I used to be really good at making friends. Apparently that was my first word as my three-year-old self left the car on the first day my family moved. “Friends?” My mother likes to tell me how I waddled around the driveway looking for people to play with.
I have no recollection of this incident, but I do know I’ve always enjoyed having friends.
Making Friends Used to Be Easy
As a child making friends is easy. You go to school where you’re forced to interact with people your age. You participate in after school activities your parents sign you up for where again people your own age are present. And you do whatever else, like walk up to strangers at the park and start playing tag without any worries in the world.
Making Friends Is Now Hard
As an adult, outside of school, making friends can be hard. I have a desk job where I don’t really get to talk to anyone except at lunch, so I don’t get a lot of time to interact with people. Plus, there’s no guarantee the people I work with are the same age or share interests with me. That makes it more difficult. What if I love Twenty One Pilots or pineapples and everyone at my office hates them? It would be difficult to spend time with people who hate the things I love.
5 Steps for Making Friends
As someone who has lived in a new place for over 6 months and still has no new friends, I don’t really have any clue what I’m talking about. However, I think there are some logical steps we can all take if we’re trying to make friends.
Sign up for sports teams - If there’s a sport you like to play you can sign yourself up to participate in a local adult league and potentially make friends! I’m now on two soccer teams where everyone is really nice but no one hangs out with me other than at our games, so maybe this tactic isn’t perfect, but I at least get more interaction with people!
Join local clubs/groups - there are always random local knitting clubs and other groups you can join. My roommate and I considered joining one such group but after the first meeting we voted against it because it was just weirder than we expected.*
Take classes - Yoga, writing, pottery - whatever. Sign up for something you think is interesting and maybe you’ll meet your next best friend in class.*
Start your own club - this is very popular advice while you’re in school, but I think it still applies. Start a Facebook page or a blog and reach out to people who share similar interests with you.
Try something new - like Pokemon Go, or drawing at the park, or going to a trivia night at a nearby restaurant. People make friends doing random things all the time. Maybe you can join them.
*Leave room for error and don’t get too invested in something before finding out you hate it.
Over all, I have no idea how to make friends since I haven’t done so since my senior year of college when I was forced to interact with people because they were always so near, but nonetheless I think the steps I’ve outlined above make sense. If you’re looking for new friends because you’re in a new place or all of your old friends have moved away, try these simple steps.
If none of them work I apologize. So far I’ve struck out, but maybe that’s a personality-thing and not a steps-thing.
Published by Kristina Hemmerling