March 28, 2013

7 Tips on How to Make Friends as an Adult

For most of us, it seems harder to make friends as we get older. We get busier and don't have an institution like school forcing us in regular contact with a large number of peers. But no matter your age, it's never too late to start making new friends.I've moved several times in the past decade and have had to make several whole new groups of friends as a result.  After reading this article and the ensuing comments, I thought I would share how I've made friends throughout the years. 
*Be Friendly 
If you want people to love you, start by having lots of love to give. Be open, kind and personable. This is obviously rather difficult if you're shy but remember: most everyone loves to talk about themselves so being a good listener is the key to great conversation. Always have a smile on your face. You're not attracting any potential friends if you seem stand-offish.

*Value Yourself
Some of the commenters lament their inability to make friends because they're a "bitch."  If you're so terrible, then please don't sic your company on innocent bystanders. Friendship is a two-way street, so remember and highlight what are you bringing to the equation. Maybe you are difficult/blunt/moody (we all have faults),  but focus on your qualities that make you a friend worth having. Confidence is the most attractive trait in the world.
*Keep an Open Mind
Many people I know struggle to make friends because they are simply too picky and/or judgmental. It's really hard to meet compatible people if you're super critical. You may have to lower your expectations of people and give them a chance. I'm not saying befriend everyone regardless of character, but don't expect every potential friend to immediately impress you or have all your same interests. 

*Get Involved
The best way to meet friends with similar interests is, obviously enough, to pursue those interests. You'll meet people with common passions if you join a circle/club/group, attend classes and volunteer with interesting organizations.
*Hang Out
Find an establishment you like and patronize it regularly. Maybe this is a dive bar, a cafe or a music venue. The more often you go there, the more likely you are to start being recognized by other locals. (One serious drawback, though, is that this will require you to spend money.)

*Network/Branch Out
Utilize the connections you already have in order to foster more. Does your college have an alumni network you can use? Can you meet the friends of someone you already know and like? Try to get invited as a guest to a party or throw your own and ask everyone to bring a pal.
*Use the Internet
It's easier and less sketchy than ever to meet people online. Some sites are devoted especially to this like but I've also made delightful friends through okcupid, facebook and even craiglist (remember Malin?) Just practice common sense and safety.

*Not a Tip but Worth Remembering (#8)
You just can't make new old friends. Firstly, treasure and maintain the friendships you do have. Secondly, be willing to put in the time and energy with new ones if you want to create  lasting bonds.

I hope these tips will prove to be helpful. Have any of you found any particularly effective ways of making friends as an adult?

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