How to Make New Friends as an Adult
It is a lot easier to make new friends when you’re younger. Throughout your school years, you’re surrounded by people your age who probably live close to you. In college, the opportunities to meet new people are endless. However, once you enter adulthood, you may find it more difficult to make time to meet new people. Whether it’s a new job, further education, marriage, or even kids, there are a million things keeping us busy.
You may think it’s only happening to you, but this is a sad reality of adulthood. As the responsibilities pile on, we tend to lose focus on the things that make us happy. The important thing to note is that you’re not alone in feeling alone. Feeling lonely and socially isolated is becoming more and more common over the years. It is estimated that one in four adults do not have a close friend to discuss important matters with. Adult loneliness isn’t just an emotional struggle; there are serious health risks associated with adult loneliness, including increased risk of dementia, heart disease, stroke, and premature death. The good news is that there are a number of ways to make new friends as an adult. All it takes is a little bit of effort to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to others.
Assume the Best
Before opening up to new people, you need to open your mind. The main obstacle people face in their effort to meet new people is the fear of rejection. It’s the reason you may choose to stay at home on a Friday night instead of going out with your work colleagues. It may also be the reason you go to a social gathering but spend the entire night on your phone instead of talking to strangers. When you fear rejection, you’re less inclined to open up to others and share the things that you might have in common with someone else.
So the very first thing to do, before you can get people to like you, is to assume they already do. It’s proven that there is a “liking gap” pattern amongst all forms of social interactions in which people tend to underestimate how much they were liked by someone else. Knowing this makes it easier to go into a social situation assuming that people will like you more than you think, because chances are, they probably do. When you start to overcome the fear of rejection, it will help you feel more confident which in turn will help you start conversations with strangers and make new friends.
Use Your Existing Connections
The key thing to consider is that friendships do not start organically. It requires a conscious effort to initiate conversation and plan a meeting. This can seem like a daunting task. However, once you start a new friendship and find some stability with another person, that extra effort is no longer required and you can focus on enjoying time with your new friend. When you think about making new friends as an adult, it’s important to think about the type of friends you want to have. Are you looking to expand your current social circle? Do you want to get closer with some of your coworkers? Maybe you’re looking for someone to pursue a certain interest or activity with. Once you figure out what you want, get resourceful!
Reach out to the people you already know and ask them to connect you with others. You’ll know that these people will be somewhat similar to the friends you already have and you’ll find it easier to get along with them. When you have someone to help you break the ice, it’ll make the experience much less awkward in the initial talking stage. Another approach is to get in touch with your older friends and acquaintances through social media and ask them to hang out. It’ll be easier to start conversations with old friends as you already have an established rapport and you’ll find it much easier to get comfortable with them.
Use Friendship Apps!
Connecting with old friends and expanding your social circle is easier said than done. If you’re not a natural extrovert or you struggle with social anxiety, it can be difficult to reach out to people and initiate conversations, even if you’ve already been introduced. This is where friendship apps come in. Similar to dating apps, friendship apps allow you to connect with people who share your interests. It’s a great resource to help you make new friends as an adult with many benefits. Friendship apps allow you to connect with people from the comfort of your own home. They’re easy to use and convenient for people who have a busy schedule. When you join a friendship app, you’re joining a community of people who are open to making friends and are much more likely to be welcoming of conversations and plans to hang out.
Passionfruit allows you to connect with other adults who are looking to make new friends. The app lets you create a profile based on your hobbies and interests. It will then suggest people for you to connect with based on similar interests. Once you’ve connected with people who share your passions, you can initiate a conversation and go from there! If you’re looking to meet new people with whom you can participate in a specific hobby or activity, Passionfruit can help. For example, if you’re looking for someone to go rock-climbing with, or are interested in finding a partner for tennis, then you can find the right people who have the activity listed in their profile. With the help of friendship apps such as Passionfruit, it’s easier than ever to make new friends as an adult.
If you’re a person who’s not very social and finds it difficult to start a conversation with a stranger, it may seem impossible to make new friends as an adult. It’s difficult to balance your social life with your job, education, family, and daily responsibilities. It may seem unnatural to try to force yourself to meet new people. However, it’s important to remember that all friendships require an effort from one person to reach out to another.