Making friends as an adult can be a challenge, but you can do it. Here’s how.
When you are in high school, college or grad school you are surrounded by people in a similar life stage. But once you are out in the working world or living in a new city, making friends can be more challenging. But don’t fret, it can be done. Here are some great ways to meet new friends.
Work can be a great place to meet new friends. You are spending a lot of time together and already have the common interest of being in the same field. Try spending your lunch break with your coworkers and see who you click with. Go to work happy hours and holiday parties, even if you may be tempted to skip them. Once you find someone you think you have friendship potential with, ask them to meet up outside of work or invite them to a get together you are hosting. If your co-workers are not very social or don’t share your same interests, then no worries, you can meet people in many other ways.
I am very fortunate that I get to meet a lot of new people through work and work related events and it’s been a wonderful way to bring new friends with shared interests and goals into my life.
At A Class
Taking classes can be a natural place to make friends. It could be an academic class to further your career. It could also be exploring a passion that you have like learning a new language, writing or cooking. The other people in the class may be in the same boat as you and are looking to make new friends and widen their social circle You have this shared interest and the willingness to try new things. Suggest getting food or drinks after class to get to know each other better.
I took improv classes and met some funny, awesome friends this way. After my improv classes and shows, we would go out as a group and get food and drinks. We would go see comedy shows together and kept rehearsing together as a group after the class ended. We also started performing some of our own improv shows and had an amazing time together.
Join A Group
You may want to continue hanging out with the fun people from your class after it ends. So forming a group, such as a Spanish practice group or a writer’s group can be a great way to keep the companionship going. You could decide to meet weekly at the same time and place or rotate who hosts the event. Maybe meeting up monthly is more your speed. But it provides a social support that can be really fun and can also help you continue to explore your interests.
I took a children’s book writing class and we decided to keep in touch and form a writer’s group to critique each other’s work. It motivated me to have new work each time we met and to also hang out with the group.
Many of us played sports when we were younger and may miss the team aspect as adults. It a great way to exercise and a team sport can open your social circle. Many cities offer social sports or more competitive leagues for soccer, flag football, basketball, volleyball or even kickball. Or maybe join a running group to find others to train with for a race or marathon. It can also offer you someone to support and motivate you to achieve your health and exercise goals.
I did flag football with my sister, brother-in-law and some of our friends. We got to meet some fun new people both on our team and the opposing team. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning, get some exercise, fresh air and catch up with friends old and new.
Friends of Friends
If you are relocating to a new city or maybe just feel like you need to expand your social group, mention it to your existing friends. They may have a childhood friend or a college friend who they think you would really hit it off with. Often times they are right because they know both of their friends so well. Even though it may feel a little awkward and like a blind date, do it anyway. If you two hit it off, then you are on your way. Family members may also be able to get you in touch with their friends.
My mom introduced me to my great friend and fellow Love TV writer Kate Oczypok. My mom met Kate and told me she thought Kate and I had a lot in common and would get along well. My mom told me that Kate is also a writer, loves music and also has a dog. Kate and I went on a blind friend date to get coffee and immediately hit it off. We have since had playdates with our dogs, Moe and Jack as well. Since we are both writers, we often share job opportunities that we find with each other. We also found out we share the same birthday!
Go To Parties and Get Togethers
If a friend invites you to their holiday party or birthday party, say yes. You can meet their other friends and colleagues and may find similarities with them too. Even if it can be tempting to stay home and veg, getting out and socializing is important. It may be a little overwhelming the first few minutes or so, but once you’ve been introduced to a few people you should feel more at ease. An easy ice breaker can be asking them how they know each other. This may provide a whole new friend group and support system for you. Two of my close friends regularly have get togethers at their home. I have been able to meet their other close friends and not surprisingly get along well with them.
Asking a new friend for their contact information or to meet up can feel a little scary. It can feel similar to asking someone out on a date or going on a blind date. But much like dating, you have to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone. Acknowledge that you are afraid of rejection and that’s natural. Then pat yourself on the back for doing it anyway. After you meet up once, the hard part is over and then you can plan your next activity together. All of these ways to make new friends can also be great ways to meet a romantic partner. Bringing new people into your life will bring in positive energy and fun opportunities.
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