Remember how easy it was to make friends when you were at school? You just spent time playing with someone, decided you liked each other and BOOM you were friends. As an adult though, it’s not so straightforward. Think about it – when’s the last time you made a new friend? And let’s face it, you can never have too many friends. But you’ve probably lost a few friends over the years – maybe they’ve moved away or perhaps you don’t have too much in common these days.
Are you the same person you were when you bonded over yet another debauched Freshers event at uni? Unlikely. And maybe, just maybe, you’ve grown up a little since those playground days and school trips too. So you’ve changed – but your friends have stayed the same? Sure, it’s great to have friends that have known you forever, and with whom you share memories, but maybe it’s time to make a few new pals… But where to start? Here’s how to make some new friends – as an adult.
The Nearly Friendships
Let’s start off simply. Think about those people – perhaps acquaintances or colleagues – who you’ve always liked. Maybe you’ve got a similar sense of humour, you know they love running as much as you do, or you’ve both mentioned that you would like to go to the theatre more often. It’s time to put yourself out there and make the first move. Ask them if they fancy going to see that new play, signing up for a half marathon, or just want to check out the local cocktail bar everyone’s talking about. There you go, easy!
Do What You Love
Shared interests make a great start for a friendship – and the perfect way to meet some new people. Yes, we’re ALL SO BUSY, but how about taking time to learn Spanish/play basketball/go to a book club once every couple of weeks? Take some time to think about activities that you really enjoy and feel passionate about. Not only are you going to meet new people, doing something which isn’t catching up on Netflix/working/going to the pub is guaranteed to make you feel great about yourself too. Once you’ve picked your activity – commit to being consistent and going regularly. It’s no good trying something once and deciding it’s not for you; try going along a few times – consistency is key.
The Old Friendships
Remember so-and-so who you used to have an absolute scream with in GCSE Physics? And somehow you fell out of touch – neither of you really knows why – and stopped spending time together. Time to give old friendships another go. Yes, you might find you’ve nothing in common now, but it’s worth a quick coffee and a chat – you could realise that you’ve actually got lots of shared interests these days. Reach out to Facebook friends, text your old colleagues and revive those old friendships.
Do Something Good
Not only will volunteering make you feel GREAT about being such a wonderful person and doing something so benevolent with your spare time, it’s also a fantastic way to make new friends. Do you have a few hours every couple of weeks to help out at a local food bank? Yes, you do. Or befriend the elderly in a retirement home? Of course! Or clear up your local towpath with a conservation group? Definitely. Again, commit to going along regularly, and opt to help a cause you really care about – and you’re sure to meet some potential new pals.
So Facebook might not really be all about friends after all, but there are some clever new techy ways to make friends these days. Meetup is great for finding – or setting up your own – events based on shared interests in your local area. Sure, Meetup events can be a little bit hit or miss, so try out a few to find something to suit you. Free to download, mobile app Bumble has a friend-matching feature – strictly no dating or dodgy pics involved. Or for Londoners, there’s Thinking Bob: a website and membership service which is all about meeting new people, offering an impressive range of events, from pub quizzes and socials to museum trips, karaoke evenings and country walks.
Do Some Networking
Have we mentioned that we love a bit of multi-tasking? Possibly several
thousand times. Networking evenings provide the perfect multi-tasking opportunity. Before you’ve even got to the event, you know that you’ve definitely got things in common with the other people going along – even if it is work! Networking evenings are all about meeting people – so really it’s an ideal way of making new friends. Hand over your business card, stay friendly and open, suggest coffee. Multi-tasking perfection.
And Don’t Forget…
Never take your friendships for granted. True friends are special, wonderful and precious – so make time and remember to tell them how much they mean to you.