Photo via Pixabay by Cherylholt
When we were kids, making friends was a snap. It was easy to meet someone new and take up playing with Barbie dolls or G.I. Joes right away, sometimes without even learning the other kid’s name. Adults are a different story, however. It’s far more difficult for us to meet someone and find the emotional connection we crave, or to find the ability within ourselves to open up to a stranger and share something from our lives that will invite them in.
There are things you can do to make it easier, however, and as long as you’re fairly open and willing to try something new, making friends as an adult will be (mostly) painless. Here are some of the best tips for doing just that.
1. Use technology to your advantage
While it might be a little overwhelming to go out on your own and meet new people, it would likely be easier if you tried it through MeetUp
. This site allows you to find like-minded people who want to get together socially, so not only do you not have to worry about making firm plans, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that everyone is there for the same reason you are.
2. Try a new class
Taking a weekend or night course is a great way to make new friends, in part because you are in a consistent environment with the same people, just like when you were a kid in school
. The key is to move the friendship outside of that environment before it comes to an end. Invite someone you’re friendly with out to lunch or to a movie so you can get to know one another outside of the class. The bonus is, you get to learn something new while you’re being social.
3. Get a little help from a furry friend
If you have a pet, you can use it to your advantage as an ice-breaker. Dogs are particularly good at being charming, so take your pup anywhere that’s dog-friendly and watch the friends roll in. If you don’t already have a pet, consider dog walking
. You can find several pet owners near you who need a responsible adult to care for their animal during the day, so not only do you get to hang out with a sweet dog and possibly meet new people, you can make money while you do it.
Similar to taking a class, volunteering
could help you make friends because you’ll be in an environment with the same people over and over. You can try the local animal shelter, your child’s school, the local library, a local chapter of the Salvation Army, or even a museum that relies on volunteers for tours. Giving your time to a worthy cause while meeting new people is a win-win situation. It may seem intimidating now, but making new friends doesn’t have to be a stressful, anxiety-ridden ordeal. Remember that you are worth knowing, and that once you put in a little effort and open up a little, people will respond to it.
Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast, avid cyclist, and loves exploring hiking trails with her dogs. She enjoys writing about health and fitness for LearnFit.org.