Just because you’re fifty, sixty, seventy or eighty years old (or more!) doesn’t mean that all of your friends have to be. An old, ageist stereotype holds that older people are “boring” and that they can’t have younger friendships that mean anything. This isn’t just harmful, it’s downright false. Let’s talk about making new friends of all ages.
All Friendships are Golden
The Importance of Friendships
Humans are social, inherently, and our ties to our friends help to give our lives meaning. Little in this world is more important than your close friends, and cultivating friendships with people from all walks of life is a great way to expand your perspective of the human race. There’s no reason to write someone off from being your friend just because they’re 15, 20 or even 30 years younger than you.
Making Friends Across Generations
This isn’t to say that if all of your friends are the same age as you that you’re doing things wrong. However, if you’re not even pursuing friendships with people just because they’re younger or older than you, then you’re depriving yourself of what could be fun and enriching friendships!
The most common way for people to make cross-generational friends is by working at the same place. With as many as four generations all working in the same spaces, it’s no surprise that more than a third of all working adults say they have a close friend who is at least 15 years older or younger than them.
Why This Matters
People in dramatically different generations often look at the world in different ways. The realities of their upbringings and the world they came of age in make them have very different opinions on the world, and on current events.
As such, friendships that stretch across generations are enriching for both people. The younger person is able to gain insight into their friend’s wisdom and life experience. Likewise, the older person is able to see a new perspective on issues that they might have never considered before.