Jacob Osborn

How to Make Friends as an Adult | Man of Many

Will you be my friend? Okay, so it’s usually not that easy. Let’s try these 11 ways instead.

11 Ways to Make New Friends as an Adult

Here’s the one true thing you need to remember: there are literally millions (and millions) of other people currently searching for some sort of connection. But you’ll never cross paths with those people if you don’t put yourself out there.

1. Put Yourself Out There!

When you have a dog, you go on walks and visit the dog park. This puts you in touch with other dog people. Trust us when we say that friendship often follows. It’s actually kind of crazy how many friendships can result from dog ownership. And let’s not forget about the dog itself—they don’t call them man’s best friend for nothing!

2. Get a Dog

Treat your potential bromance the way you would a potential romance by taking things one step at a time. Don’t call or text the very next day. Instead, wait a week or so and then casually suggest a meet-up. Let the friendship evolve at its own pace and don’t feel hurt if it doesn’t prove to be a good match. The last thing you want to do is look too needy.

3. Take it Slow

The easiest way to make new friends is to utilise the ones you already have. For example, maybe there’s a group at work who keep inviting you to happy hour. Even if the people in this group are more casual acquaintances or regular friends than they are good friends, they can provide the social springboard you might need.

4. Use Pre-Existing Friends to Your Advantage

We have some great news: it’s a lot easier starting a random conversation than it is initiating the first move on a date. Why is this good news? Because it gives you the perfect chance to open your mouth and start talking in a social environment. Almost any question or topic (within reason) will suffice.

5. Don’t Hesitate, Initiate

As an adult, you’re not in Kansas anymore and most of your potential peers were never in Kansas, to begin with. That means you’ll have to open your mind and heart a little if you’re going to make new friends. If you meet someone who doesn’t live the way you live or think the way you think, don’t write them off just yet. You might even learn something about yourself in the process.

6. Keep an Open Mind and Heart

We know it sounds like we’re giving relationship advice, but that’s because friendships are relationships. In the same manner that you’d impress a date by asking thoughtful questions and being a good listener, you should do the same with a good friend. Get to know their background, their interests, and their passions.

7. Be a Good Listener

No, this isn’t a reference to your latest cosplay get up. Rather, we’re suggesting that you don’t present yourself as something you’re not. Again, the point here is to make a meaningful connection that can only start from an honest place. Don’t worry about what someone wants to hear if it’s not something you actually feel. Show them who you are and let the chips fall where they may.

8. Don’t Wear a Mask

With the last tip in mind, this one might sound like a contradiction: show a little restraint if you have an aggressive or peculiar personality. For instance, if you happen to be a sarcastic type, don’t go all out during the first few exchanges. Let your new friend get used to your behaviour patterns so that they won’t be offended once the wisecracks start to fly. We’re not saying you can’t be yourself, just that you should unravel in layers like a fine whisky.

9. Practice Restraint

In many ways, ongoing support is the foundation of a strong friendship. If your friend is going through a hard time, it’s important to let them know that you’ll always have a free shoulder to lean on. Then when your own struggles come around, you know exactly who you can turn to. Awwww…

10. Be Supportive

A waning friendship is one where each party doesn’t reach out to the other on a fairly consistent basis. Even if you’re busy with other duties, you can still throw your friend a funny text or simply check-in. It might sound a little corny, but this is how to make friends and keep them.

11. Keep in Touch

At a young age, forging new friendships is crucial to both your social and emotional development (which is why your parents will encourage it) and even your survival skills. By forming these early social bonds, you’re also building upon your ability to communicate with others somewhere down the road. That’s not to mention the fact that good friends will prop you up in all sorts of ways and often when you need it the most.

Why Don’t You have Good Friends When You’re Older?

If childhood is all about building a set of sociological and survival skills, then adulthood is about putting those skills to use and even passing them onto younger generations. For most adults, this means getting a job, finding a mate, reproducing, and raising a family.

Why is it so Hard to Make New Friends as an Adult?

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