Adults sometimes find themselves in situations where they could do with a few new friends. Perhaps you have moved to a new town or country, started a new job, had a fall out with your best friend, or even got a divorce, forcing you to seek out a new social group. Whatever the case may be, making friends as an adult is a whole new ball game to making friends as a kid. How exactly do you go about it, with minimal discomfort and maximum success?
Making new friends in your adult years will require a lot more from you than it ever did as a kid or teen. You will need to be open, flexible, reliable, friendly, appreciative, fun – the list really does go on. As we get older, it becomes harder to make friends because we become set in our ways and we are less tolerant of people’s differences. We tend to want more of the same and get uncomfortable in new situations. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make new friends. It just means that you need to be a bit more attentive and careful during the process.
You won’t make many new friends if you sit around and wait for it to happen to you. You have to be proactive about making new friends, and if you put yourself out there, it stands to reason that you will meet new people and have real opportunities to connect. Below are 15 ways that adults can make new friends.
15 ways to make new friends as an adult:
1. Join a local online community for your hobby.
If you have interests and hobbies, that’s a great way to meet new people online. Let’s say, for instance, that your favorite hobby is scrapbooking. You can scour social media (Facebook and Instagram are great for this) for online communities in your area of people that also love to scrapbook. When you are in these groups, you can meet people in your area who love the same things you do. You could suggest a Saturday afternoon scrapbooking meet-up or lunch – there’s lots of scope for an opportunity there.
2. Attend local gym classes.
Gym might not be your “thing”, but a bit of exercise will get you feeling fresh and ready to take on life anyway. Head to your local gym and find out what classes they offer and which ones have people in your particular age group. This is not a weird question to ask at the gym, so don’t worry – everyone wants to work out with people in a similar age and capability range.
Attend classes where you are likely to meet people and don’t keep to yourself when you are in them. Introduce yourself to other classmates and get into conversations. It’s a great way to make a fit and active friend that’s good for your health.
3. Ask for introductions.
Most likely, you have a job (whether it is new or old) where you work with other people. Put yourself out there by asking a fellow colleague to introduce you to people or invite you along to an event. If you are new to the job or area, this makes sense, but even if you aren’t, it can really help you get out there.
4. Make the first move.
Chances are that there are other people out there that also want to make friends, but are afraid to try. If you go to the local mall, put yourself out there and talk to people. Smile, be friendly and make yourself approachable. You can strike up a conversation with someone at the supermarket, in the gym, at the local bar, or even in the park while walking the dog.
5. Sign up (and actually attend) Park Run in your area.
By now, most people have heard of Park Run. It’s a weekly event where local people get together to run or walk 5km in their area. Just about every country and city has a Park Run event that you can attend. When you are there, introduce yourself and talk to people. It’s a great family atmosphere, and best of all, you will meet people who live in your neighborhood.
Volunteering is a great way to meet kind-hearted people who want to help others. Some great places to volunteer are at animal shelters and fundraising events, but many sporting events also look for volunteers to help with event day and organizing. It’s a great way to meet new people …and after all the hard work is done, going out for a coffee or a drink is the norm.
7. Learn something new.
You can meet a lot of new people by trying to learn something new. Most cities offer art classes, cooking classes, dog training lessons, yoga – anything. When learning something new that’s fun and interests you, you stand the chance of bonding with people who have similar interests to you.
8. Reach out online.
You know when you are active on social media community groups, and you see someone posting things that you can relate to or agree with? Take the next step and send a private message and connect. When you get chatting to someone online, there’s an opportunity for a real and meaningful friendship to flourish.
9. Ask work colleagues out for a drink or dinner.
A great way to make a new friend and potentially meet that person’s friends is to take the plunge and ask them out. Why don’t you ask a work colleague to happy hour at the local bar or the 2 for 1 pizza night at the restaurant around the corner? You could even invite a few colleagues to keep it light and fun. It’s a great way to meet new people and get to know the people you are working with.
10. Revisit the past.
Even if you find that you don’t have many friends now for whatever reason, there are probably people that you used to be friends with in the past that you have lost contact with. Think of old family friends, schoolmates, or that person you met a while ago that randomly added you on social media. Look them up online and send them a message to reconnect. It could spark a whole new chapter of friendship for you both.
11. Become neighborly or community focused.
Sometimes the best friends can be found living right next door or across the road. Most neighborhoods have a neighborhood watch or a community that keeps in touch. It could be by text message, social media, or a specific app. Join all of those groups and make sure that you attend the meetings when they meet up in person or have an event. This is a great opportunity to meet people who live nearby. And what could be better than being good friends with your neighbors…?
12. Go to local trivia nights or events.
Do a quick search for trivia nights and events in your area online and make sure that you attend them. Trivia nights are a firm favorite because you can ask any of the bar groups if you can join them for the evening. You are sure to have heaps of fun and meet a lot of new people. Of course, you should always put your personal safety first, so always practice caution when going to bars or pubs alone.
13. Put yourself in a position to help other people.
Being able to help other people is a great way to make friends. Perhaps advertise a lift club or lift share situation, or offer to walk people’s dogs, etc. The more you are available to the community, the more people will see you in a friendly light and will want to connect with you.
14. Use your network of family and colleagues to meet new people.
Most people have cousins, siblings, and close friends. Ask them if you can hang out with them the next time they go out or meet up with friends. You never know, maybe some of their friends will be your cup of tea.
15. Go to church or a meditation group.
Go to church – people typically want to connect and help others in a church environment. If church is not your thing, look into weekly meditation classes or similar.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make friends as an adult. And there is every possible reason for you to give each of these helpful tips a try. Good luck and enjoy meeting all the new people that are bound to come into your life.