You see how easily it is for women to have friends. They can call up anyone when they need help. If you were honest with yourself, you might even be a little jealous you don’t have that in your life. Why is that? Where could you get it?
Lately, I’ve heard time and time again from men how they don’t have any close friends. Whether these men are executives, former military, teachers or anyone in between, a common thread is they long for close companionship. Tweet This!
You might not know who to reach out to when you want to chat, hang out, or get support. You feel isolated and alone. Sometimes the last person you want to talk to is your spouse, so you keep what’s really going on all bottled up inside…and that doesn’t serve anyone.
Why don’t guys have more friends? Where can they go to resolve this issue? Men need companions just as much as women do. They need that bonding time and a place they can go for support.
Here are 5 Ways Men Can Build Better Friendships Now
1. Men work countless hours with the desire to fast track their career often sacrificing time with friends. Just like with anything, when you don’t nurture friendships, they will fall away. Men aren’t usually taught how to be nurturers, so it may take a little effort. I also know you can do it. Nurture the relationships you have with men at work. Ask a peer to go out for a drink after work or go play a round of golf this weekend. He could use a new friend too.
2. Men are known to not ask for help when they need it. Give yourself permission to call on another man, even an acquaintance, to seek help, ask advice, or receive feedback. It’s not considered weak. It’s a sign of strength to recognize none of us go through life alone. None of us makes it alone. We all need help. Reach out to others when you need it.
3. Connect with old friends and start rebuilding those friendships. Your old friends would love to hear from you again. It only takes one person to reach out first. It’s time to put your pride and ego aside and be the first person to reach out. It’s been awhile, and it’s time to develop those friendships. They want to hear from you.
4. Meet new friends at work, church or other social settings. Don’t wait until you see the other person several times before grabbing a beer together, watching a game, or hanging out. When you connect with someone, take advantage of it now and go do something fun.
5. Join or start a group for men. Whether you’ll be doing an activity, going to sporting events, or going out to eat. Whatever you’re wanting, there is someone else wanting the same thing. Don’t wait for it, create it yourself or join one that already exists. You will meet some other incredible men who have been waiting for their next best friend.
Men tend to keep to themselves, because they think no one will understand. Whether it’s stress at work, tension at home, or feeling unfulfilled, you think no one else will understand what you’re going through, so you don’t share it. If every man thinks that, and every man goes through that…then guess what? Every man understands it too. Share This!
It may not be the exact same situation as yours, but they understand the feelings. They’ve been there. Let them be a safe place for you to share what’s going on and in return, one day, you’ll be that for them.
Go out. Get out. Meet other guys. Before you know it, you’ll have a group of men you can call on, count on, and rely on for support, camaraderie, and friendship. Every man needs friends, and there is someone waiting to be yours.
Jessica Rector’s mission is simple: transform lives. As someone who attempted suicide at 17-years-old, had a lot of self-judgement around being a single mom, and has a brother who committed suicide, Jessica and shame used to be BFFs. She knows personally how shame can manifest in parenting, relationships, leading, working, and living. Through her own experiences, she now helps others walk through the process to free themselves from their inner struggles. As a thought leader, keynote speaker, and author of two books, Jessica is able to help people create massive change to Lead Courageously, Love Authentically, and Live Boldly! Get Jessica’s soon to be released third book, Breaking the Silence: Taking the Sh out of Shame and find out more about her at JessicaRector.com. Follow her at Facebook.com/JessicaRectorSpeaker.