Let’s get real! When we were younger, making friends was so much easier. But now, life is busy and our past friendships have faded out of our lives. Today, it is easier to rely on social media for our pastime than to meet real people. But virtual relationships will never bring the satisfaction that face-to-face interactions provide.
Making real friends and maintaining relationships is not always easy, but it is a necessary undertaking! Looking for ways to deepen the friendships you already have can be time-consuming as well! Below are some tips to make friends as an adult. It will take some effort on your part, but it should result in meeting new people and starting some new friendships.
1.) Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances
I put this as #1 because I found this to be surprisingly successful in my own life. Looking back, I can remember dozens of nice people that I met, but didn’t keep in touch with because I was too busy, I already had a group of friends, or I perceived them to be too “needy”.
If you can identify with this, RECONNECT with them! Add them on social media or send them a text. As you mature, you may find that the people you didn’t connect with may be some of the kindest and supportive people you ever met.
2.) Start being real with your coworkers
STOP giving too much credit to first impressions. Your coworkers frowning silence probably has nothing to do with you. Take the first step and start a conversation with the people around you.
My coworker’s first impression of me was stuck-up and cold. NOT TRUE! I was just trying to be professional and corporate. Within 6 months, we were the best of friends. We started hanging out outside of work and became each other’s greatest support system during stressful times. You never know the friendship that could be working right next to you. Give it a try – you never know.
Volunteer work is typically accomplished by individuals who want to bless someone else, give back to the community, and give time to a cause they have a passion for. This is done without expecting anything in return. WHO DOESN’T WANT A FRIEND LIKE THAT?! Volunteer in your local community, in an area that you are interested in. Meeting people with similar interests and passions can help to form a quicker bond. Plus, if you don’t meet your future best friend, you will still have given your time to something that made a difference.
4.) Connect on Social Media
Friendships do not always start face-to-face, especially in the 21st Century. It is now very common for people to meet their friends and future partners online. Maybe you want to join an online community of like-minded people. Make friendships online, “like” their posts, comment on their pictures, and start building a friendship. Who knows, you might even start to hang out in person?
5.) Utilize your kids or pets
Do you have a local park or kid’s play area? Does your community have a dog park? Go outside and take your little one to the park! Have you seen the online communities that are popping up with parents supporting each other? Most Moms and Dads just want to meet another person they can relate to. Why not start at one of the first place parents go to run off their child’s energy or their fur-baby’s energy?
6.) Take A Class
Local classes do not have to be expensive! Some are even free. I went to an evening class to improve my public speaking skills. It met every Tuesday night for 6 months, and the cost was only $20. I met some FUN people and we quickly bonded over our awkward mistakes and exciting progress. Find a local class that teaches something you are interested in: painting, bowling, cooking, dancing, etc. Have you ever heard of the Meetup App? Anyone can create a meet-up group that brings people together with similar interests. My friends and I have had success with this app, but be careful! Anyone can create a meet-up group, so always put your safety first. In the end, making friends and learning new skills is never a waste of time!
7.) Be Real
Just be yourself! Don’t try to be someone you are not or attempt to fit in with a group you do not connect with. Back in college, I found myself in a group of people who I did not align with in interests, personality, or standards. I was trying to fit in with them, as opposed to being myself and finding friends who I genuinely enjoyed. If you meet someone and you do not enjoy their friendship, it is ok to distance yourself from them. Friendships should be with people you enjoy and support – through thick and thin. As I matured, I grew more confident with who I was and found friendships that were mutually enjoyable. Find ways to successfully become more confident. Don’t change – there is always someone like you out there.
8.) Start Talking
Do you commute to work with the same people every day? Are the same parent at daycare every morning? Do you take your lunchbreak with the same people every day? Get out of your comfort zone and start talking to them! If you have your headphones in or have your back turned to the world, you probably won’t meet many people. It will be uncomfortable at first, but ask someone if they want to take lunch with you. Start a conversation with that person sitting next to you – you may end up hanging out some day. Even if you do not become best friends, it is nice to make acquaintances and become familiar with the people around you.
9.) Accomplish A Goal
Do you have a fitness goal? Are you looking for tips to improve your health? Do you want to learn to dance? Think of something you want to accomplish and take the first step – book the lessons, get a gym membership, etc.! I have met several friends at the gym as we worked towards our fitness goals together. A friend of mine recently started running with a group of ladies she met at a local park. Stop dreaming and take action!
10.) Say “Yes!”
How many times have you met someone and they passively said, “We should hang out some time!” or “I hope to see you around.” or “You should come to this event.” Do you make excuses every single time? You are too busy, you can’t find a baby sitter, you are too tired, or maybe you feel they are just being nice to you. STOP OVERTHINKING! One of my life mottos is “Just Say Yes!” You will never know unless you try.
11.) Invite People Over
Have you been over at someone’s house and thought, “I could never host a party like this!” How do you know? Have you ever tried? Google party ideas – there are a host of brilliant bloggers out there who specialize on hosting events. Honestly, who doesn’t love pizza, drinks, a dessert, games, and some good conversation? Invite some people over and tell them to bring a friend. You will be surprised how quickly you can broaden your friend group by opening your home and paying for food.
12.) Don’t Give Up
You know how you do not connect with some people? Some people will not connect with you. Don’t be discouraged or offended by rejection. I know you will feel bummed out, but you can’t stop your journey to make new friends. Don’t let anything stop you – just keep interacting!
PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid of awkward silences. They can actually be valuable at changing a conversation or starting a new talking point. If you feel a pause is too long, ask them something about themselves. Most people LOVE to talk about themselves! This will help you get to know them better and pick up on some of their interests and hobbies.
Now go out there and TAKE ACTION! If you never put any of these pointers into practice, you will never know if you have the potential to make some new friends.
If you have any questions about this article, just let us know in the comment section below! We’d be happy to help you out!