Six Ways to Make Friends as an Adult
The site Psychology Today just did a big write-up on how to make friends as an adult. It seems to get harder and harder the older you get. Here’s what they say . . .
1. Realize it’s going to require deliberate effort. If you want more friends and don’t have them yet, you might need to pound some pavement to get it done. That means putting yourself out there and engaging people.
2. Be proactive about it. This goes hand in hand with the last one. Don’t assume the person you want to be friends with will invite you to stuff. You might need to invite them. Think coffee, lunch, or an event you’re going to.
If it’s someone you just met, you might just need to be the one to say, “Hey, let’s exchange numbers.” Then YOU may need to reach out. Don’t wait for them to.
3. Branch out. Look for friends of different ages and backgrounds. As you get older, a 10 or 15-year age gap matters less and less.
4. Promote or upgrade people to “friends.” Think neighbors, former co-workers, or even old friends you’ve lost touch with. You might already have people in your orbit who you just need to reach out to.
Think about friends-of-friends too. Social media might be a good place to start with that one.
5. Join a Group. Volunteer groups, church groups, a golf club, whatever you want. But in-person is best, partly because of something called the “mere-exposure effect.”
It’s not always the case, but we tend to like people more and more when we see them regularly. So choose groups that meet in-person on a steady basis.
6. Don’t take it personally if your attempts don’t pan out. And don’t hold it against the person either. Everyone’s busy and overwhelmed, so maybe another time. Just move on to someone else.