Making friends as a child was easy. You met them either at school, in the playground or they lived close by. There was lots of time to play and get to know each other. However as we grow older, friends move apart due to life and work circumstances and it becomes difficult to make new friends because we are short of time, energy and patience ourselves. If you have given up in your search to find sane normal human beings to call friends this post of “How to Make Friends When You’re an Adult” is for you!
How to Make Friends When You’re an Adult
You might be looking for new friends because your old ones have all moved away or you yourself are in a new country/city. I moved to Canada and lost my strong network of friends from Pakistan. I would wistfully look at girls enjoying brunch together or at people’s social media posts about getting together with their friends. I had always been a social person and making new friends had never been an issue. However things change as we grow older and finding interesting folks becomes tough, much less getting along or finding time to hang out.
Friends give us sanity, social support and are extremely important for our mental health. Here are a few tips on how to make friends when you’re an adult:
1. Seek through your old network
Talk to your existing friends and find out if they know nice folks in your city/college/workplace. 80% of my new friends after I turned 30 were due to a common connection or introduction. Finding new people through your old friends is a convenient filter you can apply on your search to find people you have more chances of getting along with.
2. Be open and positive
Be open to people who are different from you. We don’t realize that we keep changing ourselves and the sort of friends you seeked in your 20s is very different than the ones you will need in your 30s.
When you meet new people, don’t gossip or make fun of other people. Although gossiping is a very instant connection, its also a very feeble one. Remember whoever talks with you about others, will talk about you to others.
3. Start an activity
Is there an activity you really like such as reading, eating out, running, watching movies or painting? Start an activity club where members meet monthly such as a book club, movie club, dinner club or crafting time. Spread word in your community Facebook groups.
4. Be respectful of time commitments/Lower expectations
Respect people’s time. Be on time. Don’t plan things that take a lot of time and be offended when people don’t show interest. Lower your expectations from how things were when you were a student and friends could hang out for hours. Adult life is scheduled with responsibilities. Make the best of the time you get.
5. The whole family doesn’t need to get along
Met a lovely friend and your husband isn’t too keen on meeting the husband? Found a great couple but your children aren’t the same age? It’s OK. You have more chances of spotting a unicorn than finding a family, all of your family gets along with. You can always make plans with your friend for a girls only night or the couples can go out. Don’t push things too much.
6. Connect with old friends
I love the saying:”You can never make new old friends”. There is really nothing like old friends so if you’re having a tough time finding normal sane drama-free folks to call friends, connect with your old friends. Thanks to technology, you can do video chats and keep each other updated on your lives.
Hope you enjoyed these tips. Do you have any insights on how to make friends when you’re an adult?