Once adulthood hits, finding friends isn’t the same walk in the park as it was back in the days of high school, when you could bond over girl (and guy) drama, and insecurities. We grownups are busy people. We’re independent, too. Friendships become even more necessary because of those dynamics – so here are the ways to make and keep new friends!
1. Hit up someone you’ve always found interesting
Remember that person from school who was friends with your friends but was more of a sideliner to you? You didn’t really know what to say to them at gatherings besides jokes about the friend you had in common. Yet, there was an obvious underlying reason your friends were compelled to invite this person, and chances are, you’d dig this person too. Single them out. Make them feel noticed, remembered. Then, see where that little bit of effort will unfold… perhaps over drinks.
2. Pay for their food or drinks
It’s become modern day protocol for friends to ignore the formality of the person who suggested a trip out to wield their wallet. We tend to cater our own bills without any deliberation towards treating someone else. Take your initiation to astounding levels by following through with any payments completely, simply to convey your sincerity. A wise friend of mine once said, “their lunch only costs a few dollars for a friendship that may last a lifetime.”
3. Join an organization
In college, there’s hundreds of bands of students belonging to different causes and hobbies that will enthusiastically welcome a new member. Even outside of college, there are classes and free clubs in your city that you can attend which will do the same. The commonality between you and these sets of unknown people is your passion for what knicks your knack. You’re guaranteed to find someone there – or many someones – who shares the same crazy as you do. The most cherished of friendships are built from those parallel drives and values. Joining an organization is one of the ways to make and keep new friends, especially those with similar interests as you!
4. Prove your ‘yes’ has weight
Agreeing to attend a social event only constitutes half of an endeavor, and teeters your reputation if you’re a no-show. Try your best, mentally and physically, to engage with others by being present at these events. You’ll know not of all the people you could be meeting and what they have to offer if you never make the effort to put yourself out there, too.
5. Unfilter yourself
We rarely reveal who we are to people we don’t know, or are unsure of. This is due to not knowing what boundaries are acceptable, and insecurities over whether people will find us charming or objectionable. Yet, if we hold ourselves to others’ standards, it’s burdensome and falsifies who we are. Speak your mind, and laugh your laughs, all without thought. People who you’re compatible with will appreciate your candidness, and feel at ease to join in your winsome mess.
6. Take advantage of social media
Yes, social media is taking over the world. Yes, that means we’re past excuses. There’s no reason to fall out of touch with the people in our lives anymore, even if sending back a text or a meme is a minor inconvenience. Staying up to pace in our friendships isn’t as arduous as it once was, so keep up, or get booted. Your friends deserve your attention, just as you require theirs.
7. Mutually support life events
If you’re graduating, you expect all of your friends and family to be there, championing your endeavors. Similarly, if your friend is celebrating a new job offer and asks you to join, by all means, do whatever you can to go. Part of authenticity in friendships is the energy put into both staying present, and moving forward. It’s equally necessary to be part of both. This one of the most important ways to make and keep new friends!
8. Just be there
It’s always slightly frustrating at first when we see unscheduled calls, or when a friend asks to meet up when we’re exhausted. Of course, it’s understandable to not want to go for drinks after an onerous week, but if a friend is in need of advice, it’s imperative to lend them your ears. One of the most rewarding parts of relationships is the trust that’s fostered in such vital times.
9. Positive influences only
Make it a goal to root the setbacks out from your life, including your and your friends’ mindsets. As young adults, a positive outlook will pave many victories. Life hurls unwanted situations all the time, and when we don’t know how to deal with those, we can choose to believe that examination from a positive light is always more attractive than from the opposite. Offer your friends this wisdom, and only associate your radiance with people who encourage you in the same way. This is definitely one of the most critical ways to make and keep new friends!
10. Invent old and new traditions
What do you and your friend love doing together? Maybe the first time you hung out, you went to a coffeehouse, and perhaps grabbing coffee together is all you’ve been doing ever since. Hold onto such rituals from your friendship history, but also work towards discovering new ones to keep the friendship both meaningful and exciting.