Making friends seems easy for kids. You play, and you’re friends. And for most of your childhood, your schoolmates are your friends, so you know you’ll always have people to hang with. That gets harder, thought, as we grow up. We move, get new jobs, get married, divorced, have children… and it’s harder to keep up with old friends and make new ones. Yes, it’s harder, but it’s not impossible, and having friends is important- did you know that having friends keeps you healthy physically and emotionally? So while it might require a bit more effort as an adult, finding and keeping new friends is definitely worthwhile. Here are some suggestions for making new friends:
- At the park: If you’re a parent or a pet owner- or both- let that work for you. Make friends with other parents at the park or at your kids’s school. Pet owners can meet at the dog park. Keep in mind that comments and compliments on people’s pets and babies are excellent conversation starters!
- At the gym: There’s nothing like sweating together to create a potential bond.
- Join a group: Join a group that’s formed around an interest you have. Book clubs, gardening clubs, dinner groups are great ways to meet people interested in the same things.
- Take a class: This is another good way to meet new people with common interests, and you’ll get to learn something, too!
- Blind date: Oh, I know this sounds tacky, but try it! Ask a friend or acquaintance that you trust to set you up with another friend. You’re not meeting a total stranger, and who knows- you might hit it off!
- Accept invitations: It’s way more comfortable to just stay home with Netflix, but don’t give in! Accept invitations to parties and other events and you’ll meet new people, including potential friends.
- Smile: Don’t forget to smile when you’re out and about. It makes you look friendly and approachable, and you never know how a new friendship can start.
- People you already know: Sometimes your new friend is someone you already know. Go for coffee with a neighbor or a co-worker if you sense there’s a possibility of friendship.
- Look up an old acquaintance: Look up someone you lost contact with and renew the connection.
- Volunteer: Two birds with one stone- do something good and meet new people at the same time. Meeting this way also shows you that your new friend has a good heart.
As adults, we also bring the hangups and insecurities we didn’t have as kids into building new relationships, so try not to let that get in your way. Don’t be too self-conscious, be yourself, and just do it!
How do you make new friends? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!