New research says that the average American hasn’t made a new friend in over five years. Around half of the people surveyed say that this problem is due to shyness and other commitments that take up people’s time.
The study, conducted by OnePoll and Evite, claims that the average American’s popularity peaks at the age of 23. For 36% of participants it peaks even earlier, before the age of 21.
Around half of the people surveyed said that they would love to have more friends and meet new people, but that shyness and discomfort within new social situations and circles prevented them from achieving this. Scenarios like stressful bar scenes and feeling like everyone’s friend group is already established were brought up regularly. Other interesting results as to why adults have trouble making new friends include commitments to family members, not having hobbies that allow them to meet new people and moving to new cities.
“For the 45 percent who are looking to make new friends, the best and most underrated way to do that these days is still in-person. You can host a party, or something more low-key like book club or happy hour, and tell each of your guests to bring a friend,” recommends a specialist from Evite. “You’ll be surprised at how naturally social circles can come together, and at the lasting connections you can make when bonding face-to-face.”
When it comes to maintaining friendships, researchers say that people need to create the time and space for their friends, scheduling appointments every two weeks or even once a year if they live in different countries.
Other interesting and kind of sad data says that the average adult has 16 friends. Three of them have been around for most of their lives, five of them are friends who they’re capable of spending alone time with, and the remaining eight are friends they like but wouldn’t seek out for one on one time.