6 Ways for Making Friends as an Adult
It Can be Easier Than You Think
By Marlene Wagner
When asking my clients who their friends are, it’s surprising how that question gives them pause, and they have to think about it.
Who are your friends?
Who are friends, and who are acquaintances? There is a difference, but often acquaintances are referred to as friends.
Or you might not have close friendships but many acquaintances you call friends.
A recent survey has determined the number of people who claim to have more than three solid friendships in their lives is only 37% or one-third of the population.
Even more discouraging is the idea that 27% of adults say they have no close relationships.
Making friends as an adult is often challenging. You look back to your younger days and had many friends and even more acquaintances.
As we grow older, we get busier with life and forget friendships and relationships need to be nurtured.
We get caught up in our responsibilities and business goals.
We don’t make time for a social life outside of loose connections with our children’s friends’ parents and professional networking.
Who has the time?
Along comes the second phase. Children grow up leaving for college and making their paths into adulthood.
Marriage’s breakup and the old connections slowly are going by the wayside.
The day comes when you realize life is no longer the same and find yourself alone and lonely.
Getting back into the mainstream is relatively easy, but for many, it’s not.
For some, it’s easy; they naturally make connections and build close friendships.
Not so for many other people that find it hard to get out there and start meeting people that ultimately lead to friendships and social circles.
It takes less time than you think to discover the joy of adult friendships. You can start with these simple tips:
Start with the Old
Why reinvent the wheel? Instead, ask yourself who your friends used to be. Is it possible you can rekindle some old friendships?
In this era of social media, tracking down your best friend from high school is easier than ever.
Social media has reconnected more friends and acquaintances than ever before. I include myself, having made old connections come to life again.
Does the school you attended have reunions? An excellent way to connect to past friends and relationships.
The high school I attended consistently held reunions throughout the years, and I participated in every one.
I loved the updates on the lives of my old classmates and renewing friendships.
Why not shoot someone a quick message or text to open up the conversation again?
Become a Listener
When in groups of new people, take a step back. Make a point to actively listen to people you meet.
Being a good listener makes you more attractive to those around you because everyone loves a listener.
Listening puts you in the position of discovering the things which intrigue you most about others.
It’s a simple way to learn about shared interests so that you can strike up a friendship.
Take it to the Next Level
Do you have acquaintances but are not quite ready to call them friends yet? Try opening up a little.
If one or more of those acquaintances have a mutual interest in something, invite them to join you.
Always let them know it’s on you. You don’t want them wondering if you’re picking up the tab or if they have to spring for theirs.
Always be clear and upfront when you are doing the inviting. If money is an issue, look for ways to keep costs to a minimum.
Always share yourself and let people know you and what you are all about. Good friendships are a two-way street.
Being vulnerable forges intimacy with others and deepens the friendship, taking it to the next level.
Stay in Touch
Friendships need to be nurtured if you want to keep people from falling off the radar and becoming distant.
Please make a point to check in with them. Send a text, make a call, and set up a chance to get together.
You’re telling the other person they’re important to you and worth your time by checking in. A general rule of thumb? Connect about every two weeks.
Create a Group
Start putting your friends together in one place and form a group of friends. Provide a spot for your friends to form friendships within the group.
There’s nothing more fun than hanging out in a gathering of people who enjoy each other’s company.
Start simple, drinks after work, backyard BBQ, potluck get-together. Get creative. There are a ton of group activities.
These suggestions apply to both men and women, single or couples.
If it all seems challenging, start with one suggestion you’d be most comfortable implementing.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of one foot in front of the other until it becomes more comfortable for you.
Watch for my follow-up blog on 5 Reasons Why Adult Friendships are so Important.
If you have any particular challenges, let me know. I’ll include it in my content.
Starting today, make yourself a priority and begin living your best life.
But before we go, always remember to
Be true to your magnificent self,
Connect with me!! I’d love to hear from you.