There’s an article in the NY Times about the difficulty of making friends once you’re over the age of thirty.
This is a topic that Steve Sailer has written about many times (for example, he mentioned it in this blog post), so maybe the NY Times has once again been trolling the blogosphere for topics for articles.
This must have something to do with the way our brains change as we grow older. Put two small children in a room together and they become instant playmates. Adults don’t work that way.
As parents, there’s a dark side to the way children make friends so easily; children make friends first, and then they adopt their values to match the values of their friendship circle. So you had better make sure you children make friends with the right kids. Which is probably easier than it sounds, because given that children do make friends so easily, all you have to do is drop them into the right activity and they instantly make friends with the right class of children.
Adults know who they are, so if they meet people who aren’t like themselves, they just shrug them off rather than try to change themselves to become friends.
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The thirty-year threshold for friend-making has important ramifications for career advancement and general well-being. By the time you reach thirty, it’s important to be settled into your career and your geographic location, because after that it’s a lot harder to get started. The friends you make in college and in your first jobs when you are in your twenties will help you throughout your life. But if you don’t have a career until your thirties, or you move around, or you attend a crappy community college where the students are losers who will never be able to help you move up, then you lose this very important source of social capital.
The article also demonstrates the benefits of being married and having children, because then you can become friends with the parents of your children’s friends. Although there’s a darkside to that, because I know some people who were sort of best friends with their child’s best friend’s parents, and then their children had a falling out, and that ended the adult friendship.
This also means that there's a hidden benefit to sending your children to an elite private school. You will become friends with quality parents that way. It's a much better networking opportunity than sending your kids to public school.