It’s easy to make friends as a child. Going to school puts you in the same place as likeminded peers five days of the week.
Meeting people and forging friendships later in life doesn’t always come so easily. But the friendships made during adulthood can be some of the most meaningful connections you have, and provide significant happiness and fulfilment.
In a recent survey on the state of happiness in Australia, around 46% of respondents stated their friends gave them some happiness, and around 40% stated their friends were there greatest source of happiness.
We hope this advice helps if you’re looking to make friends as an adult but don’t know where to start.
Deepen your casual connections
The co-worker you eat lunch with? The barista you talk to about your favourite podcast every morning? The friend of a friend you seem to have a lot in common with? All potential friends!
If you’re looking to make friends in your 20s, 30s and beyond, look no further than your current acquaintances. If there are people already in your life that you’d like to make friends with, invest in those relationships and make an effort to deepen those connections.
Sign up for a social sport, hobby club, or class
Put yourself out there and join clubs or groups where you’re likely to meet people with shared interests.
This could be anything from social tennis at your local courts to a book club at your local library. The best part is, you already know you have something in common to talk about, so striking up a conversation shouldn’t be too hard.
Join Facebook groups based on your interests
Facebook groups and online forums are other great ways to connect with likeminded people.
Here, you can get involved in discussions on just about any niche you can think of. It can also provide the opportunity to meet other group members in person – just remember to be safe when meeting up with people you’ve met online.
Get confident starting conversations with new people
Talking to someone new can be daunting for anyone. One minute you’re discussing the weather, and the next, you’re looking at your feet or scanning the room for someone you know.
If small talk with strangers isn’t your strong suit, try these tips:
- Open with a compliment – Complimenting someone on their clothing or accessories can be a great way to break the ice and start a conversation. There might be an interesting story behind their funky scarf or shoes.
- Keep notes of conversation starters – Does your mind go blank when you’re in social situations? It can help to keep some conversation topics handy in your bag or phone in case you get stuck. This might include relevant news stories or the TV series you’re currently bingeing.
- Circle back to something they said earlier – When all else fails, try circling back to something they’ve already spoken about. Ask questions to explore the topic deeper. Chances are if they originally brought it up, they’ll be interested in discussing it further.
Use friendship apps
Apps aren’t just for dating, you know! You could meet your new BFF on your phone with apps like Bumble BFF, Friender, Meetup, Nextdoor, and Hey! Vina, to name a few.
Struggle with social anxiety? We offer some helpful advice in this blog post.