Growing up we are surrounded by people our age. From elementary school through college, there was always someone to talk too. All it took was a conversation with the girl sitting next to you in your high school classroom and bam, you had yourself a friend? Or what about college when you’re constantly surrounded by people with similar interests as you and anyone could be a drinking buddy?
Making friends at that stage of our lives is easy, but now that we have all graduated, started working, and moved away. Making friends isn’t so easy anymore. In television shows and movies we are misled to think that having a tight-knit friend group who are always free to drink and discuss our lives is normal. But in reality, groups of women like this aren’t as easy to come by.
If you moved to a new city or started a new job, work from home, have social anxiety, or are an introvert, making friends is challenging, but not impossible. I have personally struggled a lot with no longer having close friends to talk to over the last few years. My only friends nowadays are my co-workers and blogging internet friends. So this blog post is for both me and you, my readers. I’ve gathered a lot of information from other bloggers and advice websites to be able to write tips on how to make friends as an adult.
MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS
I will be moving in a couple of weeks and I’m excited to meet all my new neighbors! Growing up, the neighborhood kids were all my best friends and we would all play together and hang out at each other’s houses. As an adult, I’m eager to get to know my new neighbors and see if we connect. It would be really nice to be able to invite them over for summer BBQs or share a glass of wine or margaritas at girls’ nights. If you have kids, you and the other parents can all put together a playdate for them to play together while you all chat.
REACH OUT TO LOOSE CONNECTIONS
There’s usually some sort of connection that bonds friends together. Whether that be because they went to the same school, were part of the same groups, or worked together. So I want you to think about people that you’re acquaintances with. Go down your list of friends on your social media pages and take note of all the names that you think you would have similar interests with. These don’t have to be super close friends, they can be someone you talked with once but now follow their lives on Instagram.
Take all those names and reach out to them. It may seem incredibly awkward to do this but I think it’s worth a shot. You may find that one or two of those people respond and will want to meet up for coffee or drinks!
Another thing you can do is ask people you know to put you in touch with people they think you would get along with. You’ll be surprised how eager your friends will be to put you in touch with their friends. Whether you live in a new place or not, ask people you know to set you up. Meet for lunch somewhere neutral and see if there’s a connection.
TRY NEW THINGS
This is the number one piece of advice that I came across during my research. People will tell you that if you want to make new friends, you need to try new things. Go to group classes, join a club, become active in your community or church, or find people with similar interests.
It’s easier to strike up a conversation in a group setting. Salsa classes, cooking classes, hiking, and running groups, or anything involving games are good places to start. Join a local book club, gardening club, or newcomers group for your town/neighborhood. Become a regular at a workout or barre class.
Finding like-minded people who enjoy the same activities and interests that you do is a great way to start. If you want to start smaller, try joining some social media groups that interest you. You can interact with other people, share their work, and maybe eventually meet up for coffee!
CONNECT WITH CO-WORKERS
Since graduating from college, the friends that I have made have been my co-workers. It’s easy to make friends at work because you are both stuck in the same space/office area for at least 8 hours a day Monday through Friday. I have made so many wonderful connections through work, and I wish I would’ve asked some of these women to get together outside of work.
If you have moved to a new place or are simply looking for new friends, your co-workers are an easy place to start. Make plans to get drinks after work with a coworker or take a fun class together. It could be as simple as going to Friday happy hours at the bar closest to your work and chatting about your lives for a few hours.
BE SOCIAL ON SOCIAL MEDIA
In the age of the internet and social media, you can have friends who live all over the world. If your friends have moved far away, you can stay connected with them and even have weekly or monthly video chats to catch up. But what about the people you follow on Twitter or Instagram that you would like to be friends with IRL? Start engaging with them and commenting on their posts. After a while, you can reach out to them and see if they would ever want to meet up. Even if you don’t live in the same city, there’s nothing wrong with a few more online friends to chat with online.