If you thought making friends on the playground was hard, try making friends in adulthood. It’s not as easy, but here’s how to make new friends.
Making new friends as an adult isn’t as easy as sharing your snack with someone or playing with them at recess. But don’t worry, there are many ways you can meet new people.
I’ve done my fair share of moving around, and let me tell you, if you’re not attending school, it’s not easy making new friends. By the time you’re an adult, people already have their set group of friends and aren’t usually welcoming to new people. Which, I totally understand. However, I’m new in town and need friends.
How to make new friends as an adult
Just because you’re older, it doesn’t mean you can’t meet new people, right? You won’t be able to use animal cookies to make friends unless they’re filled with rum, but you’ll definitely be able to get a couple of numbers on your phone, possibly even some coffee dates.
This is like the movie I Love You, Man, all over again.
But don’t worry. Here’s how to make new friends.
#1 Go to school. That doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and enroll at a university, but you can always take a night course that you’re interested in. Maybe you want to learn how to program computers or you want to finish your college degree.
#2 Volunteer. If you want to know how to make new friends, volunteering is a great place to start. Not only will you be using your time to help someone or something else, but you’ll also open yourself to meeting new people.
Volunteering is a great way to network and meet people who share a similar outlook on life. Which, may I say, is pretty important in a friendship.
#3 Have a pet? If you have a dog, you’ll never be happier that you have it. Pets are an amazing way to make friends. Take your dog to a dog park or go to a pet convention. You’ll meet other animal enthusiasts, and you’ll be able to chat with other owners and maybe arrange to walk together.
#4 Have a kid? Like pets, you’ll be happy you had kids during this time. Kids go on play dates and, of course, you’ll need to meet the other parents. What a great way to meet people who share a similar lifestyle as you. Not only that, your child will be able to play while you get a dose of socialization.
#5 Say hello to social media. This is the 21st century’s prime strategy for how to make new friends as an adult. You may be using your Instagram or Twitter to post your thoughts and images, but have you ever used it to meet new people?
#6 Ask your friends. Maybe your friends know people in your area. This is much easier than meeting people in school or at a cafe. Basically, you have that middle person who can easily set you up with someone they know. Since they know them, there’s also a higher chance that you’ll like them.
#7 Don’t stay at home. If you want to know how to make new friends, don’t’ stay home! Duh. You won’t make friends by sitting on the couch at home unless it’s the pizza delivery guy. But, we’re not going to let that happen.
#8 Do activities you like. Kayaking? Singing? Basketball? Whatever it is you enjoy doing, sign up for it. You’ll not only get to do something you love, but you’ll be able to meet people who also share the same interests as you, which is huge.
It doesn’t matter if the activity itself is social *for example, if you enjoy painting*, you’ll still be able to socialize with others in your class afterwards.
#9 Become a regular. Do you have a favorite cafe or bar? Become a regular. You’ll get to know the staff, and plus, you’ll meet other regulars. It’s a great way to make friends and create a place that is comfortable for you. There’s a reason why people become regulars… it feels like home. [Read: How to find like-minded people who think just like you]
#10 Eat with your colleagues. If you’ve moved to a new job in a new city, you’ll want to go for lunch or happy hour with your colleagues. It’s a new environment, so you’ll want to meet the people that’ll be able to help you out and support you in and out of the office. Plus, your colleagues have friends too, so you’ll probably get invited to some parties and meet new people through them.
#11 Get back in touch. Do you remember that friend from high school who moved into the city you’re now in? Why not try and find them on Facebook and send them a message?
Sure, you guys went down different paths, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t reconnect. Who knows what’s going on in their life, and maybe you two will end up rekindling the friendship.
#12 Don’t be too pushy. If you really like someone you just met, ask them to hang out. However, don’t be too pushy and creepy. You don’t want to look desperate. People don’t like overly eager people, it gives them a clingy vibe. So, take a breath and just play it cool. Learning how to make new friends as an adult involves knowing the right boundaries to maintain. [Read: 9 effective ways to stop being needy and insecure]
#13 Go to family. I know it’s kind of weird to ask your parents to set you up with someone, but, they may know someone in your area. Beyond that, your other family members may know other people. It’s not weird… you need friends! So do what you gotta do.
#14 Be open. Making friends isn’t easy, but if you want to develop a true friendship, you’ll need to be open. It was so much easier when we were in elementary school, I know. But, it’s a give and take relationship, so you’ll need to open up to people you’re interested in.
#15 Don’t focus on making friends. Go to classes and do things that you’re interested in. However, don’t solely do it just to make friends. You’ll make friends regardless, so choose something that you’re actually interested in and focus on that. The rest will come.