SHOP

10 Ways to Make Friends as an Adult

Written by Grace & Silas
Share:

After college, a couple things might have happened to us. One, we looked around and realized that the friends we were so close to have now gone somewhere else in the world or are now busy with their work life. Two, you’ve now got a lot of demands on your time like your work and a spouse or kids if you have them.

Now things are a bit more complicated and sadly making friends can be a bit of a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be and here’s why:

I remember when I was a kid and I would come up to someone on the playground and ask them if I could be friends and play with them. It was an automatic yes. I can’t believe how easy it was and now I’m wondering what made it so uncomplicated. And I came to this conclusion; the kids were just like me. They had been put into a place of similar interest, they needed or wanted to have fun, they didn’t want to be alone, and I proposed something that they liked.

Of course asking someone to be their friend or asking to play with them as an adult probably isn’t the best line to use. But there are plenty of other ways to start something up by using this mindset of what made making friends as a kid so uncomplicated.

 

CLASSES AND ACTIVITIES

High school was either one of two things for you, and either way can give you a perspective on getting out and joining classes and activities.

First, when you were in school, it encouraged and helped you make friends. You were around the same people all the time, doing the same extracurricular activities… and when you’re around the same people all the time, they become familiar to you. It’s recurrent and so you become more comfortable with reaching out and making friends.

The same thing applies for taking classes and signing up for activities locally. You all have the same interest and therefore are more likely to make connections with each other.

Second, high school sucked. Making friends was a bust. So here’s why taking classes or joining local events and activities is a heck of a lot better. You’re not forced to be there, you chose that class because you liked or were curious about it. And so now you’re going to be around people who have the same interest as you. Conversations are more easily struck up because the both of you like to be a part of that exercise, cook, or dance class.  Try meetup.com or other websites focused on your community.

 

VOLUNTEERING

I’ve heard this quite a lot and it’s true. I used to volunteer at the Dream Center in LA almost every week and would meet the best people. We were there because we wanted to be and we all shared a similar interest in helping poorer communities in Downtown LA.

I ended up making great friends and would I seriously recommend this to anyone that’s interested in helping any part of their own community out. The best way to find these volunteer opportunities can be through your city’s website, but I know plenty of religious organizations that offer them too (and you don’t have to be religious to join). Just look up local churches, check out their site and see their outreach ministries if they have them.

 

OH PARTIES

Why do I say, “Oh parties?” Because everyone suggests them, but they never tell you how to make friends at a party. It can be awkward, especially when you only know one person who is already talking to five other people, leaving you to stand there alone.

So if you’re looking to make friends at a party, here are a few tips. First tip, I’ll tell you something I learned. I was watching a few people talk about this exact subject; making friends as an adult. Many of them lamented how hard it was, but one guy said something different. He said that he noticed how when he was desperate, it was harder for him to make friends. People could tell that he was trying too hard, felt awkward, and steered away from him. When he finally realized this, he was able to change his mindset, making it to where he was comfortable with himself and being by himself. Then when people saw that he was relaxed and easygoing, friendships came naturally.

So here’s where the next couple of tips come in. Because what happens after we’re doing our best to be relaxed and we want to make connections? Well here’s how to initiate interaction.

  1. If you’re with a friend, they can introduce you to people (don’t be afraid to ask for them to do this for you).
  2. You overhear someone talk about something you’re interested in. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect. A lot of the time, parties are filled with people joining in on random conversations. Almost everyone’s new so not many people mind it if it’s not something personal.
  3. Compliment someone on something. I kid you not, I’ve had this work so many times for me (and you can use this anywhere). People love to talk about themselves and when you engage them on something you like about them, it lowers their walls and you can usually introduce yourselves and ask how they’re doing.

Now that conversation has started, here’s the next tip. A lot of us are afraid of the awkward silence, so here’s a way you can prevent it. Ask stuff about them to keep the conversation going (Like I said, people love to talk about themselves). Make comments about what they say and ask the next question that pops into your head about the subject. They’ll know that you’re interested in them which will make them interested in you.

Now that conversation has started, here’s the next tip. A lot of us are afraid of the awkward silence, so here’s a way you can prevent it. Ask stuff about them to keep the conversation going (Like I said, people love to talk about themselves). Make comments about what they say and ask the next question that pops into your head about the subject. They’ll know that you’re interested in them which will make them interested in you.

Last tip, if you’ve hit it off well and a new friendship looks promising, then initiate. Because sometimes people have the exact same problem or fear that you might have. Either they find it hard to put themselves out there because they’re nervous of rejection or they’re just not good with following through with a “Hey we should hang out sometime.” Initiate an actual event. Ask them what days and times they’re free for the next couple of weeks and go from there. If they mention that they like Mexican, tell them you know a great place and would like to take them. They like a certain workout class? Ask them to join yours. It could be anything, even a simple movie or drinks, but don’t wait for them to initiate.

 

BECOME A REGULAR

This one is short and simple. Have a favorite bar or coffee shop that you like? Frequent it often enough and you’ll be sure to meet the regulars there too. Whether it’s the workers that know you by name or a person that likes to come there to unwind as well. Pretty soon, you’ll feel comfortable enough to interact and start up a conversation.

If you don’t feel comfortable asking them to hang out elsewhere at first, do it the next time you see them. They’ll already feel comfortable with your presence and after a bit of talking, suggest an activity or another hangout place.

 

MAKE MUTUAL FRIENDS

There are a couple of ways you can do this. First if you do have a friend or two and you’re new to the area or really want to make new friends, then ask them to introduce you to some of their friends (make sure it stays around 1-2 people so it’s not overwhelming). Make it simple, just ask them to create an outing like going out to eat or getting drinks. You’ll both know the same person, feel comfortable, and be able to easily carry on conversation with one another.

Second, social media. I’ve actually met a surprising number of my friends I’ve this way. Online, many of us are able to be more outgoing and start up a conversation easily. So if you see someone that comments something funny on your friends post or shares something with them that you like, interact with them and send out a friend request. If it’s denied, no big deal.

Now you can talk with them on their own posts and even private message them. Pretty soon you might just end up asking each other to hang out in person.

Disclaimer: I know many of us would immediately go for the social media one because it’s the easiest. Make sure to push yourself so you don’t end up being someone who only connects to people online.

 

COWORKERS

This one is tricky. I’ve noticed that you really have to initiate outside events, or the friendship won’t last once you leave the job. So even if you get along great and have good conversations, once you’re not working there anymore, communication drops. The reasons for this can vary, but it’s important that if you like someone at work, make sure to hang out with them outside of work. You both already have some things in common, so why not take the good conversations you already have outside of the workplace.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Alright, so I’ve already mentioned how you can make mutual friends through here and how to do it. But another tip on expanding your friend reach is to reach out to friends that you already have (this can especially work for people who are introverted). If you have three hundred friends and thirty (or less) of them are people you actually like or would want to hang out with, start interacting with them.

This doesn’t mean you have to private message them right away (especially if you haven’t really talked to them that much). Just start to like or comment on their posts. Make your comments something that is response/conversation worthy, or a simple “Awesome picture!” will do at first. Then after a week of this, and things seem to have picked up between the two of you, message them and see when they’re free.

 

FOR THE PARENTS

Even with kids, there are plenty of ways to socialize for both moms and dads out there. So whether you’re with other parents at a recital, waiting for your kids to get out of school, or at the park, you can find plenty of ways to socialize. Pick up a conversation with the parent of the kid your child is playing with. Make a nice comment about their young one and talk about how well they play together. Or ask another parent who they’re waiting for or which kid is theirs in the class about to get out.

Then if conversation ensues, apply the same steps from the tips above. Ask them if they’d like to have a play date or do something apart from the kids. And feel free to ask them to bring along a friend or two of theirs if you want to meet more people.

 

THROW YOUR OWN PARTY

First off, you want to make sure that there’s a specific event around the party. Whether it’s the super bowl, a holiday, or a premier to a show on TV or Netflix. Reason for this? Everyone has come for a common reason and has a common interest. This way conversation and connections can be more easily made.

Next, you want to make sure that the few friends you invite or have recently met bring their own friends as well. This way you can meet new people and possibly make new friends. You already know people there, you all have a common interest, so there’s not a lot of pressure in the process.

 

BEWARE OF FLAKES

Now this may not necessarily be a tip on how to make friends, but it’s something you should know before you start.

Flakes are those people that make plans and either let you know last minute that they can’t make it, don’t let you know at all, or are consistently late and don’t respect your time. Know these people and only make exceptions for them a couple times. Things come up and can prevent people from getting with you or making them late. But if they continue to do this, let it drop. Don’t let yourself get hurt and create a worry that other people will do this to you as well. They’re not worth the time and they’re definitely not worth your stress.

 

MAKE REAL EFFORT

It’s easy for a lot of us to really want a friend or friends, but first we need to ask ourselves, “What does friendship mean to me?” Does it mean someone you can have coffee or go to the gym with every couple weeks? Or does it mean that you want someone you can call up any time to hang out, talk about your frustrations, and make great memories with? If you want the latter, you’re going to have to make the effort that a friendship like that takes.

You have to be able to maintain the friendship and make it work. This isn’t to say that the work you need to do will be unpleasant or frustrating. You just need to make the effort to include them in your plans and make time for them in your schedule. Listen to them when they talk, make them feel important, and something healthy and good will grow from that.

 


 

Now I hope this post was helpful, but if there was anything that I didn’t cover that you’d like to know more about, email me or let me know in the comments below. I’d be glad to help or possibly write a response post based off of your questions.

 

Share:

Meet Silas & Grace

Silas and Grace always had a passion for travel. So in 2016, they started Chasing Foxes as an independent income source. 4 months after launch, they were making enough money from their blog to travel full-time, and in the past 5 years, they’ve been able to encourage others in their blogging journeys too. Learn more about Silas & Grace.

A grayscale side portrait of Silas and Grace Moser of Chasing Foxes kissing one another.

Finished? Explore our tips below…

A pretty bullet journal being written on by a woman.
SHOP AT CHASING FOXES