Thursday, April 19, 2018

How to Make Friends as an Adult

How to Make Friends as an Adult //

I don't know about you guys, but I've noticed that the older I get, the smaller my regular social circle gets. It's not that I'm not still friends with all my old friends, but they are in different phases of lives than I am. Most of my closest friends either live in other states, and/or have children. Their lives revolve around their parenting requirements, and that is totally ok. 

But, for someone who isn't single anymore, but isn't a parent, and is in her early thirties, there aren't a lot of women in my same situation. Utah is a strange beast. The average marriage age here is years lower than the national average, and the amount of kids per household is higher than the national average as well. If you're not a parent by thirty years old, you're a rare breed.

So, how do us rare breeds make new friends?

1. Accept the fact that, once you're at this age, friends come in all sorts of packages and be adaptable.

When you're young, your friends all seem to be in the same situation as you. In fact, that's often why you're friends. I had roommates in college that I became friends with just for the simple reason that we lived together. I formed friendships as a kid because we were in the same class. Once you get older, your friends are in all different walks of life as they go about their adult lives. Because of this, it is extremely important to be adaptable. If they are more able to hang out earlier with their kids in tow, there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes the only way to see each other is through FaceTime or twice yearly visits when they come in town to see their parents, or pre-arranged friend vacations. Either way, be adaptable and willing to try a little harder than you had to before. 

2. Pursue your hobbies and meet people there.

The easiest way to meet like-minded people is finding them in the things you love to do. Find like-minded people on Instagram, join hobby groups on Facebook like local hiker or local video gamer groups. Join classes for things you've always wanted to learn or do. Connect with people in those situations. I recently reached out to a fellow local gardener on Instagram and we got together for coffee and ended up talking for a couple of hours. It was really fun, and now I have another friend in my life! It was scary to essentially ask her out on a friend-date, but it turned out to be a great way to meet someone new. 

How to Make Friends as an Adult //

3. Talk to strangers.

My husband is so good at this. He will form friendships by talking to people in line at grocery stores, online through Twitch, or wherever, and suddenly he has all these new friends I've never heard of before. He isn't afraid to engage with strangers and because of that, he has a large group of people he considers friends. It's one of the things I'm learning to do more because of his good example. 

4. Don't forget about your coworkers.

If you think about it, you're with your coworkers more than anyone else you know. It's not the worst idea in the world to invite them out sometime after work. In fact, it's one of the easier ways to make friends, and is kind of like the whole "we have class together" type of friends you met in college that ended up becoming your weekend party friends, too. Try it. 

5. Be a good neighbor.

So often we live in places and never know who the person on the other side of the shared wall is. Make it a point to say hello, hold doors open, offer to feed pets while on vacation, drop off cookies to new neighbors, etc. The more you show that you're interested in being good to the people around your home, you'll find you have more friendships forming there, too. 

Once you start branching out more, and being open to new situations, you'll find that friends start popping up in your life. The key is to put yourself out there, and be willing to be rejected. In fact, this could easily be a "How-to Find a Date" type of post because the principles are the same. Be open to new things, and new things will come your way!

++ Now, go put these tips to use, and let me know how it worked! Happy friend-finding!

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