As adults, making friends is much more challenging than it was when we were younger. I always hear people complain about how making friends is so hard after college.
When we were younger, we always had school and sports to connect us with other people. We made friends without even trying. Now that we are adults, we have to put much more effort into making friends!
Why are Friends Important?
Most of us naturally want friends. But why is having friends important? It's because humans are social beings! We thrive on meaningful connections — so much so that having friends is vital for our well-being. For example, loneliness has similar health effects as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
To feel our best — physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually — we need to have connections.
But where do we meet people? Now that we've all moved away from our home and college towns, how do we find like-minded people? This article gives you tips about how to make friends as an adult!
How to Make Friends
1. Write a List of your Favorite Activities.
If you hate swimming, it wouldn't make sense to try to make friends through that avenue. So first, without even thinking of how you'll meet people, write a list of your favorite activities. Maybe your list includes hiking, or painting, or playing with animals. All of the things you love to do should be on this list!
After you have your list, start researching opportunities to do those activities in your area. For example, I've found so many hiking groups on Facebook in my area! When you find Facebook groups, many people will ask others to join them. You can also post yourself! This whole world has gone digital, why not jump on the wave and make real friends out of it?
2. Take Advantage of Facebook Groups.
I know, I know, I just talked about this one — but you can find Facebook groups that aren't related to certain activities. For example, I found one that is solely for women in my area. Many women post on the group, asking who wants to join brunches, girl's nights, camping trips, and more!
The Facebook groups, especially ones that are designed to help people make friends, are bursting with friendly individuals who want to be friends with you! My sister also found friends in her new city using Facebook groups.
When we're no longer surrounded by people the way we were in school and college, we can turn to virtual groups to meet friends.
3. Go to Group Exercise Classes.
Group exercise classes are one of the easiest ways to meet friends as an adult! The room is full of like-minded people — they all love the same workout you do! Plus, making friends is even easier in group exercise classes, because everyone in the class is happy due to mood-boosting endorphins.
The friends you meet in group exercise classes are good influences on you. They can motivate you and be an accountability partner for you!
To make friends in group exercise classes more easily, go to the class early and leave late. Don't just go to the class, because not much talking happens during it. Instead, try to spend more time there before and after, and don't be afraid to introduce yourself! Even if you don't make friends immediately the first time, keep going. You are bound to see familiar faces in every class!
4. Outside of Exercise, go to Other Classes.
Exercise classes are not the only type of classes that help you meet friends! No matter what you want to learn — whether that be art, writing, cooking, or anything else — find classes that you can take advantage of!
While you're learning, you're bound to meet new friends! Everyone in the class will have a shared interest with you, because they're investing time, energy, and most likely money, too.
Learning isn't easy. These people could've stayed home and watched TV, but instead, they're learning about the same topics you are! Clearly, you and the rest of the class have interests in common!
5. Volunteer in your Community.
If you have extra time, volunteer in your community! You can spend your time volunteering doing something you like. For example, if you love animals, volunteer at an animal shelter!
Volunteering is beneficial for increasing your social and relationship skills, which will help you actively ward off loneliness. Volunteering also helps you make new friends and contacts, increases your self-confidence, and combats depression!
The people you meet volunteering are also like-minded, charitable individuals, which means they are quality friends to have. Volunteering can be the perfect way to help you feel less lonely.
You Deserve Friends!
Don't forget, many other adults are in the same boat you are. We all want to make friends, but we all feel uncomfortable putting ourselves out there and trying to meet people. Be the one to introduce yourself, and don't be afraid if one friendship doesn't seem to pan out. As long as you're patient and putting in the effort, you are going to make friends!
Friendships and meaningful connections improve your well-being, so don't be afraid to make meeting new people a priority!