HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS IN ADULTHOOD
As we grow older, we start to realize that making friends as an adult isn’t always a walk in the park. Add a pandemic to the mix, and it can feel almost downright impossible at times! But there’s hope! When you dig a bit, you’ll discover that there are far more ways to make friends than you initially thought.
Not only does having a fulfilling social life benefit your mental health, but having strong friendship ties can actually boost your immune system and help you live longer. It can be challenging to make new friends in adulthood, but reading this is a first step in the right direction, and hopefully some of the pointers below will be helpful in your next friend-making quest!
MAKING NEW FRIENDS
- Be nice to everybody because you never know what can come of any interaction.
- Make eye contact with people (in a non-creepy way).
- Decide what qualities you're looking for in a friend ahead of time. The law of attraction!
- Make more time for a social life. Schedule at least a few hours a week.
- Go places alone. Being alone gives people the opportunity to come up and talk to you.
- Be bold. Step out of your comfort zone and make the first move.
- Put down your phone in public places and try making conversation with people around you.
- Invite people over (make sure you’re comfortable with them before you invite them over).
- Say yes to more activities.
- Show up to a social gathering that you wouldn’t normally attend.
WHERE TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS
- Join a sports club.
- Find a local library book club.
- Join a gym.
- Take a class for something you've always wanted to know how to do.
- Take your dog for a walk at the dog park.
- Download and get on friendship apps like Meetup and Bumble BFF to meet people locally.
- Join a Facebook group.
- Message someone on social media that you follow (and that follows you back) and suggest a FaceTime call to get to know each other, which will hopefully lead to an in-person meetup in the future.
REKINDLING OLD FRIENDSHIPS + MORE
- Reach out to old friends. It’s okay if it's been a while!
- Make time to stay in touch with current friends. Schedule a time to meet up regularly.
- Utilize your current network and ask friends to introduce you to some of their friends.
- Get to know some of your neighbors.
- Break the ice with a genuine compliment.
- Ask for help or advice about a topic they're knowledgeable about.
- Listen and ask questions. Don't make it all about you.
- Go beyond the weather. Talk about deeper topics for a more meaningful connection.
- Don’t air out dirty laundry right away. Keep the convo positive when starting out.
KEEP IN MIND
- Be yourself. You shouldn’t have to change who you are just to be liked by another person.
- Be vulnerable. The more vulnerable you are with them, the more vulnerable they'll be with you.
- Focus on quality, not quantity of friends.
- Have an open mind. Don’t judge a book by its cover because friends come in all shapes and sizes.
- Try that new activity or meetup at least twice to give it a chance. Don’t quit after one group meeting.
- Be patient. Most friendships don’t happen overnight.