The hustle and bustle of everyday life can make trying new things difficult. We often get into a pattern of spending our time working and taking care of our families which makes it hard to get out and try new things or meet new people. Making friends as a kid is easy, but it can be a struggle to learn how to make friends as an adult.
Adding friends to your circle as an adult can feel impossible, but it is incredibly important if you want your social life to flourish. Making friends as an adult can provide endless opportunities for new hobbies and experiences. It can also be an opportunity to find great people that will be by your side through your day-to-day life.
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Why are friends important in adulthood?
You probably think you have enough to balance in your life without adding new relationships to the mix. However, making friends as an adult is a vital part of life that directly influences your happiness. Some people rely on the friends they made throughout childhood to be there for life. Unfortunately, life sometimes has a way of putting distance between friends.
Finding friends as an adult increases the likelihood that you will have friends who have similar interests and who are settled in life. Childhood friendships are great, especially if they have lasted throughout the years. However, don’t discount the power of newly-formed adult friendships.
Having adult friendships has been proven to have benefits to your health. In addition to having companionship, friends also increase your sense of belonging. In “The Friendship Crisis”, Marla Paul talks about the impact that close friendships have on your physical and mental well-being.
How can adults find new friends?
Finding friends as adults can be tricky. By the time we’re adults, we’re usually more settled in our ways and find it difficult to venture outside of the norm. But, we can be missing out on some amazing friendships if we close our minds to exploring new friendship possibilities.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to find new friends. Chances are, there are great friendships lurking in the places that you already go. If you want to learn how to make friends as an adult, try one (or more) of these ideas:
Join a Community Club
Just like when you were back in school, clubs are a great way to try new things and meet new people. This is a way to find people who have similar interests. Most communities have a variety of clubs that are open for anyone to join. From book clubs to intermural sports, you can find clubs surrounding almost any interest.
Meeting new friends through a club will ensure that you and your possible friend have at least one thing in common. Clubs are a great way to put yourself out there while also partaking in an activity that you enjoy. Even if you do not find a new friend, you still win since you’ll be doing something that you already enjoy.
Try out a New Hobby
Hobbies are a great way to meet new people. Start by choosing a hobby that you have always wanted to try. Use social media to join groups that are focused on your new hobby. Soon you will be connecting with all sorts of people who share a love for your specific activity.
Take some time to see if there is a central location or store in your area that serves as a place for people to gather and work on their hobbies. Specialty stores are all around and are great places to go and meet new people while gathering supplies for your hobby.
If your hobby is popular enough (and if your city is big enough), you may find groups that meet at the local park or library. These groups are another great resource to share an activity with other people. When you do the things you love with others, friendships are soon to follow.
Volunteer in Your Community
Not only can volunteering be a rewarding use of your free time, but it is also a great place to meet new people. There are tons of opportunities for volunteering in every community. Get out and find an opportunity that suits your preferences and where you have a chance of meeting some great people.
Whether you build homes for Habitat for Humanity or work at your local food bank, volunteering gives you a meaningful job alongside others who believe in helping their community. Depending on where you volunteer, you may be able to learn a lot about the people around you. At the very least you know that they are someone who cares about other people.
Meet your Neighbors
Chances are, in today’s day and age, you don’t know all of your neighbors as well as you could. A new friend may have been closer than you thought this whole time. Host a block party or a neighborhood cookout and invite people who live in the area. This is a great way to meet a lot of people who you may have seen in passing but haven’t talked to yet.
You may find that your new best friend only lives a couple of houses down. Even if you do not meet anyone you would like to be friends with at least you got the chance to know the people in your neighborhood a little bit better.
Pay More Attention in the Workplace
Work is a great place to meet new friends. You spend most of your time there anyway, so you might as well be friendly with those you work with. Try to ask your coworkers about their hobbies and search for any common threads. Invite your coworkers out for a casual lunch to get them out of the office and extend your friendship past the walls of work.
If you are not comfortable becoming friends with the people you work with, keep an eye out for mixers or networking events hosted by your employer. This is a great way to meet other people from different departments. Most employers host this outside of the workplace so it is a great opportunity to shed the stress of work and get to know new people who work for the company.
If you are self-employed there are tons of in-person and virtual networking events for entrepreneurs that you can take advantage of. Not only are these events great for meeting people, but they are also great for your business. You can meet new business contacts and share your experience with others who understand what it is like to be self-employed.
Network with Your Current Circle of Friends
Another great way to meet new people is by networking with your current circle of friends. It’s very likely that your friends are friends with other people who may be potential friends for you, too.
If your friends host an event at their home and other people are involved, introduce yourself and make small talk. You never know if you’re meeting someone who might turn out to be a great friend.
Join a Gym
The easiest way to put yourself out there is to place a meaningful activity at the center. Whether that be work, play, or helping your community, an activity is vital to making new friends because it greases the wheels of conversation. Even if things do not work out and you do not make a connection with someone new, at least you did not waste your time.
You’ll love this great gym outfit.
Final word about making friends as an adult
Making new friends can be easier than you think. Be sure to frequently remind yourself why you are looking for friends in the first place. Be yourself and be upfront about what you are looking for. You’ll have a few great new friends in no time.
For more information about making friends as an adult, read “How to Make Friends as an Adult” by Emily Burnes.