Making friends as an adult can be quite the challenge. Back when you were a kid, it was much easier to approach a girl and ask if she wanted to be your best friend—remember those times? But as an adult, making a new friend can often feel awkward and intimidating. It’s actually a very common thing people go through right out of school, so you’re not the only one who might be feeling a bit lonely. However, whether you just graduated college or moved to a new city, making friends as an adult doesn’t have to be awkward. Here, our contributor, Joana Ferreira, shares a few tips for reaching out and building new friendships after school years.
Understand that not every friendship is forever.
One thing I realized after graduating is that not every friendship is forever and that sometimes you have to let people go. It’s sad, but it’s part of growing up. Some friendships naturally fade through the years. People change, others move away, and because we’re all trying our best at adulting, we’re not together as often anymore. However, true friendships last through the years and distance and those are the ones that really matter, so make sure you nurture them.
Try new things.
One of the best ways to make new friends is to join a group class or a club. I know, it might feel awkward at first, but it gives you the opportunity to meet people with the same interests. It is a guarantee that you’ll have something in common with them, so that’s a good start. You might realize that you are not the only one out there looking to make friends.
Make new friends through old friends.
I’ve met some incredible people through other friends, so that is something to keep in mind. This also works when you start meeting new people in the town you just moved to. Tell them that you don’t know a lot of people and are looking for friends. It can feel intimidating, but you would be surprised at the positive response. And, before you move, consider asking friends and family to put you in touch with people they know there.
Trust me, I know how tempting it can be to cancel plans and stay home binge-watching Netflix. However, saying ‘yes’ can be a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends. So, say ‘yes’ to your friend’s birthday party even though you only know one person; say ‘yes’ to a cocktail party after work even though all you wanted to do was to go home and put your pajamas on; go to that awesome event with an inspiring speaker even though you have to go by yourself. Who knows, you might just meet your new best friend!
Make the first move.
Is there someone at work or at your yoga class that you often talk to? Ask if they would like to get together sometime for a drink after work or a brunch after your morning class. The worst thing that can happen is they say ‘no.’