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Jun 12

Making Friends as an Adult

Making Friends as an Adult

A purposeful approach is needed!

As adults, forming new friendships often demands more intentional effort compared to childhood, where regular interactions in school naturally facilitated bonding. In adulthood, the absence of such structured environments and the tendency for individuals to guard their privacy or fear appearing foolish can make the process more challenging.

Therefore, making friends as an adult requires a purposeful approach, involving strategic efforts and consistent actions. By setting clear goals, leveraging existing networks, joining groups and clubs, taking classes, volunteering, and maintaining a positive and open attitude, adults can successfully build meaningful connections despite the obstacles. Here are some practical strategies to help you purposefully build friendships as an adult.

Purposeful Strategies for Making Friends as an Adult

  1. Be Intentional

  2. Set Goals: Decide that you want to make new friends and set specific goals, like meeting one new person each week or attending two social events per month.
  3. Identify Opportunities: Look for places and events where you can meet new people, such as networking events, community classes, or social groups.
  4. Leverage Existing Networks

    • Reconnect with Old Friends: Reach out to old friends or acquaintances you’ve lost touch with. They may introduce you to new people.
    • Utilize Social Media: Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or local community apps (e.g., Nextdoor) can help you connect with people in your area or with similar interests.
  5. Join Groups and Clubs

    • Hobby Groups: Join clubs or groups that align with your interests, such as book clubs, sports teams, or hobbyist gatherings.
    • Professional Associations: Participate in professional associations related to your field. This can provide networking opportunities and potential friendships.
  6. Take Classes or Workshops

    • Educational Courses: Enroll in classes that interest you, whether it’s a cooking class, art workshop, or language course. These settings are conducive to meeting people with shared interests.
    • Fitness Classes: Join fitness classes or sports leagues. Regular attendance helps in forming bonds over time.
  7. Volunteer

    • Community Service: Volunteer for causes you care about. It’s a fulfilling way to meet like-minded individuals and build connections based on shared values.
    • Local Events: Offer to help at local events or organizations. Volunteering can provide regular interactions and opportunities to make friends.
  8. Be Consistent and Persistent

    • Regular Attendance: Consistently attend group meetings, classes, or events. Familiarity breeds comfort and trust.
    • Follow Up: After meeting someone, follow up with a message or invite them for coffee. Building friendships requires follow-through.
  9. Be Open and Approachable

    • Body Language: Use positive body language, such as smiling, making eye contact, and open posture, to appear approachable.
    • Initiate Conversations: Don’t wait for others to approach you. Start conversations and show genuine interest in getting to know people.
  10. Share and Be Vulnerable

    • Share Your Interests: Talk about your passions and hobbies. Sharing your interests can attract like-minded individuals.
    • Be Vulnerable: Don’t be afraid to share personal stories or feelings. Vulnerability can deepen connections and foster trust.
  11. Respect Privacy and Boundaries

    • Gradual Trust Building: Understand that people might be guarded initially. Respect their privacy and allow trust to build gradually.
    • Be Mindful: Be considerate of others’ comfort levels and personal space. Friendships grow stronger with mutual respect.
  12. Stay Positive and Persistent

    • Positivity: Maintain a positive attitude, even if making friends takes time. Positivity is attractive and can draw people to you.
    • Don’t Get Discouraged: Understand that not every attempt will lead to a deep friendship. Keep trying and stay open to new opportunities.

By being purposeful and proactive, and understanding that it takes time and effort, you can successfully make new friends as an adult. Is there a particular situation or challenge you’re facing in this regard that you’d like more specific advice on?

Life can be complicated, messy, and rarely progresses in a straight line.  PeoplePsych is a Chicago-based psychotherapy group that treats adults seeking profound change in their lives.  We provide services that affirm the dignity, worth, and value of all individuals. We strive to create a safe non-judgemental space for clients to explore the issues that bring them. To connect with one of our therapists, please contact our Clinical Coordinator at (312) 252-5252 or intake@peoplepsych.com.