It is normal that in adulthood the number of friends decreases considerably with respect to adolescence. And this has nothing to do with what we are getting left, crafty or antisocial, the reasons are several and one of them is that the concept of friendship changes over time.
If we look at the history of our friends throughout life, we will realize that they have been cyclical and that they are much related to the age and maturity level that we are acquiring.
Until the age of seven, friends are only circumstantial, and it is because young children see their peers as peers to play and entertain, and they don’t care who they are, because they only look at themselves if they have similar tastes, like the toy that He got the attention or because he was interested in the activity that the other is doing.
From nine, approximately, the bonds intensify and the children begin to select those friendships with which they feel more comfortable and with those with greater affinity and tastes in common; and usually at this age the “best friends” are usually not more than two or three.
From the age of twelve , the groups of friendships are enlarged, because together with adolescence there is a need to “belong to a group”, to identify with several people of their age, to be part of the scenarios, sports teams and invitations social and have friendships with which you can trust things that “adults do not understand.” It is natural to see groups of 10 or more young people going everywhere together.
But then, what about this capacity for socialization in adult life? Why do we increasingly distinguish between friends and acquaintances? Why are we distancing ourselves from people we esteemed a lot for no apparent reason?
As teenagers, we often hear our parents say that true friendships are counted on the fingers of one hand, and it seemed terrible to us. Over time we realize that this phrase is very true and that it is even necessary and backed by science (although clearly, as in everything, there are always exceptions, and perhaps there are several people who increase their friends in adulthood).
The reasons why friendships decrease over the years:
Before enumerating psychological and sociological reasons as to why we begin to select “with tweezers” our friendships, we have to take into account that these yes or yes vary over time, but that all of them, in some way, are fundamental to our lives.
The psychologist and link specialist, points out that friendships ” have very different qualities according to age. And although the person is not determined by their friendships, they are marked by them and the place they occupy in the group The important thing about friendship is that it is a relationship that is based on affection. It is not about destiny, but about choice. “
So, as much as one remembers with nostalgia the friends who have moved away, we must bear in mind that this is natural and that it is part of the cycle of life, but obviously experiences and affection do remain with time and mark our lives
What makes us distance ourselves and reduce our number of friends? At first, it may seem obvious, but many times we are not aware of it:
1. The responsibilities we assume over time (work, family) prevent us from having as much time as we want with our friends, which is why many times, if we do not insist on maintaining that relationship or if we lose genuine interest, this It will inevitably weaken until dissolved.
2. Over time, interests diversify, passions change and the common thread that kept them together in adolescence (college, university, sports group, etc.) has been broken; so it is hard to find things in common or related meeting spaces.
3. The concept of friendship changes and little by little you select those friends you trust most. Those who will be with you at all, who do not depend on third parties to meet and whose base is solid and permanent over time; and so many of the friends you had as a teenager or that you get to know over the years, become “known good vibes” or fall into different categories such as “the occasion, relaxation, professionals, etc.”.
This is because, according to the psychologist “From the age of 30 you become more selective with friends. You can’t stand the egocentric or the one who tells you penalties continuously … Your scale of values is already very well established, you know what you like and what you don’t. One no longer wants to waste time with someone you don’t like. “
4. A study by a sociologist who tracked nearly a thousand people of all ages found that on average, we lose half of our close members every seven years, but we are also making new friendships.