How To Make Friends When You’re Older, According to Jane Fonda

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The struggle is real when it comes to making friends as adults. As children, we seem to easily make friends at school and in our neighborhoods. 

For those of us who are more extroverted like me, befriending people was a no-brainer when we were kids. I can vividly recall making friends on the outdoor McDonald’s playground, a staple that defined my ’80s and ’90s childhood. 

However, even for us extroverts, making friends while adulting is difficult. Due to heavy workloads, having children, and getting stuck in our own routines, befriending others is simply not a priority. Thankfully, Jane Fonda has the answer to making and keeping friends for adults of all ages.

Fonda’s Advice: ‘You Have To Pursue People’

In a recent interview with CBS News Sunday Morning, Fonda and a few of her well-known friends, Lily Tomlin and Sally Field, discussed the importance of friendship. Although the three actresses star in the upcoming film 80 for Brady, they’re also friends in real life.

But becoming friends didn’t happen by chance for the three actresses. Fonda pursued Tomlin and Field because she wanted to be friends with them. Turns out, being intentional is the secret to making and maintaining friends.

According to the On Golden Pond actress, “You have to pursue people that you want to be friends with.” Once you do this, “It works. People hear that and then they stick around and you develop new friendships.”

Field and Tomlin admitted that it was only because of Fonda’s constant pursuance that they even became friends. Field even turned to Fonda and reminded her, “Oh, goodness sake. I couldn’t make you stop!”

Tomlin also chimed in and said, “I don’t really like people that much.” However, both Tomlin and Field appreciate that Fonda pursued them because of the friendships that they now have with one another.

During the interview, Fonda also shared that friendships “are very important to our health.” Turns out, the actress is right. Studies have shown that friendships increase our sense of belonging, boost happiness, lessen stress, and improve our self-confidence (per Mayo Clinic). Plus, friendships provide an outlet for coping with trauma, grief, and everything that life throws our way.

After the stress and anxiety that many of us experienced during the height of the pandemic and perhaps even now, it’s important that we seek out friendships. I’ve made it one of my goals this year to “pursue” (to use Fonda’s words) more female friendships. If it’s better for my mental and physical health, I’m all for it!



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