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Relationships and romance

Episode 34: How do you make friends as an adult?

In this instalment of PsychCrunch, we explore the barriers to making new connections, and explore how we can overcome them.

16 June 2023

By PsychCrunch

This is Episode 34 of PsychCrunch, the podcast of the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Despite it being easier than ever to communicate, so many of us find it challenging to make new friends – especially as we get older. Opening up conversations with strangers can leave us feeling like a bother, and fizzle into nothing more than a one-off interaction. The loneliness this can create isn’t just a passing sting, it can have ongoing impacts to both our mental and physical health. So, in this episode, Ginny Smith asks: just how do we make friends as adults?

To get to the bottom of this problem, Ginny speaks with our expert guests Dr. Marissa G. Franco (Professor, speaker, and the New York Times bestselling author of Platonic) and Dr Gillian Sandstrom (Senior Lecturer in the psychology of kindness at the University of Sussex). Together, they give their insights on why so many of us run into problems expanding our social circle, and share some practical advice on how to make more connections.

Episode Credits:

Written and hosted by Ginny Smith.
Mixed and edited by Jeff Knowler.
Edited by Emma Barratt.

Want to learn more about the psychology of friendship?

Learn more about “the liking gap” with this piece from Emma Young. 
Or explore how friends help us stick to our goals in this article from Emily Reynolds. 
Still curious? Find these articles and more right here, including The Psychologist's June cover feature from Gillian Sandstrom, on talking to strangers.

PsychCrunch is sponsored by Routledge Psychology

Routledge Psychology is part of the Taylor & Francis Group, and publishing partner for the BPS Core Textbooks Series
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