Making Friends As an Adult

I am reminded again how making friends as an adult is hard.  Maybe it was hard as a kid, too - I can't remember having friends as a kid, really.  It's strange that it's so difficult.  One must assume that this is because other people must not want to make new friends, or because people are are very particular about the kinds of people they want to be friends with, even though with how hard it is to make friends, you'd think people would be more open to less ideal friendships.

I may have mentioned before about how even when it's possible to find an adult couple with kids our kid's ages, there may be weird things that make it difficult to relate.  Some differences in religious belief, food tastes, politics, or economic status.  Usually, we're the ones that don't go to church, eat weird food, and are - between the two of us - mostly liberal (even though I registered as a Republian after the 2016 election, which is a whole different topic), and that ends up being part of what turns people off somehow.

But there's also finding common ground about which to have even an initial conversation.  I find smalltalk simultaneously tedious and essential for this purpose of feeling out people or even just passing the time when you're stuck with them for a while during some event.

Recently I've evnjoyed my conversations with people in a hotel elevator.  For whatever reason, these micro-conversations were always reasonably interesting.  They're short, because, you know, "elevator".  They're low-stress because you're never going to see this person again.  There's always something going on in the hotel for some reason, so there's hardly ever nothing to make smalltalk about.  And everyone at the hotel is away from home on some adventure, which makes for a generally happy attitude.  I found this an interesting observation.

Why I find it so difficult to strike up a conversation with people I've known for years via the kids' school functions is beyond me.  Where I seem to get stuck is when talking about the kids.  I think our kids are generally pretty great.  (Don't tell them that.) As a result, I like to talk them up.  It's not so much that they're better than everyone else's kids, but that they do things that I find interesting, and I don't do a whole lot that I can surprise a potential new friend with on a first conversation.  But in the end, sometimes, it turns into a, "Well my kid does this"-battle, unintentionally, and that doesn't lead to a useful outcome.  I suppose I could listen a bit more and respond with questions about their kids instead.

I'm amused and disheartened by the idea that my grade school friend-making instincts, which were terrrible, are what I'm using to make friends as an adult.  I wonder it there's something that can be done about that.