You’re an open book—or a lockbox
When you make new friends as an adult, you may be eager to move past ho-hum subjects like the weather or your kid’s soccer game, but you’re not sure how to proceed. You don’t want to start blabbing about your colonoscopy or your crazy mother-in-law if your new friend is more reserved—and the opposite is true as well. “A good way to test the waters is to ask semi-surface level questions,” says John Matthews LCSW, a licensed psychotherapist with Virginia Counseling, in Midlothian, Virginia. Matthews suggests asking where they grew up or what their family is like. “These questions will give your friend the opportunity to go deeper if they want, or stay on the surface if they aren’t ready to deep-dive. Either way, you’ll get a sense of how far they feel comfortable going.”
You’re a little too eager
Science agrees that friendships makes us healthier and happier. It’s no wonder we’re excited when we hit it off with another person and want to spend our free time with them. The other person may be equally interested in making new friends but may not have much extra time to hang out. It’s a pretty common phenomenon, according to Matthews. “Often, we look for new friends when space has opened up in our lives. But that may not be the case for your new friend, and it could take some time for them to make space for you.” He adds, “It’s okay to reach out a little more often if you’re the one forging the friendship, but try to keep it as close to equal as you can.” He suggests thinking about how much they are contacting you and try to reciprocate.