Making friends as an adult tends to be much trickier than it was as a kid.
In your younger days, you were out there to play and have fun! It was easier to connect with kids in your school or around your neighborhood.
Naturally, the older you get, the more playtime takes a backseat, making it much harder to get social and make some new buddies. Also, let’s face it, the fear of rejection and being taken advantage of - something some people end up considering more and more, as they age - makes it even scarier to approach potential new friends.
Everyone knows having good friends around can enrich and boost your quality of life.If you are wondering how to make new friends, here are some ideas to help you find some new buddies.
Reconnect with existing acquaintances
There lies immense friendship potential in your acquaintances - if you only reach out to them and hang out more.
There are much fewer organic opportunities to make friends as adults. That makes acquaintances a ripe option for potential long-lasting friendships.
Make friends with your acquaintances by initiating plans outside your usual hang-out joints. Schedule a coffee with someone from yoga or suggest a farmer’s market date with that Instagram friend you have been exchanging DMs forever.
Interacting with them outside your usual context reveals more aspects of each other and provides the platform for surfacing different sides of one another other. Reaching out to an acquaintance, aka someone you don’t know much about and who doesn’t know much about you, and trying to start a friendship is an emotional risk. However, if you allow yourself to show your honest self and be vulnerable, while consistently hanging out, you will increase familiarity and cement your friendship.
Attend local meet-ups
Platforms like Meet Up or Facebook are awash with nice groups bringing people of different interests together. Traveling enthusiasts, animal lovers, foodies, and many other common-interest people have a place to share their experiences.
Often, these groups tend to have periodic meetings in their local area. Attending those meet-ups provides the perfect opportunity to communicate and make a few friends.And best of all? Your common interest will be a natural icebreaker and help the conversation go from casual talks to more personal, deeper, conversation and if everything goes to plan, develop into an actual friendship.
Take a class
The perks of taking a class are twofold.
1. You get to add a new skill to your catalog;
2. You get the chance to interact with new people and potentially make new friends.
Find something you have always been intrigued by and wanted to learn and enroll in a class - go for it! What’s the worse that can happen? If you don’t like it, you wasted maybe two hours of your life, if you do like it, you just found a new hobby and potential new friends.
It could be anything from pottery, dance, or the gym. It’s almost certain someone will catch your eye - and because you’re sharing the same context it’ll be easy to get into conversation and create connection.
Join hobby groups
As with classes, hobby groups are an excellent opportunity to connect with other people with shared interests. Identify your interests and find a group that caters to them. Some groups you could consider joining are hiking groups, sports clubs, gardening clubs or pet groups.
Being a part of these groups will both nurture your interests and allow you to meet new people, who are into the same things you are.
Talk to your neighbors
Guess what? Your potential friends may be hiding in plain sight. They could be right in your backyard!Reach out to your neighbors and interact with them. You may notice you actually share more in common than you would expect.
You can walk over to your neighbors and offer to help them with tasks. You can comment about the latest development in the neighborhood. You could even go the extra mile and make some soup, or cookies or bake a cake for the family down the street.
You may well uncover a good friendship and the best thing is that your new-found best friend is just a short walk from home.
Strike up random conversations
A simple “hello” could be the door to potential friendship opportunities.You never know the extent to which a menial conversation at the post office line or the grocery store will go towards building a new relationship.
Equip yourself with a few conversation starters and get ready to mingle. Kick-off chats even at the most random places. It may seem uncomfortable at the onset, but you can be lucky and find a friendly and responsive person with whom you can develop a fascinating connection.
Use the Jaumo App!
Besides social media, you can use Jaumo to socialize and make new like-minded friends. Jaumo is one of the best apps for making friends online, because it takes the pressure off socializing through audio group chats. No 1:1 awkwardness, no long silences, and it might even allow you to find a whole group of friends in just one go.
You can meet new friends from the community on the app and expand your social circle faster. Meet new people in real-time, from close or far, and find potential friends who align with your values, either through audio chat or text.
Contribute to charity and volunteer in your community
Making friends? Great.Making friends with selfless people that care about others, while also helping your community? Extra extra great!
Well, there aren’t many better places to meet such kind-hearted people than at charitable events.
Joining and contributing to a charity or a volunteering project is a win-win. You will be extending a hand to someone in need while also unlocking an opportunity to make friends who care and champion issues that interest you too.
Attend cultural events
Become a member of the local theatre, ballet, or symphony. Attend performances and fundraisers to get a chance to meet people who appreciate the arts that you do. Start conversations with attendees at thiose events. Visit your local gallery if you are into visual art and discuss the art pieces with the owners, managers, and other guests.
It’s very possible that by simply participating in events that would already interest you and coming out of your shell a bit, you’ll connect with a friend or two.
Important tip: stay in touch!
It is not enough to make initial contact. Consistent communication will cement and create meaningful connections with your new friends further. Try to follow up with people you’ve met recently. That way, you can bond further as you learn more about each other.
In a nutshell, friends are important to your well-being and personal development. That said, it is getting harder to socialize in a world where many are working from home coupled with a growing preference for staying indoors.
But good news: you can still strive to expand your social circles!
Don’t sit at home thinking about how hard it is to make new friends - the more proactive, the easier it’ll be! Be intentional about strengthening existing ties and meeting new people.
Who knows, you may meet people who impact your life beyond belief for years to come.