You can share your wisdom and experience. You have a lot to share with a younger friend whether you realize it or not. You have a range experiences and accomplishments, as well as missteps that have taught you lessons about things like career, relationships, and finances. You’ve gained a lot of insight over the course of your life and a younger friend can benefit from your knowledge.
Are your friends around your own age? Most people would likely answer “yes.” But, why? Probably because lots of us feel hesitant about forging friendships with people from different generations, probably because we think we won’t have anything in common.
When you stop and think about it, however, there really isn’t much logic behind that assumption. Plenty of interests are shared across generations. And, maybe even more significant, there’s plenty of information and life experience that can be shared between people of different ages.
After all, age does not predict the quality or strength of a friendship. A friend of a different age can add to your life and expand your horizons in much the same way as a friend with a different cultural background.
The great thing about friends who are not exactly like us is that these people can bring a new perspective into our lives. They enrich our lives in ways that someone who has lived a life similar to our own may not be able to do in quite the same way.
The truth is that a friendship of different ages can bring unexpected and welcome rewards for both people… younger and older. So, the next time you make a new acquaintance and feel like you really connect with the person, do not let an age gap stop you from pursuing a friendship. A random circumstance like age should never get in the way of what might become a deep and lasting relationship.
Here are a few benefits of an age-gap friendship.
You may be inspired to be more active. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as we age is important. Part of a healthy lifestyle is staying as active as possible. Younger people tend to live a more “on the go” lifestyle than a lot of us seasoned folks. While we may not always be able to keep up, there’s no reason not to join in when we can. An age-gap friendship also may offer opportunities to get involved in some fun activities you might otherwise miss out on.
You may embrace new outlooks and ideas. A friend from a different generation may get you thinking about things in a new way. Whether young or seasoned, it is easy to become tied to old beliefs and opinions. But, just because we have had a certain view about something does not mean that the view has to be set in stone. We grow as people when we open up to new ways of looking at things and allow our beliefs and attitudes to evolve and grow.
The friendship may squash misconceptions. It is very easy for younger and older people to have inaccurate or misguided ideas about the other generation. Bridging the generation gap through friendship can be enlightening.
It will be easier to stay current in our youth-driven society. As we get older, it can be challenging to stay up on popular culture and trends of the day. A younger friend can help keep you in touch with what’s going on in the world around you. Just because we are seasoned doesn’t mean we should live in the past or in a bubble. Staying current can help keep us feeling vital and youthful.
Your age-gap friendship may open doors to new interests. Friends from different generations can introduce each other to music, hobbies, people, and activities that they might otherwise miss. For example, younger friends may not be familiar with music and performers from the past while an older friend may have no idea about today’s celebrities. A younger friend may enjoy learning about something like knitting or fishing from a seasoned friend and an older friend may like to learn about some of the games and activities available on the Internet.
You can learn from your younger friend. Let’s face it age does not provide all the answers to life. With the onslaught of technological advances taking place over just the past couple of decades, there’s so much new to learn that age can sometimes feel like a detriment. But there’s no reason not to embrace progress. A younger friend can teach you about all the new technologies and advancements like texting, social media, smartphones, tablets, etc.