Once you leave school, the process of making new friends changes. You no longer have the luxury of strolling into Room 101, sitting next the least sketchy looking stranger and making a sly comment about how horrendous your commute across the quad is…. BOOM, FRIENDSHIP COMMENCED. Sigh… those were the good old days.
Post-grad friendships can be hard to come by if your job doesn’t require much networking. Even then, we have to figure out how to take the plunge and uplevel the friendship past an exclusively professional one.
Here are 6 Tips For Making Friends As An Adult:
1. Go to a Meetup – Part of the reason it’s so hard to make new friends after school is because adult life can lack variety. Wake up. Work. Home. Sleep. Repeat. Until the weekend, where we often catch up with old friends or relax into our habits. Instead of sulking about missing old friends, take the plunge and make some new ones. How? Join a Meetup Group to get to know people with similar interests! I recently joined a local “Toastmasters” group because I want to be a motivational speaker and none of my current friends are public speakers. Solution? Make a friend who is!
2. Join a New Community – Friendships grow the deepest when you are a part of a community that has a greater purpose. My mom is the queen of making friends wherever she goes. As an adult, she moved from NY to Florida and joined a “Competitive Cycling Group”, made friends with the locals at the park who now play pick-up beach volleyball every Saturday, and is friends with the waitresses at the restaurant down the street from her. Make it a point to immerse yourself in a new community and the friendships will follow!
3. Engaging over Scrolling – If you are in a new place, you may feel self-conscious about being alone. This may translate into you mindlessly scrolling through your phone when you’re out in public. Whether it be at a grocery store or commuting on public transportation, these are potential opportunities to meet new friends. Instead of zoning out, be engaging with the people around you!
4. Say These Words… “We should be friends.” Have you ever had a passing conversation with a stranger that was just… so. nice. But then that voice in the back of our head creeps in – “it would be so weird if I asked this random girl from my yoga class for her number.” From my experience, it is not weird. In fact, it has been the start of some seriously RAD friendships. You can’t force chemistry where there is none, so when you DO find someone you instantly vibe with, just (wo)man-up and say “We should be friends.” Most of the time they are thinking the same thing.
5. Host THIS Dinner Party. I am still fairly new to my city, and have slacked in the “girl friend” department. So I decided, I’m going to host a dinner party for the 4 girlfriends I do have and tell each of them to bring their most interesting friend! Women only. The more I spoke about this idea for a party, the more I realized the need for it! Most women are interested in expanding their friendship circles.
6. Start a club. Book club. Running club. Mastermind. What have you. If it’s true that “your vibe attracts your tribe” then the best way to find your peeps is to control the vibe of the clubs/communities you’re joining. Want friends who are giving? Volunteer! Want friends who are fit? Join a fitness community! Don’t just wait around; start one!
Have you had success making friends as an adult? Share your strategies in the comments below!