• Making Friends

In the Media – On AirTalk: The difficulty of making friends as an adult (Public Radio)

Published: February 9, 2016 | Last Updated: February 9, 2016 By | 6 Replies Continue Reading

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AirTalk host Larry Mantle

AirTalk host Larry Mantle

Dr. Irene S. Levine was pleased to be invited to serve as an on-air friendship expert on the KPCC Southern California Public Radio Show “AirTalk” on 89.3 KPCC. This is the second time in recent months that she was invited to be on this radio program.

Since 1985, host Larry Mantle has offered lively in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, the arts, entertainment, and more with call-ins from viewers. His breadth and understanding of such a wide range of topics is impressive. For this specific program, he tackled the problem of making friends as an adult.

Introducing the program, the website says:

As a kid on the playground, we’re surrounded by potential friends.

Children of the same age may stay in the same school, run around the same neighborhood and ask their parents to make play-dates.

But in adulthood, people may branch out, move away to college, find a job in a new city, or just have less time to socialize; all of which could hinder finding new friends.

*You can listen to the 10-minute segment on making friends as an adult on the AirTalk website.

What are the big problems you’ve faced in making friends as an adult?

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Category: Finding friends at different ages and stages, IN THE MEDIA, MAKING FRIENDS

Comments (6)

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  1. Kim says:

    I didn’t listen to the interview, but the internet has made it somewhat easier now. I’m an army brat and have moved around quite a bit in my life. I hear about those people who have friends since childhood and I’m somewhat jealous. When I turned 30, in a new town, I started attending a church and I’ve made many friends there. But the internet makes things easier for those who are not religious. I enjoy photography and I do a lot of meetups in my area. This way, you get to meet people who enjoy doing the same things that you do in a comfortable and public setting. There are meetups for all kinds of interests and I have actually made a few friends this way.

  2. Tracy says:

    Will listen – I have given up on the idea of friends after 50 – impossible.

  3. Sheryl says:

    Excellent interview! You are so wise. I am fortunate to have made some really special, close friends in recent years – these are so very precious to me, as by the time you reach midlife, you know how important – and rare – good friendships can be.

  4. Salstarat says:

    As you go through life, many people are bogged down with commitments and distractions: responsibilities to your spouse and children, caring for an elderly parent, work commitments, sporting commitments, travel and the list goes on. Sadly, this means that – sometimes – your time with friends is left on the “back burner” and the days turn into weeks which turn into months. We all forget that friendship, like any relationship, needs to be fostered, nurtured and consolidated with frequent attention and shared experiences in order to form a stronger bond. Sadly, I have had many close friendships that have now lapsed into what can only now be described as friendly “acquaintanceship”. Some of my closest friends actually live interstate with whom I have maintained a close bond because of our frequent phone contact and genuine interest in each other’s lives. Sometimes life has a habit of pulling people apart. A friend that I had a close relationship with for more than 45 years and I are now drifting away from each other because we now find that we have “grown apart” due to very different political beliefs and the fact that she and I have “changed” directions as we have grown older. She moved away with her new partner and rarely contacted me – I found that I was the one to initiate contact and was, more or less, “rebuffed” and cut short on the phone each time I contacted her. After experiencing this a few times, I got the “message” and didn’t bother calling her again. She returned to Sydney and made contact with me but I was offended and hurt by her manner towards me and have not responded. She is emailing me and trying to re-establish our friendship but we are both very different people now … I do miss the person she used to be but have to admit that she and I have BOTH changed and are unlikely to be able to re-capture what we once had. I am very hesitant because I don’t want to hurt by her again. I have learnt a lot from the experience and that is to ensure you find like-minded friends, VALUE their friendship and keep in touch. Surround yourself with positive people with whom you share a lot of interests, supporting each other and who make you feel good about yourself. Once a “friend” starts putting you down, attacking your belief systems and/or criticising you and/or your family, you KNOW that the relationship has become toxic and it is better for everyone concerned to move on – it is painful but life is too short to be around negative people who do not have your best interests at heart. Keep the friends that enhance your life and distance yourself from people who “use” your friendship for their own agenda.

    • SusanB says:

      Yes, days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months and sometimes that happens in life. True, good, genuine and generous-in-spirit friends know this and do not punish each other when life gets in the way of keeping in constant contact. True friends give each other space when needed and don’t take it personally when weeks or even months go by with little contact. True friends don’t guilt trip each other, do the silent treatment or take offense when one gets tied up with an elderly parent, or a problem child or an illness or disability. Life does pull us all apart but the extra stress of “friends” trying to make you feel badly about it doesn’t help.

      True friends can have years go by, get back in touch and things are OK, as long as nothing happened except “life”. Sometimes life does result in a period of silence. People move, get married, have kids, change jobs. Life is constant change. As long as no angry words are spoken, true friends can easily get over a period of silence and welcome each other back with friendly, open arms. True friends UNDERSTAND and do not punish. When a person gets angry and says things to make the other friend feel badly or guilty for not staying in constant contact due to the vicissitudes of life, then THAT person has an agenda.

      I have HAD it with needy, selfish women who can’t let a couple of months go by without trying to make me feel badly for not being available for their every need. I have had it with women who don’t understand that when you get into a relationship after being single for 8 years, you are going to be less available. Somehow these women seem to disappear on me but I don’t punish or accuse or make threats, but I just let them go be who they are, and take care of whatever is happening in their life. When they come back, I don’t guilt trip them or speak to them in an angry, accusing way. That is how you maintain a friendship but many women are too narcissistic to realize this.

  5. Tanja says:

    It is difficult making friends at any age! If you do not fit into a mold that school wants you to fit in…..if you are a boy that does not play sports but like video games, it is hard to make friends. If you are a girl but do not like princesses and makeup and prefer to build lego, you have difficulty, if you are shy and not outgoing, you have difficulty. If you are extroverted and socialize all the time, you have difficulty with meaningful friendships and even knowing what the hell that means……

    The trick is some people you meet will end up being just as weird as you and if you are lucky to have one or two friends that are weird like you, then you are lucky and hopefully a large, huge family that is supportive and fills that gap. I am thankful for my twin, my husband and my children and the one or two friends that I REALLY have (i have lots of atmosphere around, meaning, I walk with someone once a week, I have a playdate for kids once a week) but I have two people that I can truly say know me, the other people is like we are friendly but like anyone else would be in a business exchange….no different.


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