Adulting in and of itself can be a pretty tough challenge and finding people who support and love you may be an even harder challenge at times. As an adult, you’ll find that the friendships you had in high school may not have lasted that long or no longer support the lifestyle you wish to have in the future.
You may want to center yourself around people who are in pursuit of the same things as you and may challenge you to do or be better or you may just be looking for a fresh crop of friends to replace the friendships that have failed, diminished, or no longer serve as valuable in your life.
Either way, making friends as an adult isn’t as hard or scary as we may think.
What you should know about making friends as an adult is that it’s all about being yourself. Yes, we’ve all probably gone through the weird adolescent phase of pretending to be something opposite to what we are to appease others to make friends. But when you’re an adult, the development of friendships should be based on authenticity. And truthfully, there’s not enough time in the day or space in your brain to even try to think of ways you can act your way into a friendship with someone.
All of the football games, sleepovers, and homecoming dances years are through. You need people around you who will inspire, encourage, love, and have your back through the rent paying, career changing, frog kissing era of your life, and that will all be based on how real you both are with one another.
Also, try to be open-minded when it comes to making friends. You don’t HAVE to know or like the exact same things to be good friends or be the same race. Don’t be picky, everyone won’t be perfect and fit your bestie description (and vice-versa). Only consider these things if a friendship with someone makes effect your life in a negative way morally, spiritually, or on a general level.
Hang in high places where you want to eventually feel normal in
I heard this concept on one of Courtney Sanders’ podcast once. She basically stated that you have to sometimes physically place yourself where you eventually want to be. I connect this with finding friends because if you want friends that push you to excel, you need to be in those areas so that you can meet those people. So if you’re wanting to smash it in your career, find out where those type of people in your particular career area hangs out at. This means places like:
Parks: You can meet new people at the park whether you’re walking your dog, going for a walk/jog/run, or just enjoying the view and being outside. You can spark a conversation with anyone just about anything.
Sporting events: As of now, it’s football/basketball season. You can plan to go to your favorite team’s game and meet people who are die-hard fans just like you
Church: If you’re looking to find friends who are on the same spiritual journey as you, a church is the best place to go. There you’ll see people who are in search of guidance and are seeking the same lifestyle you are. This would be the perfect place to go given that in a spiritual-based life, you need people around you who support that lifestyle and who are also trying to pursue it themselves.
School: This is how we meet a lot of our friends in the early stages of our lives, and not much changes when you get into college either. Maybe you bond because you have the same major, maybe you’ll bond because you both can’t stand the class. A lot of college friendship begin by simply saying “Did you complete the online assignment last night?”
Work (maybe): Work friendships can be iffy because a majority of them don’t last as long as you may eventually hope for. There are also many different standards to consider when attempting to become friends with someone on the job.Ultimately, if you really bond with someone and find their friendship important/meaningful to you, then, by all means, enjoy that friendship! However, if you don’t want to stretch the bond further than work, that’s okay too!
Online (the new human connection): How many thousand friends on all of your social media accounts combined to do have? How many of them do you really find interesting but never take the time to reach out or communicate with? Sending a follower or someone your following a DM issuing a compliment or asking a question can spiral into an ongoing virtual friendship that can lead to a lasting friendship. People in certain Facebook groups have meet-ups all the time because they share a common interest. (Of course, always remember to stay safe.)
Things you can do to meet new people
Join a club or organization: when you decide to join a club or organization, you’re bound to meet others who share a common interest. And those who have similar things in common often become the greatest of friends. You can join a bible study group or join an online Facebook group for something you enjoy.
Volunteer: you can also volunteer at various non-profit organizations, community centers, and bond with the other volunteers involved. You can visit online volunteer resources like https://www.voa.org/ or volunteermatch.org to learn where you can find service opportunities.
Get out of your house: if you’re looking for more in-person relationships rather than virtual buddies, I’d strongly suggest you get out every once and a while, you seriously never know who you could stumble across. Even though it can be scary to spark a conversation or go somewhere by yourself, try to make yourself available to meet new people — because they can’t find you if you’re home binge-watching Netflix.