It feels like I blinked my eyes and my friends from high school and college took off in different directions. Life changed.
We are all in our 20s and 30s now, so of course, we have different interests, and it took years for us to move to other cities and states, to get married, become mothers, and take on careers.
It has come to me that friendships may be one of the most important forms of self-care that I need to invest in as an adult. I need it. Solid relationships are good for my mental health and well-being.
I must get on the ball and build some new social connections, but how do I get started?
How do I make new friends as an adult?
When we are younger, it feels more natural to make friends because we have things in common, like school, games that we like to play, music, or boys.
Our lives are less complicated when we are in our youth, and we typically worry less about getting hurt by someone if we were to openly share our real selves.
When we are in adulthood, the building of friendship is all about intentionality.
Friendships do not develop as organically as they did when we were our younger selves. Instead, we must prompt and mold relationships into existence.
Where to find new friends?
To make friends, we must take on a mindset to do deliberate things that open our world up to grow social connections. It involves getting creative to meet new people.
If all of this sounds like work, well…it can be, but you have options that may help you out. Here are ways to get to know your existing acquaintances better and to get out and meet new people:
Friends of friends.
Take a deep dive into who you might already be acquainted with. Think about friends of your friends – people that you might have met at a party, or some other social gathering.
Who would you like to get to know better? Who are you interested in reaching out to? Then, reach out to them casually, perhaps through a social media platform. Ask them out for coffee.
Join a group.
What are your interests? Consider joining a Meetup group in your area. In a quick search of Meetup groups, we found several that are specifically focused on women meeting women.
Under Hobbies & Passions, we found a wide range of groups related to interests, such as movies, books, writing, knitting, photography, aromatherapy, wine, and much more. Here are examples of groups in the Austin, Texas area.
Once you join a Meetup group, you will have the opportunity to attend any upcoming events. This is where you can get out and be intentional!
Put down your phone. Talk to strangers. Introduce yourself. Exchange contact information. Get to know the people that you are with.
Have a good listening ear, and that means showing interest in others! It can feel vulnerable, yes it can, but this is a necessary part of it – allowing others to get to know you. Be prepared for it!
Form a group.
You don’t see an existing group that shares your special interests? Consider starting your own group.
The plus to this is that when you meet someone new through the group, you already have something in your favor that helps to grow friendship – a shared interest.
Take a class.
Take an in-person class. Consider fun classes, such as salsa dancing or cooking, which can help you have fun while mixing with people socially.
Join your local community center, or a parks and recreation division. Many of these community services offer adult classes and activities.
Love to help others?
Volunteer for community programs, such as a local food bank. This will help you to get out and fulfill your desire to help others, and it will give you fresh opportunities to build new relationships while doing so.
Consider trying VolunteerMatch, which is an online resource that can help you find ways to serve in your community.
Stay in Touch – Here is How
We are busy people these days – all of us are! It is entirely too easy to drift away from staying in touch with those that we care about but staying connected is exactly what we need to do to build and maintain strong relationships.
- A text or a quick message communicates to a friend, “Hey, I am thinking about you!” It relays the point that they are on your mind. It keeps your relationship active.
- Communicate openly and frequently. Remember that texting and messaging are great ways to stay connected but to beat off any cold and stale feelings make the effort to meet regularly in person.
- Build and revitalize a friendship through a sequence of scheduled activities. Invite a friend to join you in classes or groups.
- Schedule a string of meet-ups, perhaps once a month, or every six weeks, to ensure that you are with your friend in person regularly.
- Prepare to interact with your friend when you are with them. Put your phone down. Be vulnerable, meaning, allow yourself to tell your friend about you, and give them the freedom to reciprocate.
This helps you to build a strong open trusting relationship.
Try New Things
In this blog, we’ve talked about partaking in activities that help us meet new people, and sometimes it helps to get out of our comfort zone and try something new. It can be refreshing to our soul!
Have you tried salt therapy? Are you in the Austin, Texas area?
Imagine bringing a friend, or two, or five (six-person limit) to a destressing and therapeutic session in Austin’s only salt therapy room! The best part is, you get half off each friend you bring (up to 5 allowed at a time).