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Making new friends as an adult is challenging for several reasons. Many of us simply don’t have the time or energy because we’re too busy with family and work responsibilities. The isolation brought on by COVID-19 also put a damper on our social lives, but it’s time to move on. Here’s how to make new friends as an adult in ten simple ways.
1. Reach Out to Neighbors
Unless you live in an isolated rural area, reaching out to neighbors is the easiest way to make friends. Whether they live next door or a few blocks away, their close proximity is ideal for making impromptu plans without disrupting your schedule. Plus, knowing your neighbors is vital for social cohesion and community security. Life is better when neighbors trust each other.
Even if your neighbors have different interests or lifestyles, it doesn’t hurt to be on good terms with them. You might need their help with landscaping, watching the house while you’re away and other chores in the future. Don’t isolate yourself within your own community. Being friendly with neighbors will pay dividends in the long run.
2. Be More Sociable at Work
The same principle applies to your work colleagues. What’s the point of being shy at work and not making friends? You interact with these people for 40+ hours a week. You’re already familiar with their interests and personalities. You’ve seen them at their highs and lows. You’re already friends with them in spirit, so why not make it official?
Of course, you don’t have to get along with every single co-worker. Every workplace has a handful of friend groups or “cliques”, just like kids at school. Knowing how to make new friends as an adult is no different. You naturally befriend the people who make your life easier, whether it’s at a full-time job or an elementary school.
4. Get a Gym Membership
If you’re not a fan of drinking, then you can take the complete opposite approach and get a gym membership instead. A local public gym is full of potential friends who share your passion for health and fitness. You can make friends simply by asking for a spot or complimenting their exercise technique. Socializing in the gym is super easy.
However, making friends at the gym can look very different for men and women. Men prefer to train alone or in small groups, while women gravitate toward large group exercise classes because they feed off each other’s energy. Keep these general rules in mind as you choose your gym membership package.
3. Hit the Bars
If you need some help making new friends, alcohol is the ultimate social lubricant that will unlock your fun side. We’re not suggesting you should rely on alcohol for socialization, but there’s no denying that it makes you more extroverted. You’re bound to meet new people and form an instant connection over a few drinks.
However, there is a key distinction between going to a bar and going to a club. Bars are perfect for socializing because they’re smaller and usually have seating that promotes conversation. Clubs are packed to the brim and you can’t hear the person next to you. The former environment is obviously superior for making new friends as an adult.
5. Join a Rec Sports Team
Another athletic environment that’s great for making friends is recreational sports. You can stay physically active, start a fun hobby and form a new friend group at the same time. There are lots of sports that adults can play as they get older even if you lose some athleticism. Sports have been bringing people together for thousands of years and they’re not going to stop now.
Plus, afterward you and your teammates can grab dinner or drinks together. The friendships you get from rec sports go far beyond the game. The game is just the catalyst for future bonding moments off the field.
6. Sign Up for a Class or Workshop
If sports aren’t your forte, then you can also sign up for a class or workshop catered toward adults. There’s a class for every hobby, including cooking, art, photography, pottery, woodworking, acting, singing and more. A classroom environment is ideal for finding friends with similar interests or exploring potential partners.
7. Go to Church
Going to church is one of the oldest and safest ways to make new friends as an adult. If you’re looking for people who share your values and religious beliefs, there’s no place better for socializing than a local church. People will be thrilled to see a new face in their parish and welcome you with open arms.
What if I told you there was a simple way to do meaningful work for your community and simultaneously grow your social circle? Volunteering can be hard work, but it brings great fulfillment because you’re devoting your time to people in need. The people you meet through volunteering are humble, courteous and a joy to be around.
9. Join a Parenting Group
Making friends as an adult becomes more difficult once you have children. Since your daily schedule now revolves around your kids, you can’t devote much time to a real social life. However, you can still make friends with other parents who are in the same boat. Join a parenting group at your child’s school or daycare so you don’t go insane.
10. Get More Active on Social Media
Last but not least, you can make new friends by getting more active on social media. Start commenting on posts and profiles that interest you. Reply to other people who leave comments to get a conversation going. Join online communities and actually talk to people on social media instead of scrolling in the shadows.
Confidence is Key
At the end of the day, your confidence level is the key to making new friends as an adult. New relationships aren’t just going to fall into your lap. You need to take the initiative and look for socializing opportunities with the confidence of a functional, independent adult. That doesn’t sound so hard, does it? Now get out there and start a conversation!