Is it possible to have adult friends that aren’t from high school or middle school?
How do you go about finding these mythical people?
Seriously, how in the heck do you make new friends as an adult in 2020???
As children, making friends was as easy as making a slightly deformed cake in our easy bake ovens.
You find a pack of humans that seem cool, run around on the playground with them a few times and boom, you’re besties forever.
But the adulting world is different.
It’s more awkward and uncomfortable to go up to a random stranger and ask them to listen to all of your deepest secrets or simply grab a cup of joe just the two of you.
Are you doomed as an adult trying to make friends or is there a simple way to go about this?
If you watch any friend drama on Netflix and daydream about what it would like to have friends like that, this article is for you.
10 Surefire Ways to Make New Friends as an Adult
1. Breathe New Life into Old Friendships
People get busy.
They have kids, daycare, a spouse, work, family.
Life gets in the way and friendships start to drift apart like giant icebergs.
It’s easy to forget about the friends you used to have when you’re looking around for someone to share a few belly laughs with.
But this is one of the easiest places to start.
Scroll through your contacts and see if any names pop out at you.
Do the same on social media and just start reaching out to people. Chances are, they’ve missed talking to you as well and may have even been thinking about reaching out to you too.
If you really want to make some new friendships from this, ask your old friends to bring someone with them.
Who knows, you two may just hit it off and become besties.
2. Go to Outside of Work Get-togethers
Holiday work parties can be a drag, I mean who wants to spend extra time with the people you see every single day?
But, they are a great place to start to see people outside of the workplace.
Most people are more conversational and easier to get to know when they’re not hiding behind a giant stack of papers or plastered to their computers.
If there’s someone at work that you’ve had a few conversations with and you’d like to get to know them more, start chatting them up at work parties.
This way, you’re in a public place and you’re all stuck there, so it’s less awkward.
Casually invite them to lunch sometime.
If they say yes, you’re in, if they say no, don’t worry about it.
3. Start Volunteering
Unless you want surface-level friendships, you’re going to want to find people who like the same things you do.
And the fastest way to do that is to volunteer in your community.
Not only will this make you feel really good but it will also help you work with people that are close to you that you’ve never seen before.
As an introvert myself I understand how daunting this can feel but when you’re doing something you love to do you will naturally open up more to people who also like the same things as you.
People are always looking for volunteers but here are a few options to look at in your city:
- Salvation Army
- Animal Rescue Groups
- Habitat for Humanity
- Food Banks
- National Park Service
- Retirement Homes
- Kids Day Camps
- Local Libraries
The possibilities are endless. Just start searching.
4. Adopt a Dog
People LOVE dogs!
I am people.
But seriously, dogs need exercise and tend to be very social butterflies.
They naturally force you out of your blanket cocoon and make you breathe in some fresh air at the park for once.
10 times out of 10, people will walk up to you and ask to pet your dog.
Not only does this bring people to you which is great for anyone who isn’t comfortable walking up to strangers, but it also gives you a jumping-off point to begin a conversation with that person.
If you really want to win over someone’s friendship heart, ask them about themselves.
Or their own dog.
People love to talk about themselves, and will immediately be flattered and much more engaged with someone who asks them questions and is actually interested in what they have to say.
If the other person has a dog ask if the two dogs could play together sometime.
And bam, you’ve got yourself a friend date.
5. Go to Public Places you Enjoy
The whole point of a friendship is to spend time doing things the two of you enjoy.
And no one is going to come knocking on your door begging you to hang out with them.
Start by going to the places you enjoy yourself and take note of the people that are there.
Strike up a conversation with someone.
Start off slow by making an appropriate joke, or comment on the weather and gauge it from there.
Chances are if you’re there alone and they’re interested in talking with you, they’ll keep the conversation going.
Again, this is easier said than done if you are a more introverted person but none the less, getting out of the house and out of your bubble ups your chances of finding a friend from 0 to 100 real quick.
6. Use Social Media
Love it or hate it, social media is sticking around and it actually works wonders when looking for new friends.
Start by joining groups in your area for specific topics you enjoy such as gardening, vegan groups, photography, running. If you can think of it, there’s probably a Facebook Group for it.
Once you join a group start interacting and physically go to any group functions they may have.
Yes, you actually have to get away from your computer if you want to make real friendships that last.
Search for friend apps similar to Bumble BFF to find like-minded people in your area.
The fun thing about friend apps is that both parties know they are looking for friends so it takes the pressure off when it comes time to ask them to hang out.
There are a million and one ways to use social media to find friends, you just have to start.
7. Take Classes
You thought you were done with school but think again.
How easy was it to sit next to someone at lunch and become the second half to a “best friend’s” necklace a week later?
Since we can’t retake high school as adults, taking night classes is a fantastic way to put yourself out there and meet some new people.
This is another way to find people who enjoy the same hobbies as you.
It’s also a great way to start a conversation and get to know the other person, how long they’ve been doing this hobby, what they like most about it, you know, the whole nine.
You can find a list of your local classes with a simple Google search or even a quick note on social media.
Not only will you come out of these classes with more fun hobbies but you might even make a few really close friends along the way.
8. Start a Local Club of your Own
Sometimes you just need to start something that isn’t there yet.
If you want to make friends in a group but are finding it difficult to find one that suits your needs in your area, start your own!
This is a fantastic way to get a group of like-minded people together to talk about things they really enjoy.
You could even set up “field trips” or day trips in general for everyone to go on together to help everyone get to know each other more.
It’s your group or club so you have free range over the rules.
Have fun with this and enjoy making some new friends with people in your own community.
9. Be a Good Listener
Whether you’re actively seeking new friendships or not, one surefire way to make the best of friends is to simply listen to people.
Actively engage in their conversations.
Be the person that people enjoy talking to, not because you have all the answers but because you listen to what they have to say and respond accordingly.
This isn’t about giving unsolicited advice though as for most people that is a huge turn-off.
It’s simply about being there for someone.
Which frankly, most people just don’t do anymore.
If you can be that go-to person for someone, they will stick around for the long haul.
10. Do Something Creative
Being creative naturally puts you more at ease and makes you feel less anxious, stressed or worried.
Going to a paint and sip class or a drawing class or even a pottery class is not only really fun but a great way to meet new people and have a few laughs too.
When you’re doing something that makes you feel relaxed, the whole atmosphere is relaxing as well.
This means striking up a conversation with someone is much easier to do.
Ask the person next to you about other creative classes they’ve taken.
Who their favorite instructors are.
How long they’ve been going to these things.
Small talk gets the ball rolling into something bigger and if you end up going to another class they recommend and they’re there, you already have someone there you can talk to and strengthen the friendship even more.