Making friends as an adult can be really intimidating. Whether you moved to a new city where you barely know anyone, or are looking to make more friends in your own city, it’s hard to know where to start. There are so many benefits to having strong friendships, from boosting your happiness and confidence, to emotional support, to decreasing social isolation and loneliness. All relationships require work to build and maintain. Just remember, you’re not alone – there are plenty of other people who are trying to make new friends too! Here’s how to make friends as an adult.
How to Make Friends As An Adult
1. Make a True Effort
Making new friends isn’t always easy- it requires effort and attention. It also requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. Let’s say there’s a woman you always talk to at your weekly fitness class and you realize you have a bunch of shared interests. It’s likely that you keep your conversations pretty surface level, but you may have found that like you, she enjoys coffee shops, playing squash, and vintage clothes shopping. Invite her to your favourite coffee shop. It may feel a little uncomfortable, but if you think you’d hit it off, what’s the harm? She could end up one of your best friends.
2. Tap Into Your Current Network
If you’ve moved to a new city for your partner’s job and don’t know a single person there, think about people in your current network (college friends, family friends, etc.) who may know people in your new hood. Take a look through your current social network to see who can make an introduction for you. Chances are, there’s a friend of a friend who’s in the same situation as you.
3. Get On the Apps
People have great success with friendship apps like Bumble BFF and Meetup. This can be a less intimidating way to connect with people in your city, and you can feel more comfortable knowing that the people on the app are looking for the same thing you are. You can look for people who are a similar age and have the same interests as you. If you feel like you’d hit it off with them, invite them for a drink or to do a fun activity!
4. Sign Up for Workshops or Classes
Is there anything you’ve always been interested in learning to do? Perhaps it’s pottery, painting, or creative writing. Enrol in a workshop or weekly/monthly classes. You have the potential to make great friends who share a common interest. It’s best if the workshop/class has a social element involved so that you’re not just in and out without talking to anyone. At the very least, take time at the beginning or end of class to strike up a conversation with your classmates.
5. Join a Parenting Group
If you have kids, you may find it easiest to connect with other parents. If you have a toddler, joining music classes, gymnastics, or soccer can be a good way to meet other parents. Many communities also offer playgroups where kids can play together while the parents get to know one another. If your kids are school-age, consider volunteering for school activities or joining the PTA.
6. Build on Your Work Friendships
Many people establish great friendships at work, which makes sense when you’re spending 8-hour days with your co-workers. If you’re starting at a new job, it can take some time to build relationships, but be sure to put in some effort. Try asking a group of colleagues to go out for dinner, grab a coffee, or try a painting and wine class after work. This can be a great way for you to get to know people and start building friendships.
7. Start a Group
Creating a social group that meets regularly can help you expand your social network. Think: a monthly book club, supper club, or a bi-weekly lunch where you try different restaurants around the city. Tell your friends to bring friends, and all of a sudden you’re meeting a ton of cool new people.
8. Reconnect with Old Friends
There are likely people who you have a good history with that may never have been in your close circle. Maybe you went to college with them and haven’t seen them in a few years or they’re a friend of a friend who moved away. Consider reaching out to them over social media or text them if you have their number. Invite them to your favourite fitness class or a trivia night to see if it’s a connection worth building on.
9. Attend Networking Events
Look for networking events in your area, whether it’s an entrepreneur event, fitness event, or foodie event. You’re sure to meet like-minded people here that you can grow a friendship with. Once you’re there, it’s important that you put yourself out there and talk to people. It may feel a bit uncomfortable, but just remember lots of people go to these events alone looking to meet new people. Look for opportunities to start up a conversation. If people are seated and eating at tables, grab your food and look for an empty seat. Lines are also a great place to strike up a conversation.
10. Volunteer with a Local Nonprofit
Volunteering is a great way to meet people, and you’re also doing amazing work for your community. If you love helping animals, see if there’s a local animal shelter that needs help or spend one night a week making or serving food at a local homeless shelter. There are plenty of ways to get involved and you’ll be able to meet others who love to do good too.
Making friends as an adult isn’t as scary as it seems. Try these tips and see how your friendships grow this year!
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